Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: The S Word by Chelsea Pitcher

the s word

The S-Word
Teen Fiction
Gallery Books (May 7, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451695168
E-Book File Size: 609 KB
ASIN: B007Z4S22M

Lizzie wasn’t the first student at Verity High School to kill herself this year. But the difference is, she didn’t go quietly.

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.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a heart wrenching story to read. Our family has been personally touched by a teenage suicide and then as here a young life was lost because of secrets, lies, and misinformation. 

The book is told from Angie’s point of view and questions, guilt, and anger over her best friend’s death are just eating her alive. Her personal journey through the grieving process while trying to hold herself and others responsible drive this story while at the same time as teaching several lessons about bullying and judging people.  Actions do have consequences.

The author walks the fine line with subjects that could go very dark but by adding real high school behaviors in a very ingenious way she has escaped that trap. A plot full of surprises and realizations make this a hard book to put down. The diary entries added immensely to the story as we learned Lizzie’s  way of not even naming names in a place where she kept her private thoughts.

This is heavy read with some expected and unexpected resolutions. I think it would be a great book to add to high school reading lists.

just you and a friend


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About the Author

Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, Oregon, where she received her BA in English Literature. The S-Word is her first novel. Visit her website at
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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