Book Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Review Source: NetGalley
Available: Amazon

Summary: (via goodreads) 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.

First of all I'd like to congratulate Chelsea Pitcher on her debut! This is her first published book.

The S-Word is a full blown mystery case where Angie, the main character, plays detective. Her best friend, Lizzie, had been labeled as the harlot of Verity High School and Angie did nothing to stop it. Of course the only reason she was being called "the s-word" was because she was caught in bed with Angie's boyfriend on prom night. That's when it started- the "s-word" written all over her locker and all over her car. And then Lizzie died by her own hand. And before anyone could move on "suicide s***" started appearing all over the school in HER handwriting. Along with that, pages from her diary were also spreading. Angie was determined to get to the bottom of things. She felt horrible for standing by and letting her best friend slip away, she felt guilty. And then there is a twist...

The S-Word took me on a ride that I'll never forget. This book is so raw. Pitcher did not hold back, she told it how it was and I loved it. It was also very dark. I felt what Angie felt, and she was not in a happy place. Her best friend had committed suicide and she was blaming herself.

I'll be honest with you the first half of the book I was not invested with the characters. But as soon as the second half hit I was completely and totally Angie. I felt for her, and I desperately wanted to know the things she wanted to know. This is unlike any mystery I've ever read. It had twists and turns that surprised me every single time. And the biggest twist of all was a HUGE shocker! And just when I though things were going to slow down, they didn't.

Pitcher took what high school and bullying is about and gave it to us, like I mentioned earlier, raw and real. And the message is loud and clear: bullying is a very serious problem with very serious consequences.

I commend Pitcher on her well done debut! She is definitely an author I will be looking out for!

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