As a person who will be the mother of teenage girls in the not so far off future, the idea of teen suicide scares me. A lot. I think that books about teen suicide may serve a purpose in educating potential bullies, the bullied, and adults about what makes a teenager take their own life.
That's why it makes me so angry that so many of those books are so bad.
One book I read recently was called 13 Reasons Why. It's about a girl who makes a tape blaming 13 people who she felt contributed to her recent suicide. Except none of the people she were blaming actually did anything that bad. One was a girl who was her friend at the beginning of the year, then *gasp* stopped being her friend. Another with a guy who got grabby on a first date, then called her a tease and stormed off when she pushed him away. I kept waiting for one of those people to be the uncle that molested her or something, but no... there was only a guy who voted her Best Ass in the grade. Oh my God, I have a great ass, I'm going to kill myself. The book got really good reviews, although there were a few reviewers who said that they actually work with teenagers who are suicidal, and the book in no way represented them.
More recently, I read a book called Tease. This was an interesting book from the point of view of the bully. Except once again, the suicide didn't make sense. The girl who killed herself basically stole the boyfriend of another girl at her own party right in front of her, then they got revenge by making a nasty Facebook page. Then after the suicide, they got in trouble for being bullies, but really, what did the girl expect after she stole the other girl's boyfriend? I mean, we are talking about 16-year-olds. It's not like she was minding her business and everyone just targeted her.
And these books all feature the most useless guidance counselors ever. In at least two books to read, the girl outright says she's thinking about suicide, and the guidance counselor just says, "you probably shouldn't do that," then takes no further action. I hope that doesn't really happen.
It would just be nice for these books to get into the real reasons that teenagers commit suicide. Because I feel like these books are just an insult.