Review of What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves?

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Guda LM
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Review of What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves?

Post by Guda LM »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves?" by Elizabeth Gordon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Liz happily watched her grandfather interact with the congregation at her home church. An unusual detail was that her grandfather was a younger version of himself, indicating the situation was far from reality. Just then, she had her mother’s voice call her name, and she started to feel groggy and weighed down. Her mother’s voice morphed into a stranger’s voice, and her perception returned. She was at Mount Sinai West Hospital, a patient under strict psychiatric observation. Liz’s ordeal began several weeks back when she received an anonymous handwritten journal.

Her work as a publisher involved receiving and reviewing manuscripts and developing the worthy ones into books. The journal philosophically detailed the suicidal thoughts of an unknown author for one year (from February 16, 2017, to February 22, 2018). Liz immediately made it her mission to find the author’s family and learn their story. Through obituaries and public records, she came up with four names, Tammy, Isha, Derek, and Melvin. Tammy and Isha were depressed and had challenging family lives. However, Tammy was middle-aged, and Isha was a teenager with a conservative Muslim family and a mental ailment. Melvin (Mel) lived as a man but underwent a gender transition later in life. She left behind a wife and two children who had never accepted the change. Finally, there was Derek, a publicly hated sex offender who was barely out of his teens.

What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves? is a raw and surreal book. This being a non-fiction read, Elizabeth Gordon respectfully brings out the unknown author and every family member she interviews. She notes every perspective, including the controversial ones, and leaves one to ponder more about life. The descriptions of each setting and scene are also exquisite, enabling one to visualize every detail and feel all the emotions. The sarcasm brings out unexpected humor in the story, creating further intrigue.

My favorite aspect of the read is the alternating stories between Liz and the journal entries. Both unfold simultaneously, and a reader gets to see Liz’s struggles and quest to find the journal’s author while following the unknown author's thoughts. I equally love the statistics that back up every claim; for example, in Pittsburgh Allegheny County, the suicide rate increased steadily in the previous eight years and was 66% higher in 2017 than in 2010. However, I noted a few editorial errors, like some highlighted passages and undefined chapter headings.

I found only two minor grammatical errors, a testament to the professional editing. The language employed is intelligible but with several profanities, therefore, not suitable for readers under sixteen years. What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves? highlights various societal issues like racial identity and the role of religion in mental health awareness. It also recognizes the shame and stigmatization that comes with being branded as mentally unstable or depressed. It also discusses the role of mental health experts in helping patients and the toll it takes on them. We rarely think about who takes care of the experts and therapists. I recommend the book to anyone undergoing a dark phase or any mental health advocate. It is a provocative, blunt, and abrasive book that deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.

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What Should We Do Instead of Killing Ourselves?
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Muhammad Waseemk
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Post by Muhammad Waseemk »

This is really a suspensive book. Actually, life never remains stable all the time. Sometimes , we have to pass some critical situations that we never expect in our life. We have to bear these kinds of situations with full courage otherwise the results comes into the death or suicide. The book " What Should We Do Instead Killing Ourselves" basilly ,relection of the circumstances in this era. In the religion of Muslims Suicide is curse ,so,a muslim never suicide . According to my thoughts ,anyone should never suicide but , be a brave and courageous.
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Midun99
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Post by Midun99 »

Thank you for the review. I feel like this book is something that can give suicidal people and those suffering from mental illness in general a voice. It allows one to view how it is for people suffering from mental illness and the struggle they and their families face battling it. It also gives a lot of awareness to suicide rates in the world which is something everyone needs to know about.
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GideonWrites Review
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Post by GideonWrites Review »

I guess this book would be somehow a self help book, as lessons can be learnt from the lives been narrated. Thanks for this review
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Post by 19blueofficial »

This book entails a lot of moral lessons which can help to build up a person. Nice book and nice review!
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X_tier
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Post by X_tier »

Beautiful review! Now I want to read the book!
Mody C
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Post by Mody C »

The storyline sounds so interesting, but I don't think I am going to like it. I just don't find it make sense when Liz spends her time just to analyze those journals. However, it makes me curious at the same time, I want to know her motive.
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Post by markodim721 »

It is important to talk about serious topics such as suicide because it is a way to understand the problem. Thanks for the good review.
Yulisa Sanchez
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Post by Yulisa Sanchez »

This book sounds very intriguing based on the title alone. I enjoyed reading this review as it highlights the important aspects of the book really well and I am happy that books such as this one gives mental health a platform. Thank you for the great review!
Shilisia
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Post by Shilisia »

I really enjoy books that touch on real life experiences especially some issues that not all can identify with. One gets to understand a world different from their own and maybe learn something from it. Great review.
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Post by Rishi_reviews »

A book which talks about the major issues that the nation is facing r ight now is always appreciated. Thanks for the amazing review.
Oscar E Gomez
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Post by Oscar E Gomez »

Really an interesting theme... It make me think about my childhood... And maybe we should start for educating our childrens like in the old times... Yes, this new way of acepting the vehavior of our kids making honor to their freedom, is one of the poisoning of that freedom... On the long run this action is the potion where the trauma, abuses, adictions, etc. are cultivate... The review is a jewel of its own and push me to read the book. Congratulation to Guda LM for this nice piece.
Shilisia
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Post by Shilisia »

I admire the author for actually writing on this very eluded issue. Mental health should be widely talked about because in that is where healing comes from. Great review.
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