Monday, 19 May 2014

[REVIEW] Trigger by Susan Vaught

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Recommended for: Everyone from 14 years old and above.
Read from May 17 to 18, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Suicide victims often times are misunderstood by others. Many tends to be judgemental of them, calling them selfish, attention seeker or even mad. Suicides account for twice as many deaths as AIDS and over half of suicide deaths are by firearm.

Jersey Hatch is the voice of all those vulnerable, troubled teens out there. Vaught has crafted him based on her experience of working with young people as a practising neuropsychologist.

Jersey suffered permanent physical and neurological impairment after a botched suicide attempt. His sentences are often punctuated with random odd words in between and half of his body no longer work like it used to be. A big chunk of his memories leading to the day he shot himself in the head was obliterated after the tragic attempt to end himself. The Jersey After has no recollection as to why he pulled the trigger that day. Together we navigate along with him through his unsynchronized mind as he tried to piece everything together again while he faced hardships due to his disabilities and from his family, friends and teachers. Would the truth give him the peace he needed to finally settle down or would it cause him to want to pull the trigger for the second time?

Trigger gave us insights to a suicidal teen's mind enabling us to better understand this widespread devastating act of self harming. Aside from that it also explored the aftermath of suicide on family members, friends and those around the victim. The book represents a wake up call to us to start paying more attention to those we cared about, start to listen more, judge less, for you might save a life.

I would say that Vaught handled the theme of this book really well. It wasn't judgemental or clinical, she let the readers decide for themselves based on what they see -- this would create deeper impression on the messages within. As extra food for thought, she even managed to raise several other social issues such as parenting, school bullying and also the responsibility and risk of firearm ownership. Although Trigger addresses a heavy subject, it wasn't a difficult book read as I have first thought it would be. Vaught has included the right amount of humor to smooth out the rough edges. I admit to burst out laughing many times because of the humorous situations Jersey unintentionally created due to his runaway mouth.

Frankly there are some plot holes that chips away bit of the realism but it wasn't that big of a deal and since the book did achieved its aim on creating awareness on suicide, it didn't bother me that much.

I would highly recommend this book to older teenagers and to adults as well. In fact, everyone should read this book. Knowledge could save lives - even your own life. Prevention should always be the first step.

Know that...

Consider this statement below before you act on your impulse or start judging others...
IMPORTANT to continue reading about the above statement here: Metanoia

Title: Trigger
Author: Susan Vaught
Publication Date: April 10th, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Type: Novel, approximately 75,000 words
Main Characters: Jersey Hatch, Mr&Mrs Hatch, Leza Rush, Todd Rush, Mama Rush
Title of Spoiler:
brains, brain damage, patients, rehabilitation, gunshot wounds, suicide, wounds and injuries, teenager, depression, school bullying, firearm, parenting, stigmatize
Jersey Hatch seemed to have it all together-he played sports, was popular, had a great girlfriend, best friend, and supportive parents. But when he emerges from a recuperative care center, all that is gone, his legs and hands don't work right, his mouth says every word that pops into his brain, and he has to write down his thoughts so that he remembers even the most basic directions and details. Through it all, one question haunts him: why did he try to kill himself

This review has also been cross-posted on my blogs:


* Reviewed on May 19th, 2014


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