Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
Lizzie Hart faced the word SLUT scribbled on her locker and then one scribbled turned to several. One week after Lizzie kills herself SUICIDE SLUT replaces it in Lizzie’s perfect scrawl. Lizzie’s reputation was trashed when she was caught sleeping with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. Angie doesn’t speak to Lizzie and the school turns against her. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary are plastered around the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who made Lizzie decide that life wasn’t worth living anymore. I definitely didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really like it. The S-Word reminded of me a Lifetime movie- and not the good ones. While I don’t hate The S-Word, I’m also not sure if I liked it. I sped through reading it, but while I was reading I would come across things that bothered me. Some of them I noted and others were just too trivial to take note of.
The main female character is Angie. Angie is a very cynical girl. I also didn’t really like her and the more the book progressed I just liked her less and less. I don’t understand why exactly Angie turned this into a big who-did-it search, but it seemed pointless to me. Angie shut Lizzie out after the scandal and I didn’t think it was fair to bring drag something like this out. I was always wary of Angie and her motives. She’s a very unreliable character. Probably one of the most unreliable characters I’ve encountered as of late. I love unreliable characters, but I don’t feel that Angie was portrayed well enough for me to buy into her story or her motives.
“I’ll graduate high school with a major in Cynicism and a minor in Irritation.”
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2
The main male character is Jesse. Jesse is a cross-dressing teenager and of course Angie just had to fall in lurve with him and it would be crazy for him not to return the feelings.
I love my books with romance and lots of romance, but don’t put romance in there if there is absolutely no need for romance. Jesse isn’t a bad character, but I feel like he more of a prop for a story. Although , I like him wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more than any of the other characters.
Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.5The Villain- It is a mystery of who is dragging out Lizzie’s past, but I feel like I should’ve known that ending was coming and in some ways the thought flittered through my mind. I just didn’t think she would take that route because I knew it wouldn’t work with this book.
Villain Scale: 4.5
Lizzie is what really drives this book. By this I mean if Lizzie hadn’t killed herself The S-Word would have no plot or purpose. Lizzie is a typical trope for every Lifetime movie surrounding a dead friend. Everything in her diary I saw coming. Yes I even saw the rape and her being in love with Angie. I wasn’t expecting the whole father-molestation thing thought. One thing that really bothered me was a flashback of Lizzie’s torment.
“A week before Lizzie died, a group of senior girls decided to teach her a lesion about taking off her clothes at improper times. Each time they caught her alone in the halls, they attempted to snip off a piece of her outfit. In reality, very few girls managed to snag a decent piece of fabric, but it didn’t matter much. By the end of the week, the mere snapping of scissors made Lizzie seize up in terror.”
You’re telling me not one teacher or counselor saw this? I find this really hard to believe since they mention pretty heavy security on campus. What pisses me off even more is that Angie being a so-called friend let Lizzie being submitted to this cruelty and she can still think that she has the right to consider herself ever a friend. Friends don’t abandon someone so easily. Lizzie didn’t deserve that or any of the horrible things that were done to her.
Character Scale: 4
While I appreciate what this book was trying to tackle, I feel that Ms. Pitcher didn’t do a very strong job of it. It’s a pity because I had high hopes for this book, but it doesn’t live up to any of my expectations. Some of them were fleetingly touched and then she would do something that would make me shake my head. I’m just disappointed by this book and it’s as simple as that.
Cover Thoughts: My favorite thing about the whole book. I wish I had a physical copy just for the cover alone.
Thank you, Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.