The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
I haven’t roasted a book in a while because I’ve hit a streak of winners lately. Unfortunately, every great read streak must hit its end, and the end of this one is entitled The S-Word. I like a good “teen issue” book. I could reread Speak once a month and never get tired of it. However, authors sometimes tend to shove as many issues as possible into the same book, perhaps in hopes that hitting enough hot buttons will capture readers’ attention. Then they forget that good books come from good writing, believable plotting, and sympathetic characters. I don’t care how many problems a story addresses. If I don’t like the character, don’t believe the story, and find myself groaning over the prose and dialogue, I can’t get behind the book.
Gallery Books, ISBN-10 1451695160, $10.99 trade paper, May 2013
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.
At first, this book held my attention in spite of the poor writing because I wanted to solve the mysteries. Unfortunately, the mysteries became transparent quickly except for one plot twist so stunningly nonsensical that I stopped reading the book for two days and only finished it to keep improving my feedback score on Netgalley.
Instead of wasting a lot of time and space ranting about wanting the wasted hours of my life back, I’m going to take a cue from the book and review it the way its characters review Lizzie: locker graffiti! You may have to click the image for the full size as photos don’t fit so well on this theme. Enjoy!