Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S WordTitle: The S-Word

Author: Chelsea Pitcher

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: May 7, 2013
Source: Netgalley ARC

Summary (from Goodreads):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.

Review:This book was difficult to read, not only because of the topic but also because of the writing style. My first reaction to style of writing as that it was awkward and uncomfortable but I think that as I read I really started to understand the style. We are the minds of a grief stricken teenager that is so angry with life so the writing style often times reflects that stream of consciousness. This was a difficult topic to cover and even more impressive was all the twists and turns that Pitcher threw in the plot. The S-Word not only deals with bullying but also deals with sexuality, gender roles, sexual abuse, and what it really means to find love and forgiveness.

I have to admit that I was excited when I read that the setting was Colorado (being from Colorado) but I was also extremely disappointed that beside CU and CSU being mentioned that there wasn’t all that much to do with Colorado. I know this is a selfish complaint but it is really the only one I have about the book. While the setting is not important and I think the point is that this type of story could happen anywhere, I would have liked a little more representation.

If you haven’t already put this on your TBR, do it now. In fact, I think all teens should read this book to see just how out of control bullying can get.

About the Author (from Goodreads):Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.

Her debut novel “THE S-WORD” is available now from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster.

Check out Chelsea’s website.


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