I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide (2nd Edition) is a collection of tips on how to deal with those suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression mingled in with real stories of people’s experiences with losing the people in their lives to suicide.
Being non-fiction, the format of this review will be a little different from my usual, but the point will stay the same.
Right off the bat, author Jane Leder mentions losing her brother and several other people to suicide and how it effected her. She then goes on to describe the ever-changing and increasingly more horrible statistics of teen suicide, breaking it down by age group and minority. These statistics are incredibly sad to read, but important to know, and I for one respected how Leder separately divided the stat numbers for those with differing sexual orientation from those who identify as transgender – especially since the stats greatly differ to a heartbreaking extent.
When it came to the retellings of the experiences of others, it was difficult to get through them. I also made the mistake of reading the entire book within a night and as someone who does not shy away from the fact that I, too, have attempted suicide in my past, it was rough to hear about so many who didn’t make it past their hardships. That being said, I think that if you are a person of any age struggling with suicidal ideation or urges, this book may help you find that little light in the dark that proves you’re not alone with these feelings. If anything, this is the first book I’ve come across that doesn’t try and shame anyone. This is a book that wants to help people without pitying them and to educate those who want to help but don’t know how to start.
Talking about suicide is hard. Dealing with suicide is hard. But we need to stick together, help those who may not know how to help themselves, and make sure that we can get through things together. This is an excellent learning tool that tells the truth and doesn’t beat around the bush.
Final Rating: ★★★★½
Published: January 23rd 2018
Summary: Are you under a lot of stress? Feeling too much pressure to get good grades? Trying to avoid social media because you’re being bullied? Grappling with your sexual/gender identity? Feeling depressed—even suicidal?
What are the reasons why teens decide to take their own lives? What can be done to stop them? Through stories, studies and strategies, Dead Serious helps teens, parents and educators navigate the choppy waters of adolescence and provides tools that can help break the cycle of teen suicide.