May 1, 2013

The S-Word Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster - Gallery Books

Buy Link: Amazon


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.


The S-Word is a haunting and gritty look at the aftermath of a teen suicide due to bullying. It follows main character Angie as she desperately tries to pick up the pieces of her life after her best friend's suicide. Angie goes on a mission to figure out what drove her friend to take her own life and to make those responsible pay for what they did to Lizzie. Angie has severe guilt of her own over how she treated Lizzie during the last couple weeks of her life and holds herself personally responsible for at least part of Lizzie's torture and death. Will Angie succeed in making those she deems responsible for her best friend's death pay or will she only unravel and destroy those in her path - including herself?

The description of this novel grabbed me right away - it sounded like an intriguing mystery surrounding the deeper issues of teen suicide and bullying. I normally don't like contemporary young adult novels, but this one sounded different and I'm incredibly glad I gave it a chance. It far exceeded any notions or expectations I had for it and still has my mind reeling after finishing it. The plot of the story is centered around the bullying and subsequent suicide of a teenage girl. Her best friend goes on a mission to find out who played key parts in her torment and caused her death - and intends to make them pay. She has no illusions that she herself didn't participate in her friend's bullying and she is constantly in a state of guilt and self torment. Angie is a raw and emotional lead character. She's incredibly realistic in her thoughts, feelings, and actions throughout the novel - both before and after her friend's death. Angie definitely has her flaws and issues, but she also has great qualities too - loyalty to her friend, hope for a better future, and underlying kindness and the ability to forgive. 

The writing was phenomenal and I was immediately drawn into the story from the beginning lines of the book. The imagery and descriptions were vivid and I easily found myself immersed in the situations alongside the characters. The mystery behind the writings at school along with all the secrets the characters were hiding really added a new depth and interesting twists to the plot that kept me eagerly turning the pages. It seems as though all the characters had secrets of their own - some bad, some hurtful, some just about themselves - and I couldn't wait to learn what they were hiding and to piece together what really happened to Lizzie. The situations in the book are definitely heavy topics that are of great concern in our society - bullying, teen suicide, rape, etc. These made the story very emotional and most readers will be able to identify with at least one aspect of the deeper issues discussed. I experienced similar events in high school with the bullying, so the novel had a very emotional impact on me. I easily connected with the characters and the events, more so than I normally do. The writing was absolutely captivating and shows the immense talent that the author has - it was hard to believe that this is a debut novel. I know I will be thinking about this book for a long time after I've finished it. Overall, this was a beautifully enthralling novel about some really difficult topics that also speaks of hope and forgiveness - and is definitely one that readers will not want to miss out on. Very highly recommended!

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. 

Official Links: | @Chelsea_Pitcher

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Look forward to reading this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

  2. This is such a sweet review, thank you so much!!! :) And thank you for being a part of the tour!!

  3. The S-Word sounds great...I read an excerpt and really liked Angie's POV as the heroine.

  4. This looks great and I've had it on my to-read list! Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. I've been seeing this book everywhere lately! I need to see what all the fuss is about lol.

    Thanks for the chance to win.