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The S-Word [Kindle Edition]

Chelsea Pitcher
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $7.61
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

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, she 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On the night of their senior prom, Angie Lake discovers her boyfriend in bed with her best friend, Lizzie. When SLUT is scrawled on Lizzie’s locker and on her car, Angie remains silent, refusing to speak to the best friend who has betrayed her. But after Lizzie’s suicide, and after the words Suicide SLUT begin to appear all over Verity High, Angie decides to find out who instigated the horrible harassment that ultimately led to Lizzie’s death. First-time novelist Pitcher has packed a lot, perhaps too much, into this high-school morality tale. Rape, child abuse, homosexuality, racism, neglectful parents, and teen sexuality—not to mention the s-words themselves—abound, as well as colorful characters, such as Jesse, the faux-queer cross-dresser; Drake, the date rapist; shy, eccentric preacher’s daughter, Lizzie; and white-trash royalty, Angie herself. All play a part in this YA novel that exposes the high price that bullying extracts from today’s teens regardless of their role in the abuse or the social strata they inhabit within that high-school hierarchy. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn


"Debut author Pitcher explores the consequences of bullying and social stigmatizing with swagger in this noirish mystery. When Angie's boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend Lizzie, Angie is devastated and ends their friendshipnever expecting that Lizzie will be branded a slut (someone repeatedly writes the word on her car and locker) and driven to suicide. Following Lizzie's death, the graffiti reemerges; eerily, the handwriting mimics Lizzie's and reads, "suicide slut." Pages stolen from Lizzie's diary also find their way into students' lockers (and into sections of the book). Angie launches a covert investigation, and her interrogations of her suspectsincluding a femme fatale who reclines on pianos in the drama department when she's not running the newspaper, a misogynistic math geek, and a hard-drinking cheerleaderput a playful spin on the detective genre. When Angie is immersed in her role as sleuth, her cynicism and blasé attitude toward school can come across as phony, but the vulnerability shown when she falls for a cross-dressing outsider and her reflections on her friendship with Lizzie soften the hardboiled edges. Ages 14up."
(Publisher's Weekly)

Product Details

  • File Size: 609 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451695160
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (May 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Z4S22M
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The S-Word May 12, 2013
By Lauren
Format:Kindle Edition
I was reluctant to start reading The S-Word when the reviews started coming in, a lot of them were quite negative and I really didn't want to have to push myself through another "meh" read. When I started, it was a struggle for about the first 45% of the book and I was just about to DNF when the story picked up quite a bit.

I want come right out and say I could not stand the main character, Angie. I think that was probably the main reason why I had a hard time reading at first. I know she was supposed to be struggling with all of this guilt from Lizzie's suicide but I just thought she was trying to justify her own actions. I did start to dislike her less by the end of the book but I still didn't care about her. At all. Lizzie though, on the other hand, I adored. Even though she is not alive during the course of the book she touched me through her diary entries and her silent struggle with just life in general. I also really adored Jesse. I enjoyed his soft personality and found him interesting and unique.

I found it extremely difficult to rate this book upon finishing it. I can see where the author is going with the message but their were parts that just made me so angry or so sad that I didn't know whether I liked it or hated it. I also had the same situation with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and ironically gave it the same rating. There is something with books about bullying that make me want to throw things and they make me sick to my stomach. I do like the stories but because they make me so heartbroken I can't fully love them.

I thought what was done to Lizzie was disgusting. I found the fact that her "best friend" didn't even care to listen to her side of the story was awful and thus ended with her hearing her side in a diary entry when she was already gone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. May 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
First, I must say that I won't be talking about the characters very much because I can't do that without spoilers and since this is an ARC copy, I won't spoil anything. So if you want to talk or rant or fangirl about this book and it's characters, please send me a message! I need someone to talk with about this book, lol.

The S-word is the brilliantly written debut of Chelsea Pitcher and I can't help but ask... Where in God's name have you been hiding all this time Chelsea? Why did you keep your talent from us for so long? It should be punished... But this book is great, so you are forgiven.
Yes, this is a great book. More then that. It's a must-read and one of my new favorites of this year. (Maybe even of all time.) The writing is great and I was hooked to the story from the first sentence. I could not stop reading. I just had to know how it ended. Like I said, I can't talk about it much because I don't want to spoil anything, but I have to say that it did not end the way I thought it would. There are twists and turns I did not see coming. Nothing is what it seems, that's all I can say.

I wanted to talk about bullying because it's a big theme in this novel, but I won't. It's bad and mean and low. I hate bullies. That's all.

