Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: The S-Word

Purchase The S-Word here.


Lizzie wasn’t the first student at Verity High School to kill herself this year. But the difference is, she didn’t go quietly.
First it was SLUT scribbled all over the school’s lockers. But one week after Lizzie Hart takes her own life, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie’s own looping scrawl. Photocopies of her diary show up in the hands of her classmates. And her best friend, Angie, is enraged.

Angie had stopped talking to Lizzie on prom night, when she caught Lizzie in bed with her boyfriend. Too heartbroken to let Lizzie explain the hookup or to intervene when Lizzie gets branded Queen of the Sluts and is cruelly bullied by her classmates, Angie left her best friend to the mercy of the school, with tragic results.

But with this new slur, Angie’s guilt transforms into anger that someone is still targeting Lizzie even after her death. Using clues from Lizzie’s diary and aided by the magnetic, mysterious Jesse, Angie begins relentlessly investigating who, exactly, made Lizzie feel life was no longer worth living. And while she might claim she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, her anguish over abandoning and then losing her best friend drives Angie deeper 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.


Continuing on with my love of a bit of drama (fueled by binge-watching Gossip Girl and 90210 when I'm sick and pretending it's because I'm delirious), the S-Word follows Angie as she tries to make sense of her best friend's suicide and the betrayal that occurred before it.  I don't know what I expected from this novel by the description, but what I got was definitely different.  The book is dark and twisted, voiced by a surprisingly unreliable narrator and with an all-too-recognizable cast of characters.

To be completely honest, sections of this book are kind of trope-tastic.  Ooooh, it's the bleach-blonde cheerleader and the pervy computer nerd.  However, some other characters can be surprising in their depth.  In addition, this book could be triggering to some.  Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you're concerned; I'm just trying to keep my review spoiler-free.

All in all, an interesting debut novel.  It wasn't my favourite, but it's interesting, surprising, and a quick read.

Until next time, happy reading!

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