So let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. This book isn’t for everyone, and honestly? not even for most. This is a DARK twisted story that follows the struggle and eventual demise of a teenage girl struggling with mental illness. There are some definite trigger warnings for this title. Triggers include: Suicide, Mental Illness, Self Harm, Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Violence, and Rape. These are depicted on the page and can be tough to read for people who are not prepared or are sensitive to these subjects. I am usually an open reader and this one was a tough one for me. But if you enjoy a darker more intense read, this title is absolutely for you!
All that being said… My Beautiful Suicide is a fast-paced story that grabs you by the neck in the first chapter and never lets go. The story follows High School junior Cosette Hugo as she tries to navigate her ever darkening world. On top of the usual struggles of being a 16-year-old girl, Cosette is left reeling from her older brother’s sudden death, her parents divorce, a wicked stepmother, and a nightmare of a bully at school… and the appearance of a serial killer in town on top of it all. Cosette has more than her fair share of angst, but through all the dark she still finds some bright spots to cling to. Her best friend and her mother do everything they can to look out for Cosette but the one who is truly always by her side is her boyfriend Chris, the Clyde to her Bonnie.
Cosette’s story, while dark and heavy, is well written, compelling, and beautifully layered. Atty Eve does a wonderful job of capturing all of your senses and really making you feel the scenes around you. The plot is well-paced and takes several unexpected turns that keep you on your toes. While as a character you may have a hard time relating to, or even really liking, Cosette… you can’t help but feel for her and her struggles. There were several times while listening that I found myself holding my breath waiting to see how she would handle a situation.
The biggest bright spot of this audiobook, for me at least, is absolutely the masterful narration by Michelle Sparks. Michelle took a difficult subject and turned it into a beautifully heartfelt view into the twisted mind of a girl truly struggling to find herself and deal with her illness and her demons. She handles the characterizations with a deft hand and transitions seamlessly between them, able to give each character a distinct feel. The level of emotion Michelle pours into her performance is breathtaking and brings this story truly to life.
All in all this is a deep dive into the darkness of mental illness and a view into what it can look like when you no longer fight and give into that darkness. There are four books in this series, and while I think this book was incredibly well done, I don’t think I will read or listen to the others. It’s just a little too heavy for me and my experiences.
We reviewed this book as part of the My Beautiful Suicide Blitz. My Beautiful Suicide is the first in a series.
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