"How could we know that forever could end at seventeen?" Anyone passing through North Shore, Illinois, would think it was the most picture-perfect place ever, with all the lakefront mansions and manicured hedges and iron gates. No one talks about the fact that the brilliant, talented kids in town have a terrible history of throwing themselves in front of commuter trains. Meet Simone, the bohemian transfer student from London, who is thrust into the strange new reality of an American high school; Mallory, the hypercompetitive queen bee; and Stephen, the first-generation genius who struggles with crippling self-doubt. Each one is shocked when a popular classmate takes his own life…except not too shocked. It's happened before. With so many students facing their own demons, can they find a way to save each other—as well as themselves?
The Reality of Suicide
North Shore seems like the most sophisticated and put-together town there is, but it hides a deadly secret from those only passing through. North Shore has the highest rate of teen suicide. Why? Because they want their students to be the best at everything and to strive for perfection. But the truth is, nobody's perfect and sometimes stress can be too much.
THE GATEKEEPERS focuses on the effects that suicide has on those who are still alive, such as the family, friends, and teachers. There's several different main characters and I liked all of them. It was interesting seeing these people react to the situation and it shows how nobody handles things the same. The alternating point of views had to be my favorite part. It makes you fall in love with each character.
Jen Lancaster does an excellent job at addressing teen suicide and the problem with putting too much pressure in teens. There is suicide prevention contact information in the back of the book and this book also teaches the signs of suicide.
Final Verdict: THE GATEKEEPERS focuses on teen suicide, but it doesn't glorify it. Instead, it teaches about the pain it brings. I would recommend this to those teens who are feeling out of place or alone. I would also recommend it to those who like to read contemporary because this lesson is good for everyone to hear. Forewarning, there is some cursing in it.