Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls* by Lynn Weingarten
Published by Simon Pulse on July 7, 2015
They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather´s shed. They say it was suicide.
But June doesn´t believe it. June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else – before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords. But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia and June´s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this – things would never be the same again. And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth … which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.
But to be honest, it couldn´t live up to my expectations and with reaching the second half of it and the sudden change of the authors style I can say, that I probably won´t read another book by her.
Her way of writing, how she sees things or, at least, writes about them, is not my thing and with some content I wasn´t happy at all.
June mourns her former best friend Delia. Her death at the beginning of the new year isn´t only throwing her daily life upside down but brings up a lot of questions as well. And when June learns that her once best friend died during a fire, one thing is clear to her: that was not a suicide. For Delia was terrified of fire. And so June starts to seek for answers and stands unwittingly in a hornet´s nest.
Two separate points of views tell the story about Delia and June. The thriller starts with June´s point of view, which becomes very intense for the reader and very exciting. The plot jumps sometimes back for the time period of over one year, on other pages for five years and during those parts the perspective changes to the personal. From that point on it goes back and forth. During some scenes the reader is in the present of the story, during others he´s way back years in the past of June and Delia.
Through that scheme the author doesn´t only build a good suspense but also shows how crazy the relationship between those two teenagers was. And one fact is clear: Delia and June are coming both from broken homes. Okay, I have to say that Junes home was way more stable then Delia´s, though her mother is an alcoholic and despite the fact, that Delia lives, after her mother got married again, in a good financial position.
From the beginning of the second half, the author changes her ton, changes all the time the perspective and the story gets sick, disgusting and repellent. In her writing style Lynn Weingarten stays sharpened and uses her words very good, no question. But the fact that she makes jokes about the topic suicide and what that means for desperate, mourning bereaved and even pokes with pleasure in that never really healing wound, that was for me the one drop too much – the straw that breaks the camel´s back.
During the second half June and Delia take turns in telling their story to the reader and during that a very sick human appears, who walks over bodies, who doesn´t know any boundaries and who uses suicide as cruel advantage, to get his revenge and who commits in the end cold-blooded murder. And exactly that is where my understanding and reading pleasure stopped.
Because the author doesn´t only give everyone a One A manual how to commit murder, without fearing any consequences, she also presents that as if it would be totally okay.
No doubt, her language, her choice of words and the psychological aspects in this thriller are pronounced very good and the built tension over the first half is not to outdo, but with that lack of sensitiveness the author lets every decency shoot in the wind and ruins a great first half into nothing.
Who writes so insensitive and reckless about a controversial topic should better keep his hands off of it.
A manipulative bitch plays a perfidious game and is sick in the real true meaning of that word, a girl with an alcohol sick mother and the craving for a We feel. And a rich pansy, who does only know the sunny side of life – Lynn Weingarten stops at nothing when it comes to her characters. For the reader it is not always simple to look through all those figures.
Delia is a liar, ice-cold and what we usually call cracked. Rules are for others, but not for her. At the beginning the reader watches her and gets the impression okay she can´t deal with the new situation at home and is creating the world how she would like her best. But then drugs and alcohol enter the game and she becomes a total unreliable factor. At the end of the novel it is quite clear that she did something, only because she wanted to, but not because she had a real reason. The lie she presents June has fatal and deadly consequences.
June is naïve, but has experienced things no teenager that age should ever have. Her mother’s alcoholism has made her sensitive to read the signs and to act as supposed to stay out of trouble. When she meets Delia, she seems the answer to all her prayers, till she notices that something doesn´t fit together. When she discovers bit by bit what Delia has done to others and how sick she really is, it is too late. She is part of an ice cold and cruel killing plan and sees only one way out.
This was the sickest and most awful story I´ve ever read. I don´t know what the author was thinking, IF she was thinking at all during the writing process...
And if the author wouldn´t have written this with a huge lack of susceptibility and giving a highly sensitive issue exposed to ridicule (and acting like a bull in a china shop for that matter) and puts unabashed a crystal-clear murder manual as part of the story - this could have been a fantastic thriller. No recommendation from my side.
*I read the German edition new release Fischer Sauerländer March 22, 2016
Lynn Weingarten lives in New York, USA, writes books and is a publishing editor herself. Reading and writing are her first big passion. The abysses of the human psyche are her second. And she feels most comfortable when she can connect it all together.