Friday, 26 June 2015

Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Publisher: Egmont Publishing/Electric Monkey
Length: 320 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Egmont Publishing/Electric Monkey for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

June barely has time to mourn the death of her best friend Delia, before Delia's ex-boyfriend convinces her Delia was murdered, and June is swept into a tangle of lies, deceit, and conspiracy.

There is one thing guaranteed to make me feel frustrated with a book after reading, and that is if the by the end of the story, the book has made me feel stupid. I read a lot, I’m a reasonably intelligent person, and I can usually see twists in plots coming from quite a distance, so it’s always a strange feeling when I finish a book and don’t actually really understand what happened at the end.

Let’s go back to the start for a moment. The book is a fast paced, intense read that had me racing through the pages to find out what was going to happen next. Did I see the big ‘twists’ coming? Sure. But I wasn’t too bothered about that, because I was caught up in the intensity and pace of the story.

I don’t want to give too much away – even the blurb is trying not to give anything away – because I think that the less you know going in the more you will enjoy the story and become engrossed in the twisting tale unfolding around you as June tries to disentangle the truth.

Like I said, I saw the ‘twists’ coming, but on the whole I enjoyed it. June was a bit flat for a protagonist, and there were several moments of lapsed judgement – for example when she goes to confront Tig – where I really wanted to shake her. Despite the flaws in the creation of her character she is likeable enough, and offers a way in to the story that steamrollers onward, sweeping everything up with it. It’s a hard book to put down, and is a very intense read as clues and distractions are unearthed. If you’re after a fast paced and intense murder mystery then this is definitely a book you should pick up.

However there were two big things detracting from my enjoyment. The first is the snippets of Delia and June’s relationship that we’re offered through flashbacks. I think it was supposed to offer an idea of a wonderful friendship of kindred souls. However it comes across as toxic and with Delia not being particularly likeable. I never warmed to Delia, nor to any of the characters really. They were all the worst versions of themselves with little to no redeeming qualities. Reading a book as intense as this can be exhausting, if you then add in that there are no truly likeable characters it becomes an exercise in frustration.

The second thing was the ending. Now like I said, I kept up with the rest of the story no problem, but I really have very little idea of what happened at the end. I get the basic premise, but other than that, it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been back and read the final few chapters several times thinking that maybe I missed something, that I just wasn’t being clever enough to work it out. So if you read this book and can enlighten me as to what I’ve missed in the comments, that would be awesome. As it stands all that hard work the book did throughout the rest of the story came crashing down in those final few pages, because a book that makes the reader feel stupid is never going to end favourably for the reader.

It was an intense read, gripping and at times terrifying, but the characters were unlikeable and the twists (for me personally) a little predictable. All of that could have been forgiven if not for the ending, so whilst I know some people will love this story, it didn’t quite work for me.


25 comments:

  1. Omg, that happens to me with endings ALL THE TIME. And I'm left feeling severely stupid, because the ending must make sense and be brilliant to someone, somewhere, right?? Plus I read too fast and often if endings are too ambiguous I get lost. :| I kind of wanted to read this because I LOVE that cover. But I'm also tired of depressing suicide stories. They make me anxious, and gee, why am I reading books I don't enjoy?! So I'm trying to avoid them...and I'm kind of glad this isn't an excellent one, so I'm not missing out on much! YAY. XD

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    1. It just leaves you feeling naff when endings make you feel stupid! I hate when it happens! The cover is gorgeous and I was really excited about reading it, but definitely feeling quite apathetic about it now. It's a tense and engrossing story, but it is quite depressing and unless you're after the thriller puzzle solving aspect, I wouldn't recommend it. So no, not missing out at all!

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  2. Hi! I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award!! Here is the link:
    https://escapeinsidethepages.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/blogger-recognition-award/

    Congrats! You deserve it!

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    1. Thanks that's really kind of you! I shall check it out!

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  3. This is the first review I've seen from this book, and I do love thrillers generally so I think I will check it out. I do prefer not to see the twists coming (and to be honest, I barely do anyway), but I am curious to see how I would find that perplexing ending. Lovely review Rosy, thanks for sharing :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

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    1. I'd love to know what you think of it! I really hope you enjoy it and that the ending makes more sense for you! I think it's a great thriller though, I was so tense all the way through!

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  4. It sounds like an intriguing premise, but I don't know. Not very likeable characters and easy to guess twists have me a little wary. It might have to be a future library pick or something. Sorry the ending was so confusing. Ugh.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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    1. It's definitely a tense read, and I did enjoy it. But I personally just didn't get along with the characters, but I know others will love them. I hope you do enjoy it if you pick it up, and the ending makes more sense! Thanks for reading!

