Friday, 18 January 2013

REVIEW: The S-Word


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.


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Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for presenting me with the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book - it is very much appreciated. Thank you again :D

So, The S-Word was a major let down. The blurb sounded promising and the idea was good - it really had the potential to be a great story. It was full of awkward wording, forced dialogue and it was just something I couldn't enjoy and I struggled to get through the book - and I'm a fast reader. The idea had such great potential and it was one of the books I was most looking forward to receiving when I requested it on NetGalley but alas, it was a severe disappointment.

I didn't like this book at all because of how it was written. Nothing to do with the plot at all, I thought it was really interesting but it was ruined with the sloppy writing. The sentences felt awkward, forced and poorly constructed - it didn't quite have that flow. The narrator's voice (Angie) didn't feel right - her best friend snatched her man in front of her, and she actually seemed rather nonchalant about it when explaining to the audience about what happened. I don't know about you but if I found out that my boyfriend had been doing the dirty with my best friend, I would be pretty damn pissed. Angie seemed far too detached and it just seemed rather fake and not right for the situation. Lizzie's diary entries didn't match the voice of an older teenager either - it sounded like a pre-teen trying to sound older and far more sophisticated than they truly are. 

I got what Pitcher was trying to say about the double standards for boys and girls but it didn't quite have an impact - she told us, rather than showed us and overall, didn't quite touch on it enough for the message to sink in. But yeah, good message. Well received blah blah. Angie's investigation into the factors that caused Lizzie to drive herself to suicide was frankly, quite ridiculous, for a lack of a better word - it just seemed all rather amateurish/childlike. She came across like a five year old reading a spy book for the very first time and decided it'll be super fun to just go out there and solve a mystery. BAM. Yeah, that's what it felt like. 

There were also too many issues going on all at once, y'know? Okay, there's slut shaming going on. Yeah, that's bad. There's also a suicide. Yeah, that's bad too. There's bullying. Okay, that's bad as well. Toss that in with cross-dressing, homosexuality/bisexuality, sexual abuse, rape and it's just a huge WTF. They're all important issues on their own individually but the author just grabbed them all and tossed them in a soup pot all at once and it just becomes one confusing hot mess. There was just too much going in a super awkward, very confusing and disjointed plot to feel any actual feels, other than confusion.

I was looking forward to a thought-provoking book on bullying and reading a nice mystery novel that would keep me second-guessing and leaving me on tenterhooks long afterward I've finished it but nope, the conclusion was very obvious to me and so out of there, it was quite funny. If you want to be super confused and disappointed, this is the book for you.

RATING: 1/5

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