Buy Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls
Regular price: $17.99
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reviewer: Melissa on July 7, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
They say Delia was burned to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide. But June doesn’t believe the rumors. June and Delia used to be the closest of friends. Their friendship came before everyone else – before guys and before their families. They had tons of secrets, which held them together with metaphorical, silk cords. However, one night June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan had a little too much fun, and the morning after things got out of hand, June knew things would never be the same. Lynn Weingarten’s Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls begins a year after that fateful night with Delia dead, and June certain that she was murdered. After everything they’ve been through, June feels like she owes it to her ex-BFF to find out the truth, but she will soon realize that the truth is far more complicated than she could have ever imagined.
Even though I read Weingarten’s The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers in 2012 and should have known that Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls would be more dark thriller than cathartic, contemporary YA, this book totally took me by surprise at every turn. I thought it would be a story about friendship and the grief that only the tragic loss of a young person to suicide can evoke, but it really isn’t a tear-jerker. Instead, readers of this dark, atmospheric novel should get ready for a page turner with an ending that you’ll never see coming.
Alternating between one or a few chapters in the present timeline to various periods in the past while June and Delia were friends, this novel tells the story of both the good and not so good moments of their friendship. You don’t need to worry that the multiple timelines will be confusing, however, as they’re clearly demarcated. If anything, it will be the clues left but not fully elucidated right away that will keep you guessing (and keep you reading). In addition, there are instants that reek of a toxic connection between these two girls, but the typical moments of girl drama or slut shaming aren’t there. What is there, especially after the night that June and Delia stop hanging out, is a type of jealousy and rivalry that June had never felt before.
In fact, for the majority of the book, it seems more like June idolized Delia, in part, because before the latter girl walked into her life in the third week of the 6th grade, exactly 5 years, 3 months, and 8 days earlier, June didn’t have any friends. June even assumes that either Delia made a mistake or hadn’t had the chance to meet cooler people when she invites June over to her house for a sleepover on the day they met. If you’re the ideal reader, then you’ll undoubtedly see the world through June’s eyes, especially for the first half of the book. You’ll believe everything that June believes and says, and with good reason. Yes, June has low self-esteem, that’s obvious very early on, and yes, she feels loneliness whenever she’s apart from Delia when they were friends or from Ryan after her Delia stop hanging out, but there’s no reason to doubt her view of the world.
Some of the other characters you meet, such as Delia’s boyfriend Jeremiah, June’s boyfriend Ryan, and even Delia herself are more suspect. Even June isn’t sure who to believe – the boy who Delia was dating, the one who June was in love with, or her best friend. (Yes, her ex-BFF is dead, but June finds a letter Delia wrote a year ago, which calls many things June was sure of into question.) If you’re like me, you will be just as unsure as June is about the who, what, where, when, and why of this book. Getting to the bottom of this mystery will require that you can follow the shifting sand on top of which the friendships and loves in this book have been built, but one thing is for sure – you won’t be able to put Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls down once you pick it up.
Ultimately, I think the comparison of Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls to Gone Girl is a bit of an overreach because June is largely the victim of considerable manipulation by others, but innocent of it herself. Nevertheless, readers who are well-versed in the world of thrillers will find that the semi-open ended conclusion will satisfy their desire for a super creepy finish, even if it means that they have to infer a few pieces of information themselves.
Buy Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls today!