One misunderstood moment in time leads to a silent tragedy and the search for the reason why…

The S-WordThe S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, teen suicide has been done before and yes so has high school life, despite all that I think this was an incredibly good book.
It saddens me to think that our children, teens and young adults are forced to partcipate in what I can only call a daily theatrical appearance, which is known as school. Forced to scheme, adjust, lie to fit in and/or try to get by without becoming a target.
They are either in the group that taunts others, so they don’t become the taunted or they are the ones being flogged emotionally, pyschologically and often physically. (flogged being a metaphor for the bullying).
This farce of social interaction whilst growing up is a breeding ground for crimes, which are deemed harmless, just pranks or the games of children. These crimes are a loophole in all legal systems because they are committed under the guise of children just teasing children. I wonder how many deaths it will take before someone realises that there has to be some kind of consequence for such cruel and vile acts of social and personal annihilation.
Anyway I digress.
The main character is consumed by anger, guilt and is seeking the truth about Lizzie. She knows why Lizzie committed suicide but she wants to understand how it got to that point. Working her way thrugh the intricate details of the last few weeks/months before the tragic event it suddenly becomes a search for someone to blame.
The reader gets a good look at the way the teenage mind works. How one slight of hand or single decision can make a person set events in motion that can never be unheard, unseen or forgotten.
The author shows us how a click of a social media button or the sending of one email can light the fire under the supposed heretics stake.
Each act is linked to another and each person has their own secrets and reasons for contributing to the suicide.
Leaving aside the issue of cruelty amongst young people there is also the subtle message that is asking each one of us to look closely before we judge. To think before we cast aspersions on a person’s character and to remember that none of us know what goes on behind closed doors, nor do we know what is thought by those who we believe to know the most.
It is in essence asking us to think before we act, to hesitate before we cast the first stone.
That might seem a little complex for the content of this book and yet this is exactly why it was so good.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews


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