Thursday, 16 May 2013

Review: the s-word by Chelsea Pitcher

The s-word by Chelsea Pitcher

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me this book.

From goodreads: 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.

You know when you get one of those books that you know is going to be a tricky one to review? Well, this is one of them…

When I saw the synopsis for this book I got kind of excited. It looked good. It looked edgy. It wasn’t your typical high school bubblegum story… it had so much promise!

My main issue with this book was that it only half fulfilled that promise.

So the story begins in the aftermath of Lizzie’s suicide. She slept with her best friends boyfriend on prom night, got branded a slut, had the word scrawled all over her locker and she consequently killed herself.

Harsh, right?

Following her death – the word ‘suicide slut’ appears on Lizzie’s locker, written in Lizzie’s own handwriting. Then, pages of Lizzie’s diary start appearing dotted in random lockers around the school.

Spooky, right? (see… so much promise!)

Angie (Lizzie’s best friend) takes it upon herself to figure out who is the person vandalizing lockers and distributing Lizzie’s thoughts and emotions. She questions her suspects in an almost investigative manner. She almost has a shortlist of suspects.

… and this is where my issues begin.

Lizzie has JUST slept with Angie’s boyfriend. They had a huge falling out and stopped speaking. No, Angie wasn’t the one calling Lizzie a slut to her face – but she didn’t do anything to stop it either. She was mad at her. She had terminated her friendship… and now she is almost trekking around the school trying to clear perfect Lizzie’s name!

And that’s my other issue. Lizzie is portrayed to be perfect. A veritable princess from a Disney movie. If you believed her diary entries then this girl would NEVER sleep with her best friends boyfriend, which in turn made the premise of the story a little unbelievable.

This book could have tackled so many issues in one foul swoop. It could have dealt with the problems surrounding slut branding, name-calling, bullying and the consequences of people’s actions – but it fell a little flat for me. The s-word was an easy read and it certainly wasn’t one of the worst books I’ve ever read… I just felt that more could have been done with the subject matter and the story line. I was a little disappointed.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure about this one. I haven't read it but it does sound promising, but I do hate it when books don't quite live up to expectations