I’m beyond excited to share this novel with you today.
Sometimes you finish a book that leaves you stunned.
That leaves you desperately wracking your brain to try to figure out who you can recommend it to.
That even leaves you wishing you wrote it.
For me, that book was The S-Word.
by 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
Muse Kristen’s Thoughts
I was intrigued immediately from the synopsis of The S-Word. Is it a mystery? Is there a ghost? What really happened to Lizzie? When I actually got my grabby hands on the ARC, I was blown away. At one point I emailed Chelsea Pitcher to say “I am in full blown tears reading THE S-WORD. Also, I love you for this book. Sheer love.”
Authors: if your book gets me declaring love for you, you’ve done something right.
One moment. One night. That was it all took for Lizzie to be labeled a slut, lose her best friend, and be labeled as the town pariah.
Months of torment. One decision. One free fall. That was it all took for Lizzie to end her life.
What if Nancy Drew was a modern day teenager looking to solve the mystery of why her (former) best friend killed herself? What would happen to cause a young girl to take her life? The loss of a friend? The bullying? Everything combined? This is a honest, raw look at high school – with the stark reminder that everyone has a secret. Everyone has something that they’d like to keep buried in the dark. In a small town, those little secrets can affect everyone.
Bullying is a really prevalent issue with teens today and I love the way that The S-Word shows the problems with it without being preachy. It’s a cycle. To keep your own self safe, you direct the attention elsewhere – but does anyone ever try to stop the cycle? To just let everyone be?
What I enjoyed most was how relatable the characters were. I really felt for them. For Lizzie. For Angie. For Jesse. I wanted to shield them. I wanted to defend them. I felt a wide variety of emotions for them. I solved pieces of the mystery early on, but was still surprised and awed when the entire story unraveled.
End of story: If I had a daughter, I’d have her read this book. If I had a little sister, I’d beg her to read this book. Since I have neither, I’ll just reread the story…often. No doubt – Chelsea Pitcher has made a fan out of me.
Author Bio: Chelsea Pitcher
In closing, The S-Word is one of my favorite books of 2013 so far. I’m going to read it again to decide this, but it might end on my all time favorites list. It’s a beautifully raw story, one that I really believe nearly everyone can relate to. So what are you waiting for? Add it to your Goodreads list! Enter that giveaway!