Thursday, January 2, 2014

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher {REVIEW}

Book Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Publication Date: May 7th 2013
                                by Gallery Books
ISBN: 1451695160
Edition Language: English



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.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review:

So, I had mixed feelings after finishing this book. Firstly, because I like this book for some reasons. But then again, there were issues with the writing throughout the story. And I couldn't bash the author (being a good person I never do that *angel face*) for writing in such a way because I could clearly see her talents behind those mistakes.

From the beginning this book is really interesting and very intriguing. It starts off really well. Lizzie and Angie are two friends. The story opens to let us know through Angie that Lizzie had committed suicide after being bullied at school. The way the story opens with a very good plot and sub plots. Bullying is a serious issue and Chelsea Pitcher is wise to address the kind of bullying found here. Also, as a mystery novel, the story is a full-on five. The suspense and mystery element is well built and maintained throughout the story. I was wondering throughout the whole novel about Lizzie. But for me the only issues were the writing style and the characters.

The writing was never fluid. In some places I had to struggle to keep up. Often the narration became to boring to keep up with, even stagnant.In addition to that, some of the characters seemed devoid of proper or any reaction at all. Angie's best friend had cheated on her with her boyfriend, but I never felt her showing the type of anger or hurt or pain. She seems to go on a more philosophical route. None of her feelings, at least to me, never felt like real, rather forced. She doesn't exhibit a high-school girl traits dealing with this kind of a situation. I know it's hard to draw a successful character, specially if it's a high school girl or a guy, because that is an age of inconsistency itself (doesn't trying to sound like a granny or anything, just my own experience ;))

Even the character Lizzie, who is dead by the time we see her, suffers from the lack of character. The sensitive part I get, but from the description, she never appears as a high school girl either. Specially her journal entries; my ten years old cousin writes better than that. I get it, that I'm supposed to feel sorry for her, as the author may have wanted, and I did. Up until a point, I really felt sad for her...and then she started appearing as an immature sissy feeble heart (and I don't really admire girls who break down in problematic situations like that), and though I'd have loved to feel sympathy for her, I couldn't.
Moving on to the guys, in the whole novel, the only guy that was worth my attention was Jesse. The whole idea of a cross-dressing cute high school guy who may or may not be gay was quite unique and I loved it. He is the only one, to a very little yet satisfactory extent, the only person who is able to provide the right emotions at the right times, almost. But similar to other two, I just wish there was more finesse to his character.

The book, no doubt at all, has a great message to convey. Bullying and practically branding a girl with the 'S word' is not as simple to deal with as it may seem. It focuses on the point all over again that no matter if a girl is the culprit or the victim, most often then not, she'll be the only one to face the unpleasant consequences, much like Hester Prynne from Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, while the boy involved can simply move on and have a pretty normal life. For me, it would have been a five on five star novel if the narrative was a little less choppy, and Angie and Lizzie were portrayed as real life high school girls.

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