May 7, 2014

My Thoughts: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

3 soft & spicy snickerdoodles.

Cover Love:  Kind of.  I do think it's eye-catching and makes you want to pick it up, but it also looks kind of like a self-help book.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
The blog Teen Librarian's Toolbox was doing a lot posts about sexual assaults in April and one post made me want to read this one.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
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.
Romance?: Yes, there are a few of them sprinkled here and there.

My Thoughts:
I read The Truth About Alice (which is an upcoming release) first, then this one.  Both are books based on rumors about girls and they are both strong.   However, this one almost read like a thriller, certainly like a mystery and not as true to life as I felt Alice was.  It might not be fair to compare them, but its kind of hard not to.

Angie placed so much of the guilt about what happened to Lizzie on herself, and she did deserve some of it, but not all.  If she'd have just talked to Lizzie after the incident everything would have been different.  I understand the anger and the hurt, but throwing away a friendship without even talking to the person involved was such a knee jerk reaction. So much could have been fixed by talking!

The problem was that Angie let her guilt take her to such a dark place that even when she was offered a lifeline she could barely grab it, let alone hold on to it.  This is where the story went off the rails a bit for me.  She was so focused on revenge and absolution, it was hard to read.  She needed some good counseling to get over this, not revenge.

I don't expect that Lizzie would have committed suicide anyway, but her home life was not stellar.  She might never had been better until she got away from her father.

Everyone was guilty of something in this book, not speaking up, not forgiving, the double standard with the boy involved, like in Thirteen Reasons Why there were many reasons that Lizzie committed suicide and the aftermath of the prom was just one of them. 

To Sum Up:  Another powerful novel about how rumors and gossip can destroy lives!  Many teens need to read books like this to hold a mirror up to their own actions.

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