Saturday, 27 April 2013

Review: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Release date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Mystery
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

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 was initially really looking forward to reading The S-Word, but I have to say that it was quite different from what I expected. I did enjoy the book once I got into it, but this book wasn't really for me. Though of course, I'm sure a lot of others would really like this one. I did enjoy quite a few aspects of this book, like the concept, the writing, and the themes and issues addressed in the book.

Angie's best friend Lizzie is dead, and all Angie wants to do is find out who caused it. Angie focuses on this because she feels guilty over Lizzie's death, but she wants to punish the people who made Lizzie commit such an unforgivable act. Angie talks to and manipulates whoever she can to get information, but she gets a lot of surprises along the way.

Angie was one of the reasons this book didn't live up to my expectations. I couldn't connect with her, couldn't really feel like she was a real person. Even though the whole book is from her perspective. She seemed very hot and cold, and kind of unstable. I had no idea what she would or could do next, and some of the things she admits to really shocked me. Angie is a good person, though, and I really like her intelligence and quick thinking. She uncovers a lot of the mystery by herself, and shows that she doesn't need anyone to rely on. Of course, she later realizes that she can't do it all on her own, and she gets help from the most unexpected person possible.

Jesse is a gay cross-dresser who also goes to Verity High, and he's mostly left alone. People think he's too different, and they either insult him or stay away from him. Jesse is one of the bright spots in this book. I loved his character! He's not afraid to be different, and he's got a pure heart. Also, he's hilarious. Jesse's really supportive of Angie, and he's very practical. He doesn't lose his cool often, and he's like a steady rock to lean on. He's actually one of the best and most refreshing characters I've read about in a long time.

The other characters in this book fell quite flat to me - Marvin, Shelby, Kennedy, and Drake. I definitely didn't like any of them, and we aren't meant to, anyway. But I didn't see much character development or background in them, and was disappointed about that. All the characters (apart from Jesse) really played a big part in me not liking this book much overall, because I like to see some depth to the characters I read about. I like imagining them as real people and visualizing their stories in my head. I couldn't do that with these characters, though.

I did like the concept of the diary pages in this book. We get to know a lot about what Lizzie was like through reading the pages of her diary. I honestly think I know Lizzie better than I do Angie, even though all I read was a few of her diary entries! But they were really insightful, and I could tell she'd poured her whole heart and soul out into that diary. I initially didn't like Lizzie when I read about what she did, but over the course of the novel, I felt a lot of sympathy for her, and I definitely began to admire her. I think it's fitting that the novel ends with one of her diary entries, because those are the best parts. I loved finding out more about Lizzie and what her thoughts and feelings were like.

I liked the unpredictability of this book. I really could not foresee any of the big reveals, and I was shocked and blown away by most of the secrets revealed! A few of them were obvious from the beginning, but I think they were meant to be that way. The mystery aspect of this book also intrigued me, because I've always found mysteries to be captivating. The S-Word started out quite slow for me, but it picked up about halfway, I think. I was mostly looking forward to reading Lizzie's diary entries and, well, any scene with Jesse in it!

Overall, I can't say I loved this, mostly because of the characters (except Jesse). I did like a few things about the book, but the pace was too slow for me, and it dragged quite a bit. The writing was good, though, and I would read another book from Chelsea Pitcher. But this one... I'm sorry, but just didn't float my boat, even with the awesomeness that is Jesse Martinez.

*Thank you to Gallery Books for providing me with an eGalley for review*

Rating: 2.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I love reading your comments :) Make sure to link your blog (if you have one) so I can visit you back!