15 March 2013

{Book Review} The S-Word


The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4.5 Birds

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.

I was seriously surprised at the state THE S-WORD left me suspended in. Chelsea Pitcher steadily shapes a sinister, yet simple story line that will simultaneously shock and sadden you.

Can I just say that I am really glad this book isn’t called The X-Word. Man, that opening sentence would have been PAINFUL!

THE S-WORD, in my opinion shouldn’t just be on the shelves of every Junior High and High school library, it should be required reading. Not since I read IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson, have I read a more relevant tale of trust, tolerance, and strength.

Now, THE S-WORD isn’t your typical book involving bullying, no no. It has this sinister Thriller/Suspense vibe to it. I will tell you that it had me on the edge of my seat for a bit, but my over consumption of crime shows, and reading of nearly every YA known to man that has led to the honing of my keen detective skills, and well…I was “in the know” early on. This actually irritated me, nothing the author or story did, it was set up perfectly and in the end I should have been shocked out of my skull at “who done it” and still I knew in my gut and where there should have been a “SHUT UP!” I had a “I knew it”.

Luckily, this novel has more than just it’s mystery to offer. Solid and interesting characters and real dialogue round everything out. Pitcher doesn’t paint you a pretty picture (wow that felt redundant, but know it’s not….) of the perfect high school and the one broken down girl in it. No. Every character has their faults, their issues, their lies, their habits, and this world Pitcher crates is REAL. They have real troubles. I loved this, because too often we see books on tough topics that are sugar coated and tied up with a perfect bow at the end. But that’s not real, and very infrequently does it actually happen.

The dialogue was a HUGE deal for me. Never once did I ever cringe at a misplaced slang term, or wonder “Who in their right mind, even at 18 would say THAT!?” Pitcher captures perfectly the conversations, and didn’t go overboard trying to create what she thought or felt was “teen talk”. Too many authors these days are doing this, thinking it gives them a foot in the door and all it does is ruin things.

In the end, while there’s a solution sorted when you turn the last page of THE S-WORD, it won’t be tired up with a pretty bow. Maybe a mangled, emotionally scared bow – but there is no simple answer in life on how to fix the troubles you can go through when names are called, when someone commits suicide, and again Pitcher knows that. She gives it to you straight.

THE S-WORD gets 4.5 birds from me and is coming HIghly recommended from me to you. It releases May 7th, and I urge you to pre-order it for only $8.79 from Amazon below!

4 half birdsnew



  1. I'm reading this next... I'm glad you liked it, I was hoping it was good. It sounds really powerful and that's exactly what I was wishing for :)

    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

  2. Sounds amazing! Will have to check it out!

  3. I wasn't sure about this one, but now I really want to read it. I love that it's realistic to teen voices. And I am a huge fan of mystery crime shows too. Which ones do you watch? I wonder if I'd figure it out early on too. Great review!

    1. Oh man I watch them all! Criminal Minds is by far my favorite though. Close second would be Law and Order SVU.

  4. I saw this book on another site, not sure where, but I kind of passed right over it. After your review, I think I'll check it out. Interesting characters and realistic dialogue make a huge difference in my reading experience. Thanks for the review!


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