Lizzie wasn’t the first student at Verity High School to kill herself this year. But the difference is, she didn’t go quietly.
First it was SLUT scribbled all over the school’s lockers. But one week after Lizzie Hart takes her own life, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it–in Lizzie’s own looping scrawl. Photocopies of her diary show up in the hands of her classmates. And her best friend, Angie, is enraged.
Angie had stopped talking to Lizzie on prom night, when she caught Lizzie in bed with her boyfriend. Too heartbroken to let Lizzie explain the hookup or to intervene when Lizzie gets branded Queen of the Sluts and is cruelly bullied by her classmates, Angie left her best friend to the mercy of the school, with tragic results.
But with this new slur, Angie’s guilt transforms into anger that someone is still targeting Lizzie even after her death. Using clues from Lizzie’s diary and aided by the magnetic, mysterious Jesse, Angie begins relentlessly investigating who, exactly, made Lizzie feel life was no longer worth living. And while she might claim she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, her anguish over abandoning and then losing her best friend drives Angie deeper 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.
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. Follow her on twitter at @Chelsea_Pitcher and visit her website at ChelseaPitcher.com.
When Angie happens upon her best friend and her boyfriend the night of prom, all hell breaks loose. Lizzie, known as the Ice Queen, for being untouchable in their social circle of entitled, popular cheerleader- sport star set, becomes the victim of bullying, led by Angie. When Lizzie commits suicide soon after, Angie’s anger turns to guilt. When the word “slut” appears on Lizzie’s locker and soon reappears again in what seems to be Lizzie’s script, Angie becomes determined to find out exactly why Lizzie ended her life. Parts of Lizzie’s diary also are being circulated, pointing out the culprits that lead Lizzie to become so depressed that she can see no other way out.
This is part mystery, part social commentary, as Angie tries to pin down who is spreading Lizzie’s diary around the school. We also get to know Lizzie a bit more through these little insights. The uncovers a horrible truth about surviving high school with all of the twists and turns of bullying and mean girls. Although the picture painted is pretty bleak, the author does offer some hope for those who feel they are different. This is really a heartfelt read and speaks to an important problem that teens face today. Parents: mentions of alcohol, suicide and as well as some sexual situations.
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