by: Erica M. Chapman
Published by:Merit Press
This is the story of Ellery, a girl who learns how to live while waiting for the date she chose to die.
Ellery's bought the gun, made arrangements for her funeral, and even picked the day. A Wednesday. Everything has fallen into place.
Now all she has to do is die.
When her plans go awry and the gun she was going to kill herself with breaks, she does the one thing she has control over--return it and get a new one. After tormenting the crusty customer service associate by trying to return the gun with the wrong receipt, Ellery gets caught by the security guard who also happens to be someone she knows--the annoyingly perfect Colter Sawyer from her English class.
Colter quickly uncovers what she's hiding and is determined to change her mind. After confessing a closely held secret of his own, he promises not to tell hers. Ellery tries to fight her attraction to him as the shadows of her past cling tight around her, but when she's faced with another tragedy, she must decide whether she can learn to live with what she's done or follow through with her plan to die.
‘Teach Me to Forget’, follows Ellery, a high school student who was recently involved in a car crash. That car crash fatally kills her little sister, Tate. After the accident Ellery suffers from deep depression. This depression leads her to constantly think about suicide. After one of her suicide attempts, she tries to return the gun to her local k-mart. Once there she is detained by the store security guard who happens to be a boy from one of her classes.
What I Loved…
‘Teach Me to Forget’ really gets inside Ellery’s head and demonstrates how painful and powerful both grief and depression can be. The story slowly (through flashbacks) tells the story of Ellery’s relationship with her sister. The story also tells what loosing Tate did to both Ellery and her family.
I did love the characters of Colter and Janie. I also thought the romance element between Colter and Ellery was both sweet and realistic.
What Left Me Wanting More…
I really did not like Ellery very much. She seemed totally obsessed with her own pain and didn’t seem to notice anything that was going on around her. I didn’t really understand why Colter and her other friends would want to hang around her.
I also would have liked to have more of a back story on the relationship between Ellery and her father. It felt like there was more of a back story there that never materialized.
My Final Verdict…
I think this novel did a great job of realistically portraying what goes on in the head of someone with both survivor guilt and depression. Ellery acted in a way that many teenagers would have acted given her circumstances. The story also shows how those that are contemplating suicide manipulate and hurt the ones around them.
I did enjoy the overall story. I also thought, ‘Teach Me to Forget’ offers a unique perspective on a very important subject.