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Review: the s-word (Chelsea Pitcher)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
genre: contemporary
pages: 304
publisher: May 7th 2013 by Gallery Books
ISBN: 9781451695168
source: eARC from Netgalley

The S-WordFirst 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.

Wellllll.... It had promise. But this was no Thirteen Reasons Why. In fact, it's pretty hard to read something on this subject without making that comparison. the s-word was okay, but it did not steal my breath and leave me speechless like Thirteen Reasons Why.

I think it would be fair for me to say had I read the s-word before Jay Asher's book, I probably would have liked it more. There were several things that kind of irked me in this book and I think they took away from the overall impact the story could have had.

First, the lack of capital letters. Man, that drove me nuts. Something inside of my cringes when I see 'i' instead of "I" in a book/sentence/essay. I'm sure there was some purpose for the lack of capitalization of proper nouns in this book, but I really didn't "get it". Whatever the impact was supposed to be fell short. Maybe it was supposed to emphasize the state-of-mind of the character(s)? Eh. I don't really know. Needlesstosay, there should have been proper capitalization in this book. Period. (And I won't even mention that the lack of capitalization wasn't even consistent. Some sentences started correctly, others did not. Names were capitalized but 'I' was not. It drove me nuts!)

The characters were also just so-so. I think Lizzie was the most interesting of them all, and she wasn't in the majority of the action. Angie was a nut case. Jesse had promise, and everyone else was taking up space. There wasn't a whole lot of depth with some of the so-called "main" characters, and a lot of their interactions/relationships were rushed and felt a little off.

I will say the story behind Lizzie was intriguing and heart breaking. Now, her sad story I could believe. It actually felt real (which is tragic).

Overall, the s-word was a decent read that had some gripping moments, but the relationships with the characters fell flat.


  1. This doesn't sound lie my kind of read. Great insight!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. This is disappointing to hear. This book just found its way onto my radar recently and I had high hopes for it. I loved 13 reasons Why so it stands to reason I would have a similar reaction to this book as you. Plus the no capitals would be so annoying!

  3. Yeah, if you loved 13 Reasons Why, this one will fall short. I think I was being rather generous with 3 stars now that I think about it.


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