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Suicide Med by Freida McFadden
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Suicide Med (edition 2014)

by Freida McFadden (Author)

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824329,481 (3.44)1
"I don't want to die like this. Not here, not now--in the anatomy lab on a Saturday night. I know I've done some bad things in my life, but I'm pretty sure I don't deserve this..." Nobody wants to go to a school nicknamed Suicide Med. One suicide. Every year. Heather McKinley has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. She doesn't even care about her medical school's grisly history of suicides--it can't happen to her. But after Heather's longtime boyfriend dumps her and she finds herself failing anatomy, her world starts to crumble. The pressure is intense. People crack. Thank goodness for Dr. Conlon, her quirky but beloved anatomy professor. He'll do anything to help his students succeed. But is it a coincidence that the bespectacled professor joined the staff the same year the suicides began? Or are they suicides at all? All Heather knows is that one student will die this year. And that student could be her.… (more)
Member:Johnpinch
Title:Suicide Med
Authors:Freida McFadden (Author)
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014), 522 pages
Collections:Your library
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Suicide Med by Freida McFadden

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Showing 4 of 4
Suicide Med. Freida McFadden. 2014. I loved “doctor books” for years even after I realized that nursing was not the career for me, but I gradually stopped reading them. Every once in a while I pick one up. I shouldn’t have picked this one. Our heroine fines out after she is enrolled, one student each year commits suicide. She gradually suspects everyone, but the more I read the less I cared. Only for diehard “doctor book” fans. ( )
  judithrs | Oct 16, 2023 |
This is a hard review: I'm goodreads friends with the author, so I'm hesitant about what I say here. But this book was...not good.

Let's start with the positive: this is a quick read. There are multiple narrators telling intertwining stories about the same period of time from their perspective, which is an interesting narrative device, filling in what seems like a subplot in the first narration. Each of the characters has different flaws, coloring their narrative slightly (although each seems to be a reliable narrator. I think unreliable narration would have added a lot here.)

And the negative:
For me, the most difficult was how flimsy the characters were. Each was a very classic stereotype, most to the extent that I have never seen in relief, despite having gone to medical school, residency and fellowship myself and having a facebook feed that is literally full of doctors: one character is girly, obsessed with her long distance boyfriend and not very smart; another is ultra-feminist, but just needs to be laid by a good guy; another is an ultra-gunner who will go out of their way to set back others in the class, even going so far as to poison her boyfriend. Another is an insanely rich child of doctors, looking to be a plastic surgeon. Another is A Nice Guy. I just...these aren't characters, they're archetypes. And the one we're supposed to feel the most sympathetic for is the ditzy dumb one, which didn't work out in my life.

The details are also lacking: The rich one? Has a doctor dad and a stay at home mom; the idea that someone could be so filthy rich from having one working parent who was a doctor is kind of hilarious.) The gunner? Wants to go into emergency medicine...at Yale...because her father's Parkinson's disease was late to diagnosis you know, that ultra-competitive specialty where you get to focus on making hard diagnoses?

The next biggest problem is the pacing: just as I felt I was getting into each character's story, the narration would switch. And not in a way that built tension and was rising action, just in a way that was disruptive. Ultimately, the book led up to this huge climax, and then we had to hear about the climax from several characters points of view (although to be fair, some of them really helped flesh that part out) and a totally unnecessary epilogue

The pacing was a big deal from the mystery standpoint, too. The central mystery? That there was a suicide every year and that's why it was called suicide med and how was this happening? Med students get depressed. The end. Another one of the side mysteries: that bodies got turned upside down and no one knew why? The anatomy professor was running a public tutoring session during which they reviewed the back muscles. Mysterious....

Finally, a big grief that I have with the book is the sci-fi plotline. It's kind of out of place in what's supposed to be a realistic thriller. It doesn't really relate to anything else going on, and it makes every narrative event including that character seem jarringly out of place and unrelated to the central narration. and while a form fruste of conjoined twin manifesting as only a single eye with some attached brain matter seems plausible, the idea that the host twin would lose significant executive control when the conjoined twin was removed does not...the host twin had no apparent conjoining of his brain matter and his brain matter was unaltered.

So overall, a fast light read, without much there there. ( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
Very intriguing.

I cannot imagine the burden of stress that medical students deal with during those long days in lecture halls and anatomy labs. Where on earth do they ever find time to breathe? I appreciated the multiple points of view as it showed the strengths and weaknesses of all the characters. I am only sorry that the story did not end well for everyone. ( )
  caslater83 | Jun 2, 2019 |
I just don't know about this book. The writing is good - nothing leaped out at me and forced me to re-read it two or three times as happens so often. The characters are interesting. But there are things that just don't make sense. None of the characters seem to take any classes other than anatomy, and no one seems even remotely interested in being a doctor - it's like a little soap opera. And one character with a really weird problem causes me to think that this is going to turn into a horror novel but it never does, nor are all of his issues adequately explained. The first character is overly emotional, the second one is too nice, the third one is OK, the fourth one, well, it's not believable that she got into medical school, and the fifth one, he's OK. But this book just has elements that don't fit together. ( )
  Tonestaple | Oct 23, 2015 |
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"I don't want to die like this. Not here, not now--in the anatomy lab on a Saturday night. I know I've done some bad things in my life, but I'm pretty sure I don't deserve this..." Nobody wants to go to a school nicknamed Suicide Med. One suicide. Every year. Heather McKinley has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. She doesn't even care about her medical school's grisly history of suicides--it can't happen to her. But after Heather's longtime boyfriend dumps her and she finds herself failing anatomy, her world starts to crumble. The pressure is intense. People crack. Thank goodness for Dr. Conlon, her quirky but beloved anatomy professor. He'll do anything to help his students succeed. But is it a coincidence that the bespectacled professor joined the staff the same year the suicides began? Or are they suicides at all? All Heather knows is that one student will die this year. And that student could be her.

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Haiku summary
Medical students.
Many problems; one is death.
Big zero ending.
(Tonestaple)

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