Thursday, June 18, 2015

ARC Review: Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

Publication date: 2015 
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Format: e-ARC
Source: Work (Hell yea!)
Rating: 5 Stars

Heartbreaking, spellbinding and enthralling, Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls leaves you discountenancing everything you believed to be true.  Fans of Abigail Haas will adore Weingarten’s latest bound-to-be bestseller.

Let me set the scene. It’s 1.23am on Wednesday morning and I am still staring at the last page from this book. I am reeling, but in a good way, from the experience from what I’ve just read. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls is nothing like how it’s pitched: it is a masterpiece

June and Delia were best friends. That’s until Ryan came along. The fight between best-friend and boyfriend has already been won and then, one day, everything changes. Delia is dead. Although it is reported as suicide, June knows her best-friend better than anybody. And with the help of Delia’s mysterious ex-boyfriend, June is on a mission to find out who really murdered Delia, and why they wanted her dead.

I had the pleasure of snatching this up from the bookstore I work at when, occasionally, we get sent ARCs of books we should, and will be, be promoting.  Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls was nothing I expected it to be. The first few chapters felt reminiscent of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang, which, admittedly, is a genre becoming beyond tiresome. But Weingarten creates a plot with twists at each bend, leaving the reader, in this case little old me, captivated and engaged all the way through. I flew through the novel in barely a few hours, a fact which is testimonial to Weingarten’s writing of complex character and intriguing plot.

"The messed up thing is how so many people think your body is their business, especially if you're a girl."

Firstly, this book deals with real issues in an emotive and sensitive, but gripping and unflattering way. Weingarten does not use metaphor or euphemism to create characters that are easy to read, instead she creates reality. Throughout the novel, we learn of Delia’s home life; an abusive step-father who controls her mother and creates household tension, and of June’s alcoholic mother; absent and seemingly uncaring of her daughters whereabouts. Two extreme forces that bring the girls together in search for female companionship. The friendship between June and Delia, excluding the playing of Nancy Drew, felt like friendships I had throughout high school. The important of female friendships transfers off the page and resonates with the reader. What it means to be a girl, a friend and a person is constantly challenged throughout the novel and we see our main character, June, develop and become stronger throughout aspects of the novel.

As well as our main characters, Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls has an amazing cast of secondary characters that allow the narrative to blossom. Each adds its own ingredient to the story and our understanding of the girls and how they are. Each reflects how this world is theirs, and those that are in it are mostly by choice; the good and the dangerous.

“I can’t remember what missing feels like, or any other feelings either.”

Other than the characters, the writing style was my second favourite element. The combination of chapters in the present time period and going back to different events meant you got to see a variation of the same characters and they developed and matured due to living and experiencing certain situations in life. Each chapter almost feels like a diary entry, allowing you to feel as if you are part of the friendship: the third best-friend. June and Delia’s story is special and the emotion which you feel through the page; angry; happiness; deceit; regret; love, is directly received by the reader because you are so engaged and intertwined in their story.

And that ending. Oh my. As I was halfway through, I thought the plot was fully developed, no more twists or relations ahead. But boy, I was wrong. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls keeps you guessing till the very last page and each sentence reveals something new.

For fear of spoiling anything, I will keep this short and sweet. This is the best YA mystery I have read in a very long time. I’m sure as it gets closer to release date, the hyper surrounding this book will be enormous, but for now, you’ll have to trust me. Lynn Weingarten is the Queen of Thriller, and I cannot wait to see what she gives us next.

Suicide Notes For Beautiful Girls is out 2nd July and you can buy it here. 

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