Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon

This book gave me nightmares. Literally. I had a dream that my friend's little sister was going to commit suicide. It was my job to talk her out of it. I tried to tell her all the things she was good at and her sister wasn't. I also told her that she couldn't kill herself because there was no way her husband was going to be able to take care of their two kids by themselves. Thankfully it was a dream.

This book is a true story about this teenager, Brent, who doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire in the bathroom of his home. Gross. And really sad. It sort of reads like a diary and is somewhat graphic when it comes to the pain he goes through having burned 85% of his body. Runyon takes you through the "incident" and the first year of his recovery.

If you're thinking about burning yourself to death I highly recommend you read this book first. It will take all of the romance out of it for you. It was hard to read at times -- especially the parts when his parents break down and cry. This kid is dealing with some real serious depression as a teen and it ends up following him into his adult years, too. If you've never been depressed or been close to someone who has had to deal with depression, you might not really get this book. I got it.

Many people have, even if fleeting, thought about what it would be like to kill themselves. This book shows you exactly what it's like for someone to live through a suicide attempt and what they and their family members go through. It's a fast read, as it's written in the voice of a 14-year-old, but it's still powerful. Heck -- powerful enough to give me a nightmare.

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