Google+ Reading Teen: The S-word by Chelsea Pitcher

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The S-word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-word
by Chelsea Pitcher
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (May 7, 2013)
Language: English
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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.

This story is one that grabs your attention from the very first page and doesn't let go until the last page.  It revolves around the recent suicide of a high school senior girl and a search for the reasons behind her decision.  It is told from the point of view of Lizzie Hart's best friend, Angie Lake.  An event that occurred on Prom Night seems to be what pushed Lizzie over the edge and Angie puts all of her energy into finding out who was behind it.  Along the way, the reader is introduced to people who were involved or interacted with Lizzie and how those relationships effected her. 

There are many, many layers to this story--many sad, frightening and unexpected.  These types of stories scare me to death for the young people in our high schools, if this is truly a slice of modern day life.  There is drinking, sexual activity, meanness of spirit, and very few redeeming values.

The writing of this story is terrific.  There is suspense to the story that is almost like a murder mystery.  Ms. Pitcher draws us down a path of discovery that is intense and heart-breaking.  My biggest complaint, as usual, is the abundance of language that is used and the amount of casual sexual activity.  I do believe that the story could be told with a minimum of both.  The story is riveting and once I started reading, it was hard to put it down.  I recommend this book to older teens because of the language.
  • Sexual Content: Heavy
  • Profanity: Very Heavy
  • Other Notables: Suicide, Underage Drinking, Bullying
For more details, check out The S-word on


  1. Love books that grab you from the first page. Thanks for a great review.

  2. This is a story that sounds amazing!

  3. Good review. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. This sounds like a really intense book with hard subjects. I'd love to read it. thanks for your review! :)

  5. I want to read this, from the summary itself!
    I liked these kind of stories, I am intrigued with people who kill themselves and the people they affect afterwards, it seems nostalgic and makes me remember my favorite book, The 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It's like, I'll read another Hannah Baker and I am looking forward to read Lizzie Hart's story. And how the girl version of Clay (The 13 Reasons Why), who is Angie here will find out.

  6. I love a layered story! Thank you for the great review. I've heard a lot of buzz about this book. :)

  7. Sounds like a great mystery story! would love to read it... :)

  8. Thanks so much for your wonderful review!! :)

    1. You're welcome! Thank you for a great book!

  9. This book sounds really interesting, high school is a scary place and teenagers go through so much. It sounds like this book is very intense and emotional. I will definitely check this book out. Thanks for the review :)

  10. This is the first I have heard of this book. It does sound like a gripping read. A very helpful review thank you.

  11. Thanks for your kind words! I always struggle to try to get the substance of a book across without giving away all the good stuff! Happy reading!

  12. Is love a chance to win. Thank you!

  13. EEP! I've had this requested from NetGalley because I was so excited for the harsh reality it promised, and am very glad that you felt so good about this book! I'll have to start reading it, like, now!


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