May 6, 2013

ARC Review: The S-Word by: Chelsea Pitcher

The S-Word by: Chelsea Pitcher (May 7, 2013) 
Publisher: Gallery Books
304 pages
Genre: YA/Fiction
Goodreads Summary: 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.

My Review

This book left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. I’m going to give you a heads up right off the bat. It took me a total of 5 days to figure out what rating I should give this. I had so many conflicting feelings, maybe mostly because I was still confused about what I just read. It just wasn't what I was expecting.

There are so many issues that are crammed into this one 300 page novel that try to give a lesson that I seriously should have kept a tally so I could keep track of them all. It was just too much. Not every teenage social issue needs to be addressed in one novel. What I was hoping would be a book with a strong and powerful message about suicide turned into an overwhelming and slightly hard to follow disaster. Okay, the word disaster is a little harsh but it somehow fits.

Where do I start? How about with the diary pages that were written by the now deceased teenager Lizzie. These diary pages were so unbelievably unrealistic that I cringed. They were too well written to be from an emotional teenager. They just didn't have the right voice. It was off putting and disappointing because I really like the aspect of having diary pages or emails or what have you in the book as part of the story, but this just fell short.

While reading this book I usually was like…WHAT?! Then I would be confused and then once again go back to being all like WHAT?! And I don’t actually mean that as a good thing. Everything about this book was just so ridiculous most of the time.  

I had no connection with the main character Angie. We don’t really get to know her all that well. As readers we are thrown into the novel right off the bat with no life jacket and in very rocky waters. Angie did grow on me and I understood her better as the novel went on and how she dealt with the grief of losing your best friend, but I still wasn't a huge fan. Although others that read this book may like her or at least connect with her I didn't and that is always a big turn off for me.

I want to talk about bullying, the main and one of the many issues this book addresses. Bullying is never okay. This is one of the biggest issues that was front and center in this book. The S-Word does a great job at showing the horrible effects of bullying, but I felt like it didn't do a great job at showing how to deal with bullying if you are a victim or know someone that is. I was surprised at this, at one point in the book I even thought the story was trying to tell us that if someone is bullied then you should bully them back, which is not good advice. Luckily, the ending did send a good message and everything worked itself out, although it wasn't really all that believable. For some reason when I read a book about a certain issue in our society it should have a realistic feel to it, especially if it is trying to make a statement. That is just my opinion.

So you may be wondering after all of my bashing why I gave this book 2.5 stars instead of just 2 or 1? Well here it is, the highlight of this novel is the interesting secrets that are unraveled, although I could predict a lot of them, I think how they unfolded was done well. Plus, these secrets were interesting enough that it did drive me to finish the novel.

The hardest question…would I recommend this book to others? I’m probably going to suggest that you skip it. Although just because I wasn't a big fan doesn't mean you won’t be. If you enjoy some crazy characters and plot then you may want to read it. It wasn't a horrible book, it just was a miss for me, I wanted an epic emotional book with a strong message and I just didn't get that from The S-Word.

** I received a free e-copy of this book from netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review. Thanks! 

RATING 2.5/5


  1. I'm so disappointed this book didn't deliver! It sounded like it had such promise. This is actually the second review I've read along these lines, and now that I know you felt the same way, I know it's probably not the book for me.

    1. I was so excited to read this one and it just didn't live up to its potential. :(

  2. This is totally random but the cover looks very adult novel to me rather than YA. Anyways, this doesn't sound like anything I would pick up but I'm sorry it was disappointing for you! =(
    I appreciate your honest review!

    1. Thanks! I never thought about the cover much but I agree with you, it does seem more adult than anything.

  3. I haven't been seeing many positive reviews for this book so I don't think I'll be reading this. I need fleshed out characters and from what you've said here, it doesn't seem like that's Angie. This book sounded promising and I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, Kay. Great review! :)

    1. Thanks! I'm really sad it didn't work out but it was just a book that was too much in my face all the time, and never really getting to connect with the main character in a book is one of my biggest turn offs.

  4. I have a copy of this too and I've been a little put off by the reviews. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2015 It's a Book Life All Rights Reserved · All Logos & Trademark Belongs To Their Respective Owners | Template by These Paper Hearts
Back to Top