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  5. I HATE when endings do this to me! I always end up trying to figure out if it actually makes sense and I am just too stupid to figure it out, or it doesn't actually make sense - which would be far more disappointing and frustrating to me. I will probably avoid this one, I hate frustrating endings.

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    1. That feeling of not knowing if it's the book or whether you're just being an idiot is THE WORST. It is officially my least favourite bookish feeling. I ended up re-reading the last few chapters several times and just became more and more frustrated because whilst I could get the idea of what had happened, it still didn't make a whole heap of sense or seem to work really. Not the best feeling to leave a reader with!

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  6. Yes, Pleasee, can anyone tell me what happened at the end (in depth perhapes) for the ending was pretty confusing and I'm not sure what it all meant and how it was all concluded. However, I'm happy to know I wasn't the only one stumped when the last page was done. Thanks!

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    1. So glad it's not just me! Still waiting for someone to tell me what happened!

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    2. ROSY Please help me understand the book!!!!!!!! I just finished it and dont get a single thing about it!

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    3. ROSY Please help me understand the book!!!!!!!! I just finished it and dont get a single thing about it!

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  7. I would love to hear an explanation of the end!!

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  8. WARNING SPOILERS: I think that both June and Delia ended up commiting suicide at the end. I believe that note on the last page was from after Delias "death" but obviously June hadn't gone through with it. Towards the end, Delia said that just her and June could get away and then took something from her jacket pocket. I believe that something was a gun and that Delia convinced June to commit suicide with her. June was in a very bad place there at the end after everything that had happened and I think Delia really hadn't gotten better. Just a theory.

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  9. SPOILERSthey were burning clothing in a fire. this was the way that June "died" and the suicide note was to leave something like what Delia convinced everyone she was dead and they all had to leave because it wasn't safe for both of them to be considered dead and still be living in the same town where they could have been discovered. what delia took out of her pocket was the last page note that ashling had written for her as well.

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    1. This makes the most sense! Thank you

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    2. Nope... she took out a gun (what she stole from Tig).

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  10. So did they both commit suicide and die in the end?

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  11. SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE ENDING IT GOT ME CONFUSED FOR 10 MIN I NEED CLOSURE THANKS

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  12. CAUTION! SPOILERS!The ending was soooo confusing, and somewhat disappointing because I really got into this book. So much so that I read it all in just one day. I'm hopping the author purposely left us with this cliff hanger, and is planning a sequel. (Maybe?) I think there are a few possible things that could have happened in the end. After Delia pulled out the item she had stolen from tig, (a gun) she either 1 convinced June that they should both commit suicide together, or 2 June refuses to leave with June and Delia not wanting to be without June kills her and then herself. And the note at the end was written by Ashling so no one was suspicious (Or something along those lines anyway that could have gone in several different directions itself) OR 2: June simply agrees to leave with the group after seeing how badly Delia needs her, and the note at the end is her faking her death, as did the rest of the group, in order to "become free". After all she didnt have a good home life was a part of everything that went down even if she didn't mean to be and she could have feared being caught. So that's my opinion on the ending! Overall I enjoyed the book I would recommend it as long as you don't mind cliff hanger endings! (:

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  13. I know this is a bit late, but I thought the end of this book was brilliant! I just finished it last night and I can't stop thinking about it. As frustrating as open endings can be, I think there's something so neat about a reader getting to decide endings for themselves. I understand how the ending was confusing so here's what I believe happened: At the end of the book, Delia and her crew are leaving town so Delia can take on a new identity. Delia wants June to go with her because she loves her and June knows about everything. But she realizes that June is hesitant to go. So she takes her off to a secluded spot, and pulls out a gun and points it at June (the thing she got from Tig to protect herself). June has to make a choice:go with them or let Delia shoot her (I guess Delia has to kill June to protect her fake suicide). The suicide note makes the ending ambiguous and we as readers can decide June's fate: she went or Delia killed her. However, after reading some of the comments, I do think it's possible that if June chose not to go, Delia killed June and then killed herself. Just more to think about!

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  14. Y'all Delia is 100% a psychopath and has done every single thing in this book for her own personal gain. She is selfish and just wants to have fun and do whatever so wants. There is absolutely no way she killed herself at the end, that goes against everything that has been written about her in the entire book. The only options to me are that Delia gave her the option to either die for betraying her and for all she knows or to "die" in the way that Delia did and leave with the group.

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  15. Dehlia is a sociopath and all other characters (some of whom are psychopaths as well) are under Dehlia's spell. In the end, at least June has to have died since the group knew there needed to be a body.

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