by Kelley York
pub date 12/20/2012
product description from goodreads.com
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 And there’s quiet, withdrawn Adam, who suspects if he died, his mom wouldn't even notice.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.
I honestly don't even know where to begin with this review. I had every intention when I began reading this one to sit down right after and write up a review for it, but by the time I reached the end, that notion was long forgotten, buried beneath the pain and hurt and ultimate happiness York's words left me with. I can honestly say that it's been a while since I've stayed up really late to finish a book, and even longer than that since one grabbed me like this one did. I finished it at about 3am, and was up till well after 4 trying to forget about it enough to go to sleep. It's that powerful.
SUICIDE WATCH tells the story of Vince, a foster kid who, in my opinion, epitomizes a broken soul. Right from the beginning, I felt Vince's pain over being abandoned by his parents, being left to fend for himself. He's painfully shy and introverted, and secretly harbors thoughts of taking his own life. This is what leads him to a suicide-friendly website, and ultimately the two equally-as-broken souls that end up changing him forever.
And those souls are Casper and Adam, two fellow website forum members Vince surprisingly builds online relationships with. Casper, suffering from cervical cancer, is sassy and outspoken, while Adam (screen name Roxwell) merely IMs Beatles lyrics and nothing else. But you can see right away that Vince feels a connection to these two, that they are an unknown lifeline for him. He finds himself looking forward to their chats online, even if the topic at hand is self-inflicted death.
When Casper asks to meet, Vince is naturally reluctant but agrees. The two draw even closer, sharing a bond that most of us would/could never understand. Their second in-person meeting includes Adam, who is even more painfully shy and withdrawn than Vince. But Vince, now comfortable with this new-found social circle, keeps at Adam until he opens up, and instantly Vince is drawn to him (in my opinion, because he sees himself in Adam; but that's just my opinion, lol).
The rest of this heartbreaking tale consists of three teens who are pulled by unspeakable forces into a friendship stronger than the death they each secretly want but don't want, and York unfolds their tale with expert craft and mind-numbing emotion. There is so much I would love to say here, but I can't for fear of ruining the experience of reading it. Just suffice it to say that SUICIDE WATCH will tear your heart into pieces before it gently pulls those pieces back together again.
Only because I set my ratings system at 1-5 am I giving SUICIDE WATCH 5 Stars. Believe me when I say it deserves so many more.