Book Review: Trigger by Susan Vaught

Trigger by Susan Vaught

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:  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?

It's been a while since I've read a YA novel & I'm glad I picked this one up. While not a YA full of romance & relationship angst, it was full of real emotional depth & dealt with the subject of suicide in a thoughtful & poignant manner. Jersey was a great character & I felt quite a lot of empathy for him as he tried to figure out what led him to the fateful moment when he attempted suicide. I was on pins & needles with him as he made lists, asked people about himself before & he and his parents tiptoed around each other & what had happened. He basically has one friend left, Mama Rush, the grandmother of his former best friend, Todd & their relationship is one of my favorites in the story. Also in Jersey's corner is Leza, Todd's younger sister & I'll just admit right now that I was pulling for a mutual crush situation. It was nice to see that for all he'd been through, being a teenager still remained & he was concerned about his appearance, making a fool of himself in front of girls & having just enough autonomy & independence from his parents. Nothing about resuming a regular life was easy from family to school & not everyone was nice either.

I must admit that while I understood Jersey's mother was scarred from what he'd done, I found that I understood & empathized with her the least. I kept wanting more explanation from her to get a better handle on her but in the end, I just had to accept that it wasn't coming & be content with that. I did think Jersey's father was portrayed very well & I found that I only found one thing that he didn't do highly questionable but the way the story proceeds was entirely necessary. It was frustrating that often Jersey would ask a question about Before & the reaction he received from others was basically, "Really? How can you even ask that?" Many times, I just wanted to scream "Why doesn't anyone just tell him what he did or how he was already?! Don't you know he doesn't remember?!" I get that he had to work it out & that was the point of his journey but I honestly felt like someone would have just told him. I suppose the case could be made that all those he asked had their own fallout from his attempt so they were of course, dealing with their own feelings as well. I also felt desperately that his family should have had a nearer therapy date than six months out from his rehab hospital discharge. That struck me as woefully inadequate given the situation. I hope that isn't true to life & was just done to maintain the story structure of Jersey & his family working out some important things.

I won't give up the major plot points but suffice it to say, it's a page turner to the very end. There isn't a neat tie up of happy endings for each story thread but it is hopeful & believable.

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  1. I love your book reviews. You might actually make me start buying books again!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

  2. Thanks, Jackie! I'm glad you enjoy them. I'm fairly obsessed with books & tend to get emotinally invested. lol If you do get around to getting some that you love, do share! :) I'm always up for a book chat.