on May 7, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.
But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie’s looping scrawl.
Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.
Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.
The S-Word certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. Not at all. I was expecting a dark contemp about name calling, bullying and its devastating effects. That is a very common thread throughout the book, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as dark and intense as it was. Nor was I anticipating the mystery that slowly unravels throughout the book.
There’s a lot going on in The S-Word. There’s several mysteries, there’s lots of tough issues brought up (and handled nicely, I must say), and there’s also some romance thrown in there. It all mostly works though. There was one story line, while interesting and a bit horrifying, I felt like we could have done without. Some things I predicted very early and one thing really surprised me. So that all evened out, I suppose.
The book is very dark. There’s also something different about the writing style. I can’t really explain, but it’s obvious from the start. It makes the story fast paced and intense. The romance is pretty unique as well. At first I thought it was a little odd, but it definitely grew on me by the end.
The main character isn’t going to be winning any favorite character awards. She’s not very likable, but I didn’t really find her to be really unlikable..if that makes sense. She makes a lot of poor choices. My biggest emotional connection to the story was Lizzie. She’s already dead by the time the book begins, but as Angie learns new things about her and as we get glimpses of her diary you can’t help but feel some much regret that this happened to her. It’s really heartbreaking.
Overall, The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher was a riveting read. It was almost impossible to put down during the last half. I was shocked and heartbroken, but the ending was hopeful.