Title : Suicide Watch
Author : Kelly York
Publisher : Self Published (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 220 pages (e-book)
Published : December 20, 2012
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 And there’s quiet, withdrawn Adam, who suspects if he died, his mom wouldn’t even notice.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.
Suicide Watch is a story about 3 young people finding each other. The thread that binds them is that they are all broken; but in the short time that they know each other they forge a strong friendship that changes the course of their lives …. as long as that journey might be.
“Some broken things are fixable. Some are not.”
Adam’s father has died, leaving him with a mother who barely knows he exists.
Casper is dying from cancer.
And then there is Vincent Hazelwood … The story is told through Vinnie’s POV and that in itself is quite difficult. He is an absolute mess, and the writing style reflects this – short, sharp, stripped bare.
“And maybe it isn’t that I want to die, exactly. But living is getting to be far too lonely.”
Vinnie has had 5 foster homes by the time he is 15. It is then that he is taken in by Maggie, who he lives with for three years, up until she dies. Her death is very early in the book, as stated in the blurb, yet she has a presence throughout. We learn that she had wanted to adopt Vinnie, but he would never allow it – that would only make his abandonment worse: because everyone abandons Vinnie. When Maggie dies everything is left to him, such as it is, and Harold, the lawyer and friend of Maggie’s that handles the estate, is also a great help to Vinnie. It is thanks to Harold that Vinnie finally grows a pair. 🙂
Vinnie has never really had any friends, his best friend (before moving in with Maggie) was Corey. And the whole basis of that friendship is a lie. He has no social skills really, so he lied about loving a band she is crazy about so that they had something in common, and they go on to become really close. He hates having to leave her when he moved 6 hours North with Maggie.
Vinnie is now 18 and has been with Maggie for 3 years. While out jogging one night he witnesses a suicide. A young girl, “Jessica the jumper”, jumps off Woodshire Bridge. He shouted out to her, asking her name – yet didn’t try to dissuade her. This was before Maggie’s death, but the two events have him morbidly curious about death. And what it feels like to die. So he Googles that exact question (gotta love Google!) and he finds a web site called Suicide Watch. It is here that he meets Casper and Adam.
I assumed the site was advice and help to not commit suicide. I was wrong. It is a site that actively assists people to kill themselves. With advice and even hands on “support”. Casper friends Vinnie quite quickly by pm’ing him. And even though Adam is also quick to reach out, it is only with song lyrics; never actual conversation. It is Casper that is the catalyst for the 2 boys to meet up. Yay! Finally some sweet romance, and it is sweet 🙂 The story is YA so there is no sex, in fact nothing remotely sexy happens. But the slow, gentle bloom is a beautiful thing.
I must admit that while I really felt bad for Vinnie, his character never totally won me over. Until, as I mentioned earlier, there is a scene with Harold – and finally he realises that life insn’t only about the shit your dealt but more about how you deal with the shit. It was pivotal. Adam I adored. Maybe I’m a sucker for musicians 🙂 Yes, he plays the guitar, and loves the Beatles. Nuff said. And that leaves Casper, she is just wonderful, so strong, vibrant and positive.
I have mulled this story over for a bit, before feeling ready to tackle its review, because it was a hard, thought provoking read. Not nearly as emotional as I thought it would be – I didn’t even cry (which is something, trust me!) BUT it was very powerful, nonetheless. I enjoy reading books that take me on an emotional roller coaster, and this one certainly does that. Ultimately the book does end with a HEA, which is always a preference of mine – but not a prerequisite. So if you, too, don’t mind a hard read then I recommend this book to you. It really is quite beautiful.
Rated 4 stars by Barb