Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: The S-word

I'm the last stop on THE S-WORD blog tour hosted by the awesome Shane @ Itching for Books!

The S-word

Author: Chelsea Pitcher


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.

Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


A friendship severed.

A girl scorned.

A secret shattered.

The S-Word alludes to the story of Angie, who is coping with the death of her best friend Lizzie-- the daughter of a preacher who cheated on Angie with her boyfriend, Drake.

Moving, illuminating and brutally honest, this novel grabs the curtain of high school and yanks it back with little hesitation and much unpretentious flair.

The story stumbles and sprints at a fast, engaging pace, told through the eyes of Angie who is one of the most complex high school characters I've ever read about. Every other member of the supporting cast is also each an enigma in their own right. There's Kennedy, the school's golden girl, who has a dark childhood secret; there's Drake, the most sought-after boy in school, who has a hidden personality that will inexplicably rip him and others apart; there's Jesse, the pretty boy who dresses like a girl, but is a true man; and finally, there's Lizzie, who lives through Angie's recollections and her leaked out diary entries that touch, stir and ultimately, heal the inner demons of every person in the school.

The story is filled with the vibrance and messiness that make up high school-- we see both the dark, twisted cruelty of teenagers and the powerful bonds of friendship that thrive beyond the boundaries of life and death. Angie and Lizzie's intricate and complicated history of friendship is filled with betrayal and life-changing revelations which stun us into silence again, again and yet again.

In the end, the S-word is an euphemism for so much more than just "slut", but also "sorry". Angie's regret for her role in Lizzie's death drives her to uncovering the truth behind that night of prom and letting those who had a role to play in Lizzie's suicide to have a taste of their own medicine.  But truly, the last shaking lesson to take away from the story is not one of revenge, but one of forgiveness and the power of words to both destroy and make whole.

Source: From the publisher for review purposes in the blog tour
Via Netgalley.


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. 

Official links: | @Chelsea_Pitcher

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  1. Great review. Thanks for participating!

    1. No prob :) Glad to be part of the tour!

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful review!! This was so sweet! And thank you for being a part of the tour! :)

    1. You're absolutely welcome, Chelsea! You wrote a wonderful book that totally deserves a raving review :)

  3. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Les Johnson

  4. Thanks to your review, I now feel I've a better understanding of the meaning of s-word.

    1. The s-word in this book is laden with meanings of all kind ;) Glad my review shed some light on it!

  5. I've read many mixed reviews of this book that made me undecided whether to pick it up or not. After reading your review, I think I'm going to give it a shot :)

  6. Eeeeee why did she betray her best friend :(

  7. I wasn't a huge fan of The S-Word, but I'm glad you enjoyed it :) I did love Jesse, though, haha!

    1. :( But yes! Jesse was a real sweetheart, loved him to bits ;)

  8. Thanks for sharing the excerpt! I normally wouldn't be drawn to a book like this (and I wasn't at first), but a couple of positive reviews lately have me considering it. :)

    1. Yes, it really is worth considering! This book touches on some difficult themes (maybe that explains the mixed reviews) but pulls it off with flair and finesse :)


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