The S-Word

The S-Word - Chelsea Pitcher (Full review can be found on my blog, Paper Riot.)First thoughtInnnnnteresting. More thoughtsWhat surprised me most about The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher was how very dark it was. Though the beginning of the book wasn't at all light, after about 40% it started to get so dark and complex that I was both intrigued and appalled by what was happening (and more importantly: what had happened before). I had some trouble finding myself in the story at first, because there were so many different characters and storylines that seemed to be randomly put together just to create the feeling of complexity. It felt... unstable. Forced, even. The fact that I didn't feel anything for the main character certainly didn't help.But as it turns out, it was more complex than I'd thought it would be. Because after the first couple of chapters, the storylines became more intertwined, the secrets became darker, and I became more and more intrigued. And though I was feeling quite distanced from the book at first, I ended up being unable to put it down and drawn into it in a way I can't explain. If anything, I am impressed with Pitcher's writing and the way she created such a multi-layered, unexpected story. Pitcher tackles some tough topics, but not in a way it was too much for me. Just in a way that I was glad that my high school experience was nothing like what is described in this book, because man. It was pretty intense.As for Angie, she certainly doesn't deserve the award for most likeable character. I didn't really hate her, but I definitely didn't like her either. I was mostly unattached to her, though I did begin to find her more interesting as the story continued. Or maybe I was more disgusted by her dark humor and cruelty. Either way, there were some secrets about her character that came as a surprise to me, and made me realize just how much Lizzie's death had messed her up. But the only times I liked Angie were when the romance was involved, a romance I was particularly invested in because it was so refreshing and unique (and also intense).What I liked about this book was that, even though she's already dead in the beginning of this book, we get to know Lizzie through the pages of her diary, and sometimes, I felt like I knew her better than Angie. Overall, The S-Word gave a very clear message: maybe we don't know other people like we think we do, even (or especially) the people closest to us. Filled with lies and secrets and betrayal, it was mostly an intense read for me, surprisingly dark and strangely compelling. And though it won't end up on my favorites shelf, I am glad that I read it, because it was... something.