Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
I am loving how YA contemporary is ramping up its game tackling socially relevant issues and not just limiting to the ebbs and tides of romance. High School in particular is/was a significant phase for a lot of people and I think you can all agree with me that it's more than prom, dating or school. Well Chelsea Pitcher may not have written what it's exactly like for teens but she did raise a lot of thinking points in her debut novel, THE S-WORD. Let me ramble a bit.
- Bullying, suicide, homophobia, labels, these are the predominant issues tackled here. Lizzie Hart's story might be fictional but I'm sure a lot of people, young and old, can relate to her pain and suffering when she was labeled a slut after she allegedly cheated with her BFF's boyfriend on prom night.
- THE S-WORD vaguely reminds me of Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why because of it's suicide theme and Lizzie herself.
- I was caught up in Angelina's investigation on who started the (Suicide) Slut campaign. I was itching to know who the heartless perp is. When the guilty party's identity was revealed, I was shocked, angry and didn't buy the reason. I think CPitcher is aiming for poetic justice but I didn't get that vibe.
- THE S-WORD is so tragic and heartbreaking! I was so mad when all the pieces are finally laid out. I think this is one of the saddest stories I've ever read. Lizzie's secret is filled with love and longing and to me she died in vain.
- So many secrets! Made me admire Lizzie for her ability to carry all of those for a long time without breaking from its weight.
- Angie's valiant attempt for justice infuriated me. "Better late than never" doesn't apply here, she could've done so much, fought with Lizzie, pulled her hair, ANYTHING that would open dialogue while she was still alive instead of ignoring her completely.
- The secondary characters are great.
Lizzie Hart had my heart. I loved how THE S-WORD was told and its message, suicide among teens due to bullying is a serious issue. Nobody has the right to antagonize someone to the point where their lives are ruined and they can't look at themselves in the mirror. On the same note, we should also value our voices more and the power it has not just on others but on ourselves too. THE S-WORD is an amazing read, it's a gateway to a lot of pertinent discussions and something a lot of people can benefit from.