REVIEW: Suicide Watch by Kelley York

Friday, August 08, 2014

My rating: 

18-year-old Vincent Hazelwood has spent his entire life being shuffled from one foster home to the next. His grades sucked. Making friends? Out of the question thanks to his nervous breakdowns and unpredictable moods. Still, Vince thought when Maggie Atkins took him in, he might’ve finally found a place to get his life—and his issues—in order.

But then Maggie keels over from a heart attack. Vince is homeless, alone, and the inheritance money isn't going to last long. 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 stumbles across a website forum geared toward people considering suicide. There, he meets others with the same debate regarding the pros and cons of death: Casper, battling cancer, would rather off herself than slowly waste away. And there’s quiet, withdrawn Adam, who suspects if he died, his mom wouldn't even notice.

As they gravitate toward each other, Vince searches for a reason to live while coping without Maggie's guidance, coming to terms with Casper's imminent death, and falling in love with a boy who doesn't plan on sticking around

Once upon a time, I lost everything and I was so alone. The sadness, the hurt, it all seemed so infinite. When you're wandering alone in a storm, you can't see the end, or if there is one, and how close it might be.

I'm still wandering, but maybe I don't feel so lost now.

I'll keep trying. I promise.

It's hard being alone. I've been there, I still am actually. This book really hit me square in the chest. There are just so many things on here that I could relate to. I don't have cancer. I am not overly anxious. I haven't been abandoned. I don't have parents that ignores me. But still, I could relate to this book. The feeling of loneliness. The feeling of sadness. The feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. They're all very familiar feelings to me, which is why this book really touched me. It was like, I was one of them.

Vincent never knew what it was like to have a family. He felt unloved and unwanted - which is very understandabe because her parents gave him away at a young age. He only knew what it was like to have foster parents, but not real ones. Then Maggie takes him in.

Nobody wanted me. Not until Maggie.

Maggie was the closest to a parent he ever had. He wanted to make her happy. But just when things were going well between her and Maggie - she had to leave him too.

I want to cry. Crying would be the normal reaction to this, to losing someone who was more family to me than anyone else has been. Being a wreck would be better than this: feeling nothing and everything all at once and physically unable to react to any of it.

There was nothing out there for him. No one was going to miss him when he's gone. He then often wonder about whether the girl she saw jump over the bridge made the right decision. Was it right to submit to the feeling of emptiness? Was it right to just let go of everything?

What's it like to die?

He's gone searching on the internet, then stumbled upon a website called Suicide Watch. It was a forum where people go, if they are thinking of giving up on life. He signs up, wanting to get some answers: should he or shouldn't he do it. Instead of answers, he unexpectedly found friends.

Casper, Roxwell and Vincent each have their own demons to face. They may not have the same ones, but they were able to help each other in ways that no body else could have.

Let me talk about the characters

RoxWell has parent's that don't care.

Casper has parents that cared too much.

NowhereMan has no parents at all.

Vincent's thoughts were very genuine. I wasn't put up for adoption. I wasn't given up to foster care. I don't get anxiety attacks. I do trust people. But I had, at some point in my life, felt alone, unwanted and uncared for. I understood what Vince went through, and all of them were valid responses to these types of scenarios. But of course, there will be some exceptions - those exceptions are mostly the ones that have someone to really guide them with what they're going through, unlike with Vince's case - he had no one. I get why he couldn't let himself trust anyone - he doesn't want to trust and then they'll just leave anyways. He was over with rejection. He was over with people not wanting him and giving him away. It is not a good feeling. As the story progressed, you'll see how he grows, and you'll smile, because you witnessed his journey. It wasn't easy to read, but it was worth it.

Casper would have to be the one that broke my heart the most. I just really love this girl. She reminds me so much of Hazel Grace from the Fault in our Stars only more rebellious and spunky. I actually think I like her more now that Hazel. Okay, so aside from cancer, they were both strong-willed girls. That's one of the things I love about them. They were fighting it. They knew the inevitable will come at some point, but they tried to live the most of what time they had left. I'm not gonna tell, but you probably know based on what I'm saying what will happen to her. It was very tragic for me. That part made me the saddest.

My pain is more of a family thing like Adam's. I get his pain the most. The difference though is that my mom focused too much on me. She focused too much on the stuff she wants me to do, never what I want. And that really fucked me up. I wish I had gone for what my aspirations were, chose the course I wanted to get, then maybe my life wouldn't have turned out the way it did. I love my mom, I really do. But there's still this part of me that thinks, life would have been far better, if I was given the choice. Adam's mom distanced herself from him more the moment his dad died. Like Vince, he felt alone and deserted by the people who should have been there for him.

I still have a lot of feelings right now.

"Look. I know you think life is terrible. And it is. It's... pretty shitty, actually. But you weren't supposed to do this. Not yet. You think it's fine, because no one else will miss you, but you're wrong."

My voice hitches, cracks.

"You're really, really wrong, Adam. I would miss you."

Everyone needs someone. Sometimes, knowing that someone's there, makes things better. Suicide's only an option for some, because they think, no one will care anyways, that no one will be affected if they die. But they're wrong too. There are people who care about them as well, they just couldn't see it, or doesn't want to see it sometimes.

Life is short. Death is inevitable. This book shows just how little time we all have through Casper. Casper's last days had become more than what it should have been because of Adam and Vincent. They made the last days of her life more bearable. She was so grateful to them, her parents, that she decided what needs to be decided - I'm not going to judge her for that. I know I'm already ranting about a bunch of random stuff, but my point is, that we have an effect on other people. What little thing we do for others, maybe a big deal for them. By the way, it wasn't only Adam and Vincent who's done something good here. Casper has done her fair share as well like bringing Vincent and Adam together.

Have a life with me.

Fight with me.

Fix things with me.

Everything will be okay because we'll make it okay.

Another thing that surprised me the most, is how much I was rooting for Vincent and Adam. I would not have ever imagined that. I'll be honest, I have never read a book with a guy and a guy falling in love. I actually had a feeling that there will be something like it as I was reading, but surprisingly, I didn't care at all. In fact, I absolutely wanted them to be together. They were perfect for each other. Who says two broken people couldn't make a whole? LOL. I'm serious though, I think it's one of the things that drawn me to this book, it made you love and understand things you couldn't.

Not everyone could understand why a depressed person would want to kill himself. Not everyone would understand why a girl with cancer would endangers herself by sneaking out of the house just for the sake of fun. Not everyone would understand why someone would wreck his mom's carpet just to get her attention,. Not everyone could understand what they're going through, but this book made us think about the why these people are doing it, not the what. You get to understand why these kids act the way they act.

I'm not sure if I reviewed this book right, mostly, I just rambled on and on about stuff that relates to it and not really to review the entire content of it. This book is a poignant coming of age story about three teenagers fighting their urge to end life. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you happy. It will make you sad. It will make you feel all sorts of emotions. I highly recommend this. This book is a message of encouragement to all those out there who are feeling down and alone.

You have the rest of your life to fix what's broken.

And the "rest of your life" is only as short as you make it.


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