Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Lynn Weingarten: Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls | Book Review

June and Delia were once the closest of friends, they would choose each other over anything else and did everything together. They had tonnes of secrets that tied them together "like thin silk cords" but it only took one night for everything to change, they went from best friends to strangers overnight but now, only one year later, Delia is dead and June feels like she owes it to Delia to uncover the truth, they say it was suicide, but June is convinced it was murder however, little did she know that the truth would be far more complex than she had imagined. 

Upon first picking up this novel, it seemed like a thrilling mystery that I would adore, and up until about half way through the novel, I did adore it. You learn all about the inseparable friendship that June and Delia once had and we experience the raw pain that June is experiencing whilst grieving for her best friend. June feels like she failed Delia, she wishes more than anything that she could mend their relationship but how can you mend a relationship with someone who is dead? June blames herself, she feels a whole range of emotions and she believes that she could have talked Delia out of taking her own life. It isn't until June speaks to Delia's boyfriend, that her suspicions begin that Delia could have been murdered.

The first half of this book had a rather stable story-line, it was interesting and there were so many unanswered questions, we felt June's pain with her, we learn more about Delia, who she was, how she died and what could have caused her to end her life. Despite this, from about the midway point, this novel gets messy, it turns into what feels like a rush to include all of the information, it becomes unrealistic and it just doesn't work. I found this book very frustrating because it could have worked if more time, effort and work went into making the story-line flow better. Instead, we had a whole mixture of serious topics portrayed very badly, which could actually be considered offensive to some.

Within this novel, June and Delia's boyfriend take it upon themselves to create their own murder investigation without informing the police, they take some very dangerous decisions in order to try and understand what happened to Delia including, breaking into Delia's family home and visiting a dangerous drug dealer. There was one point within the novel where going to the police was considered, but it was quickly removed from the options after Delia's boyfriend states that he has already been to the police and that they are certain it was suicide. Firstly, the police would definitely investigate into other possibilities and would take potentially key information like this very seriously and Secondly, June could have got herself in a lot of trouble for some of the things she got up to, due to being convinced that Delia was murdered. 

Once the death has changed from a Suicide to a Murder, the plot turns very erratic and touches on a whole range of serious topics, very badly, from cheating to pregnancy, abortion, rape, alcohol, drugs and murder. June explains often throughout the novel that she is terrified, but doesn't decide to do anything about it, she just continues to dig into information that she doesn't want to learn about. Every time she uncovers a truth about what Delia did in her life, an example being drugs, June would act so shocked and in disbelief but then would be fine to take things even further, so realistically, her character is very over-dramatic, just like the novel as a whole.

The ending did take me by surprise, but I did see some of it coming. However, it feels like at this specific point, the novel should end because a whole different story is created, and a very unrealistic one at that. Despite still being terrified and worried, June holds her character together very well which just weakens the story because nobody would be able to hold themselves together in the situation that she has fallen into. Delia's complex character and unique personality quickly dissolves into a typical cliche.

Overall, from beginning to end, June is caught in the trap of Delia manipulating her. I finished this book within a day, just because I struggled to keep up with the story and needed to get it over and done with. I finished this book, feeling confused, angry, scared and just baffled. It was emotive, I'd give it that much but it isn't a good read at all, there are so many flaws in the story-line, characters and the novel as a whole. I rated this novel two stars on goodreads because although it was a tragic read, it was emotive and it did start with potential before ending in disappointment.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Reading Next: Holly Bourne: What's A Girl Gotta Do?
Reviewing Next: Lara Williamson: A Boy Named Hope


Thank-you for reading, Tay x

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