Monday, February 10, 2014

The S-Word

Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Number of Pages: 296
Date Read: 2/9/14
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, mystery

Synopsis (Found on

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 Highand 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 foreven when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

My Review:

This was a good book. It thrusts the reader into high school drama, bullying and one girls navigation through the high school cliques and seniors to get justice for her dead friend. 

The basic summary of the book is that Angie found her best friend, Lizzie, and boyfriend, Drake, in bed together during their high school prom. Because of this Lizzie is branded a slut and is bullied to the extreme. One day Lizzie commits suicide. Suddenly the words "Suicide Slut" is written across the senior lockers and pages of Lizzie's diary is spread around school to certain people. Angie decided to get to the bottom of Lizzie's death and make the people pay. 

This book has many twists and turns and WTF? moments. When you thin you finally get something, it turns out you were completely wrong and something else gets thrown your way. You figure things out along with Angie and at times question if she is doing the right thing. Your ready to hate the people incriminated in the diary but when Angie questions them you can see that they are not evil, that they have their own problems and that they are truly sorry. This book deals with big issues: suicide, bullying, homosexuality, rape, pedophila, justice and more. I do feel like there were too many big issues in a book of this size. A few of the issues were skimmed and just mentioned in book when it should have had more space time.

There is also a bit of romance that comes out of left field but I loved it. The romance just happens, it’s not planned and I was rooting for it. I loved the guy and was happy during the romantic kissy scenes. It was subtle, not in your face and sweet. She really connects with this person and they get each other which is nice to see. The romance is up in the air at the end of the book but you know the characters will be together and I loved it. 

Let me just say that this book brought back memories of high school and I remember people in my school who I could relate to some on the characters. Twas not fun...

I don't really know how to feel about the main character, Angie. At first I was on her side because she was so hurt by Lizzie’s betrayal. However I really don’t like how she went about questioning her classmates. I mean really, no one had to answer her questions or admit/show her anything. I think that part came too easily for her. I know that if someone had questioned me like that in high school I would of told her to “F*** off.” I think people willing to talk like that is unrealistic. I didn’t like how Angie was so self righteous and demanding when grilling her classmates and judging on them for their actions because she was just as guilty. Even though she didn’t actively participate in bullying Lizzie, she didn’t do anything to stop it. Angie also has a lot of self hate for her part in Lizzie’s death and she does blame herself for her death. I just feel like Angie is too extreme. First she wants to make all her classmates pay, then she’s swimming in darkness and depression about herself. There is no balance to her. I understand she lost her friend but it seems like too much. She does go through a lot and has a lot of character growth in the book. I dunno.

I really liked Jesse. He is a fabulous motherf***er. He is very sweet, friendly, fun and helpful to Angie. He is very different from other kids in his school because of the way he dresses. At times he dresses as a guy with jeans, tshirts and sneakers and other times he wears dresses and skirts with pants underneath them. Because of this he gets teased, bullied and beaten up. He doesn’t let that deter him from being who he really is. He continues to dress how he wants and is true to himself. He is afraid that Angie is going down a path of self destruction and wants to help her. He’s just a great character. 

I found that the book ended too quickly. Angie has everyone’s downfall planned and because of a few apologies she suddenly has this epiphany and backs out of her revenge. It just doesn’t seem realistic to me. When someone has that much hate and revenge nothing will stop them from getting revenge and if something does stop them, it takes more than talking to a few people who are sorry for what they did. That’s just my take on the ending.


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