Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Keywords: death, friendship, mystery
Format Read: ARC via publisher (which in no way swayed my opinion)
What's it about?
June, the main character of the novel, has pretty much changed everything about her life. She moved away from her past and got a steady boyfriend with a normal family, she's made new friends at school, and she's finally on track. But all that changes when her former best friend, Delia, is found dead in a barn. Suddenly, she can't stop thinking about her friend who was said to have committed suicide by burning herself. Delia's ex-boyfriend finds June and lets it slip that he doesn't think the suicide was a suicide after all. Now, June finds herself tangled up in Delia's secrets, lies, and mysterious death, and all she wants is answers.
This book really took me by surprise. It totally had a Vanishing Girls vibe to it, which I enjoyed because I really liked that book. But at the same time it felt very different because unlike VG, these two were not sisters. Though June was close with Delia, she wasn't connected, and she didn't know what Delia would have done next. She was going on a lot fewer clues than Nick and Dara's story. Following that dynamic—a character who had been separated from a friend for a while—was extremely intriguing because, like June, we didn't truly know Delia. I didn't know what she was motivated by, what her life was like prior to the book, or why she would have done some of the things suggested in the book.
There were a lot of moments where—like June—I didn't totally know what was going on. I felt out of the loop, like there was a lot the characters weren't telling me, but I kind of liked it. It was true to life and it was a true first-person narration. June only knew what June was thinking, which left the reader out of the secret as well.
The book had one of those endings that left me feeling like I just didn't get it, but in a good way. Sometimes, a book that has an open-ended ending isn't done well, and it leaves the reader feeling frustrated. This ending was still confusing. I'm not sure I know exactly for sure what happened, but I like that it could go several ways. It left me thinking about how in life, we don't always get a neat little bow on the end of a story. It's messy, it's confusing, and sometimes, stories are never truly over.
How do you feel about open-ended endings?
Do you like when books keep you guessing or give you all the answers?