THE SUNDAY REVIEW: Suicide Watch by Kelley York


Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 7.22.48 PMI don’t know about you guys, but I tend to go on writer kicks. Like, after reading Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, I went on a Rowell binge and read Attachments and Fangirl in the span of like, two days. And for the last week or two, I’ve been on a serious Kelley York binge. I loved her NA novel Hushed (which I reviewed a few weeks ago) and I had high expectations for Suicide Watch.

While this is quite different from Hushed, the two have a lot in common: they’re both dark, both intense, and both super well-written.

This sentence from the book blurb pretty much sums the story up – “A year ago, Vince watched a girl leap to her death off a bridge, and now he’s starting to think she had the right idea.

Vince is an 18-year-old who just graduated high school and is contemplating suicide. He finds a (beyond disturbing) pro-suicide group online, and meets two people there – Casper, a girl with terminal cervical cancer, and Adam, a guy whose home life is pretty shitty.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s powerful without being preachy, and it just reads really realistically. I’ve seen a lot of patients with depression/suicidal ideations, and this book rings pretty true. There’s a certain flatness to York’s writing — and I mean that as a huge compliment. If you talk with people who suffer from major depressive disorder, you’ll often hear this distinct, flat, apathetic tone.

Anyway, I’ll stop before I launch into a boring recitation of the DSM-5, but if you’re looking for a great read, definitely pick this one up. It’s a little disturbing and oftentimes super emotional – but ultimately uplifting. It’s also the first book in a long time that made me respond out loud to a scene (“Holy shit!”), and for that alone, it gets the blog’s first 5/5.

Happy reading!

xo Elizabeth