I don't generally read YA but when Aaron Ritchey, who I met at RT, contacted me with a fantastic pitch for his new YA novel, Long Live the Suicide King, I couldn't say no. I'm actually really glad I agreed to read the book because it was very different than what I expected.
My problem with YA is that every time I break down and read a YA book, I find the characters whiny and rather unintelligent. Most of their problems are because they are self-absorbed and make stupid choices. While Jim (JD) Dillenger certainly makes a lot of stupid choices, he is definitely not stupid and he is not whiny. Some of the other characters were stupid and whiny, but as it is Jim's head we are in for the duration of the book, that isn't as big of a deal.
If you are expecting a book called Long Live the Suicide King to be depressing, you'd be very wrong. This book is, in fact, hysterically funny. I sincerely hope that Ritchey intended the book to be as funny as it was because I laughed as I read most of it. That's not to say that the topic isn't serious or that there were not very serious moments in the novel - there were - but Jim, for all his suicidal depression, doesn't seem to take anything very seriously and can make fun of himself right along with everything else in his suburban life.
Overall, Long Live the Suicide King is a very solid novel that addresses some serious issues in a not so serious tone that makes it both readable and interesting and I would recommend checking it out.