Once upon a time, I had a friend who, in order to feel in control, would put a loaded gun in her mouth. She said that moment, when she knew she had the power to either end it or keep going, consistently empowered her to keep going. A couple of years back, something changed and that gun went off. I don’t think anyone knows if it was by accident or whether she lost that struggle but it’s with that experience — losing that friend — that I came to read Bitter Suites.
Recreational suicide, albeit one with an immediate resurrection, was a fascinating idea and handled in a number of different ways in this book. It was especially fascinating to see how the author teased out the different ways people would use it, from a need for control to a way to understand responsibility. There were times I felt it could have veered into stereotypical territory but it didn’t. It kept turning over new possibilities and examining them, until finally taking a sci-fi sort of twist at the end, with implications for the owners of Bitter Suites.
I took off one star because of some of that uncertainty, whether it was standard horror or sci-fi, but honestly, the best thing I can say about this world that’s been created is that I’d like to read more. I want to see how the proprietor handles the threats thrown at her and how her clientele evolves. I want to see Bitter Suites impact on society. And that is a -fascinating- place to be in.
An interesting idea for a book. The book is really several short stories about one place “Bitter Suites.” Bitter Suites is a business where a person goes to temporarily end their life – and then be brought back to life. Each Chapter is a story of a different person who goes to Bitter Suite to die and be resuscitated. We learn about their motivations and their experience. Each story portrays a different aspect of emotion: fear, mistaken love, suffering, guilt, desire etc. I am looking forward to the next book
I dont read often, it takes a lot to keep me engaged. I read Bitter Suites in one day. Page after page of vivid death scenes and alluring drama unfolding in front of me kept me reading. Sad to see it end, excited to know there is a second book in the making. Can’t help hoping this becomes some kind of series like American Horror Story. Angela Yuriko Smith has easily become a new favorite of mine.
How would you end your life if you knew it was only temporary, and would doing so make you appreciate your life more? These are two examples of the many questions that are asked in this collection of interconnected stories.
I enjoyed the originality of the premise. My favorite chapter came early on (#3), but each chapter/story had something interesting to say.
The author mentions at the end that she’s got a sequel in the works. I’d love to see less of an emphasis placed on poison next time, so that other wild ways of dying (such as the Circus Death) can be explored.
If you’re looking for something different in the horror genre that won’t take long to read, this is a good choice.
You know how sometimes you run across a story by a writer and you think “Hey, this is good, something fresh and different!” –yet you never heard of them? That is how I came to buy a copy of Bitter Suites. I just finished it and I’ve been both impressed and delighted. Angela Yuriko Smith is truly an exceptional young writer of dark –and surprising—fiction. Yes, the topic – “recreational suicide” seems daunting, but you will find yourself captivated by each and every little “slice of life and death and life” tale. The characters come across as real people –most of them young, who, for one reason or another want to experience a new “high” by reserving an appointment at the Bitter Suites hotel. A lesson on life (for me, at least) is brilliantly entwined into each story capsule. More to look forward to with Smith’s Suite and Sour, coming up next!
I loved the idea of a future with renewable death in which Smith has used her multi-faceted imagination to create stories reflecting how humans might use the fact that they can die and be revived. Each story is a different facet of human emotion: fear, suffering, greed, guilt, mistaken love, etc. which are linked and pull the reader straight through this remarkable book. I read it in one day.
A brief volume with a great concept – in the unspecified future recreational suicide becomes a possibility. Ten tales weave together to form a single narrative. Some pieces are grim and fun, others just sad. If I had a critique it is that the narrative is too slight – the concept is so good that so much more can be done with it, and characters, even the recurring ones, feel slight, as if we are rushing past them to get to the end (Smith asserts more are coming, so huzzah). Having said that, it is a quick, fun read and should appeal to all who enjoy the dark and a hint of the light.
While I’ve read several poetry collections by Angela Yuriko Smith, but this is the first time I have enjoyed a collection of her short stories. Bitter Suites is startling. A collection exploring the first commercial offering of renewable ‘recreational’ suicide, the concept was startling enough, but Smith’s treatment of the subject matter is, at times, thought-provoking, unsettling, and shockingly brutal. A rare insight into the human condition and perhaps, most importantly, our need for hope. Because without a reason to live, death becomes ever more attractive, a chilling but real possibility. Easily enjoyed in an hour, I expect it will take a lot longer to digest Bitter Suites. Highly recommended.
Such a unique concept, renewable death. Bitter Suites was a short story that focused on customers of the hotel that specialises in recreational suicide. Customers choose their death of choice and were swiftly bought back to life. Each chapter built on the one before, but I also feel they could be read as 10 individual stories. It was completely different to anything I have read before. Can’t wait for the second book.
After reading this novel I’m eager to pack my change of clothing and check myself in to the Bitter Suites! Wonderfully written and uniquely conceptual! Cliche, I know, but though I tried my best to pace myself I was compelled to read it all in one setting and now I’m on pins and needles waiting for the sequel! I received a digital copy directly from the author for review purposes.
Angela invites a reader into a strange world where controlled death and resuscitation give characters a fresh outlook on life. As the stories progress we learn how human nature can complicate this controlled death experience. in spite of the dark subject matter, Bitter Suites is a fun and fast read full of complex and dynamic characters. I’m ready for the sequel!
I received a copy directly from the author for review purposes.
5 Stars! Welcome to the future where renewable death is all the rage! “Bitter Suites” is a one of a kind collection of horror stories filled with humor and pathos. Give it a read. Could this be what our future holds?