This book is captivating, full of drama and even romance and suspence. Brilliantly written, like I already said and Chelsea, you've got a new fan. I can't wait to read more from you in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The cover is the best part June 6, 2013
Can we just talk about the cover for a second? A scarlet letter. Scratched-in words. A title that evokes humiliation. The S-Word. Like its friends--the c-word and the n-word--it is not to be uttered. It is dirty, uncouth, and disrespectful. It carries weight. It destroys lives.

Slut. Suicide. Shame.

The cover drew me to the book, and the description bowled me over. In the wake of Steubenville and the suicides of Audrie Potts, Rehtaeh Parsons, Hope Witsell, and Felicia Garcia, this is a book that I needed to read. I was overjoyed when I was approved for the galley!

Unfortunately, the book was not as wonderful as I had expected. The writing felt very choppy and disjointed, and quickly turned from supposed-to-be-witty dialogue to a soliloquy on the ramifications of slut-shaming. And while I agree with those sentiments, it detracted from the plot. I want the author to show me, not tell me.

The book was predictable, with flat characters and too many plot points; it would have been better had they been limited. If the characters had been fleshed out a bit more, and more attention paid to developing the action, this would have been a four-star book.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wellllll.... It had promise. But this was no Thirteen Reasons Why. In fact, it's pretty hard to read something on this subject without making that comparison. the s-word was okay, but it did not steal my breath and leave me speechless like Thirteen Reasons Why.

I think it would be fair for me to say had I read the s-word before Jay Asher's book, I probably would have liked it more. There were several things that kind of irked me in this book and I think they took away from the overall impact the story could have had.

First, the lack of capital letters. Man, that drove me nuts. Something inside of my cringes when I see 'i' instead of "I" in a book/sentence/essay. I'm sure there was some purpose for the lack of capitalization of proper nouns in this book, but I really didn't "get it". Whatever the impact was supposed to be fell short. Maybe it was supposed to emphasize the state-of-mind of the character(s)? Eh. I don't really know. Needlesstosay, there should have been proper capitalization in this book. Period. (And I won't even mention that the lack of capitalization wasn't even consistent. Some sentences started correctly, others did not. Names were capitalized but 'I' was not. It drove me nuts!)

The characters were also just so-so. I think Lizzie was the most interesting of them all, and she wasn't in the majority of the action. Angie was a nut case. Jesse had promise, and everyone else was taking up space. There wasn't a whole lot of depth with some of the so-called "main" characters, and a lot of their interactions/relationships were rushed and felt a little off.

I will say the story behind Lizzie was intriguing and heart breaking. Now, her sad story I could believe. It actually felt real (which is tragic).

Overall, the s-word was a decent read that had some gripping moments, but the relationships with the characters fell flat.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Loved this book. Definitely want to hear more from the Author. It was a really great read and I finished it in one night. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jordan C
5.0 out of 5 stars Scintillating, smart, sharp, surprising, sad...
Best friends, Angie and Lizzie stopped talking on prom night after Angie catches Lizzie in bed with her boyfriend. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jennifer Ann Mann
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Ingredients and Stereotype
This book was different than I expected. The style feels like a film noir, with short sentences, an investigation, a troubled personal life. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Eric J. Juneau
3.0 out of 5 stars Split
The S-Word takes on several heated topics, including bullying, family dysfunction, suicide, and sexual abuse, and even weaves in a little mystery, several huge twists, a rowdy and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ACL
3.0 out of 5 stars "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me."
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me." I know I heard this nursery rhyme over and over again when I was growing up, but in this world that’s... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bookie Nookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster ride
When Angie finds her best friend and boyfriend in a hotel room on prom night everything changed. She lost her best friend since grade school and boyfriend in one night and doesn't... Read more
Published 10 months ago by
2.0 out of 5 stars Had potential but . . .
After sleeping with her best friend Angie's boyfriend, Lizzie is branded a slut and bullied at school which leads her to suicide. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cathe
5.0 out of 5 stars If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be….riveting....
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be….riveting. Heartbreaking. Astonishing. This book was so gritty, so daring, so direct that I felt the emotions in the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Team LitPick
5.0 out of 5 stars Will really have you thinking about bullying well as slut-shaming and all the horrible events that can happen as a result. Wow. A really great read, though there are some things I didn't expect (good things, but... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Lucy Sue
3.0 out of 5 stars Delicate topic beautifully handled.
In one of the biggest scandals Verity High has ever seen, the preacher's daughter is found in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. On prom night. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kate
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More About the Author

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.


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