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.
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.
The S-Word is probably the most haunting book that I have read this year. That says a lot since I read If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, and I thought that was as haunting as it could get this year. The S-Word is sort of told from two perspectives, but the most dominant voice is that of the main character, Angie’s. Angie had caught her best friend, Lizzie, with her boyfriend, Drake, on prom night. After that, Lizzie became a social outcast, and she was bullied so much that she ultimately committed suicide.
Not a week after Lizzie’s death, entries from her journal start circulating around the school. Angie decides that she wants to know who and what caused Lizzie’s death. Who caused her to jump off of that building? Who started the bullying? Why did they think it was their right? How could they be punished? Those were only some of the questions going through Angie’s head, and she was on a mission to seek justice for her best friend.
Along the road to find out what all happened to Lizzie, Angie discovers new friends and enemies and opens up secrets long hidden. She discovers things that she would have never guessed about the people around her, and her best friend, Lizzie. The S-Word is an eye-opening, heartbreaking, and haunting read that will stick with readers, young and old, for as long as they will remember.
Chelsea Pitcher’s writing style is so unique and beautiful; I was hooked right away. It did take me quite awhile to finish this book, but that didn’t have anything to do with the quality of the book. No, it was actually pretty tough to read about a lot of the things that happen in this book. I work with kids from daycare to 4th grade, so I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to child abuse and child suicide. Those are huge factors in this book. It made me a little uncomfortable, and I will admit that I had to skim a lot of this book, because I just could not read about those things. This is something that I need to warn people about because some of the topics in this book might be uncomfortable or might hit a trigger for certain people.
I loved the mystery that surrounded The S-Word. So many things were happening at once, and I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. I did guess a couple things, but others floored me. I think that readers will really enjoy this. Everyone loves a good mystery that they can’t guess the answer to right away. Like I mentioned above, though, the mystery can get a bit scary. I had to really put myself in the right mind frame to continue on and solve the mystery, and even then it was too hard for me at times.
There were a couple negative notes for me in this book. First, I didn’t really care for either Angie or Lizzie. Angie was a little weird. She also seemed very dependent on men and very needy. Her relationship with Jesse was awkward and uncomfortable at best. I just didn’t care for her. As for Lizzie, it wasn’t so much that I disliked her, because she’s dead. All that’s really being shown of her are back flashes. It was actually Lizzie’s journal entries that I didn’t like. I haven’t met a teenager who writes like that. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, but her writing was very outdated and old. Very lyrical and poetic in an old fashioned sense. For the most part, I ended up skimming her journal entries, because everything she said was just repeated in the next chapter.
It was also pretty hard to read about some of the topics in this book. It’s not just a book about bullying. You have rape, child rape, child abuse, neglect, bullying, poverty, gender issues, suicide, etc. That was too much for one book for my personal taste. This is realistic fiction, though, so I can’t really hold any of that against the book. But those are only some of the major issues that are going on in the book. It was just too much.
Even though I have some complaints with this book, I still loved it. I’ve never actually been able to say that I loved a book when I skimmed a large amount of it, but I did. I only skimmed, because I couldn’t bear to read about certain topics. I’m a wimp…I don’t deny it. But the writing and the intensity that Pitcher brings to this book are outstanding. I don’t know how she physically and emotionally got through writing this book, but it is beautiful.
Overall, I would recommend that every contemporary fan go read this book. If you are uncomfortable with any of the topics mentioned above, you might decide to stay away from it. I said before that this book was haunting, and I wasn’t kidding. I finished this book at 1 a.m., and that was a horrible decision on my part. I had the hardest time sleeping after reading that last half of the book. It’s spooky, but it’s addicting. This book releases tomorrow, so make sure you go get your copies.
Source: Finished Copy provided by the publisher
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Teaser Quote: “I don’t so much as jumps as
I’m halfway to the ground when your eyes finally meet mine in recognition.
You step out of the way just in time.
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
Carey and her little sister Jenessa have lived in the woods for as long as they can remember. For Jenessa, it’s been her whole life. They’ve survived off beans and other canned foods, had no running water or electricity, shared a cot in a trailer, and were constantly abused by their meth-addict mother when she was actually around. But their mom has now been missing for two months, and food supplies are running low. Carey doesn’t know how much longer she and her sister can survive without their mom.
One afternoon a man and a woman appear in the woods, claiming that Carey’s mother sent them a letter claiming that she could no longer take care of the girls. It comes out that Carey’s mother kidnapped her when she was four-years-old, and now the man (her father) has found her and is going to take both the girls back to live with him and his family. There, Carey finds new clothes, and unhappy step-sister, a new life, a new school, and old and new friends who will forever stick by her side.
For all my life, at least throughout my teenage years up till now, I have loved kidnapping cases, murder cases, missing persons..everything along those lines. There are times that my DVR will be filled with those types of shows. Trust me, it drives my mother nuts. So when I read the back of If You Find Me, I knew that it was a book specifically for me. I had not doubt that I was going to love this book.
I fell in love with If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch after the first paragraph. Normally it takes me a few chapters to fall in love with a book, but not with this one. The first paragraph was all it took. That paragraph prepared me for an amazing read to come, and I knew that I was not going to be disappointed. This time I was right.
The main character, Carey, was so strong, heartbreaking, dedicated and loyal that she actually became a real person in my eyes. I was drawn to her character immediately, and it was amazing to have the chance to watch her growth throughout the book. I also fell in love with the younger sister, Jenessa, as I think all of the characters in the book did as well. At times, it was hard to read about a six-year old girl who went through everything that she did, but she was such a little trooper. In all honesty, this book would not have been nearly as good without her.
If You Find Me is so genuine, so….raw…it just feels so real. The writing was consistently amazing throughout the whole book. It never had downer moments or boring chunks. It was just perfection all the way through. I will say that this book left me emotionally exhausted when I finished it. I don’t think that I have ever read a book where I have cried so much. I was just a giant mess from the beginning to the end.
I loved watching the relationships in this story. There was Carey and her little sister Jenessa, who she raised from birth. Then there was the timid relationship between Carey and her father. It was heart wrenching to read about them together. Carey’s mom had told her such awful things about her dad, and she was afraid of him. I loved watching that fear slowly dissolve. Some of the best relationships in this book were between Carey and her step-sister, Delaney, and those of her and her newfound friends. Carey’s being forced into situations that she never thought she would have the chance to experience, and it warmed my heart to read about them.
A bit of warning, this book strongly discusses the topics of drugs and rape. If you can’t handle those topics, then do not read this book. Personally, I thought that those topics made the book stronger. Both Carey and Jenessa had to go through so much during their young lives, and the honesty and realistic quality of the book were well received on my end.
My few complaints with the book are very simple ones. First, the book needed to be longer. It’s only 256 pages, but it needed to be a lot longer, in my opinion. There was so much that wasn’t captured in this book that I was hoping to see. Secondly, I was hoping for some scenes that never happened. I wanted to see the girls in therapy, I wanted to see more of their time in school, and I wanted the mother to come back in the picture for a brief period later in the book. These things didn’t happen, so I feel that Carey’s story is very unfinished. I believe that If You Find Me is a standalone, but I would love to see more books from Emily Murdoch in the future, even if they just cover Jenessa or Delaney’s story. Finally, I really didn’t like how much of her childhood Carey actually remembered. I barely remember anything from when I was four. And, yes, it make sense that Carey remembered a thing here or there. But it was really weird to have someone mention something and her be like “Oh, yes! I remember that!” and then remember a bunch of scenes about it.
Guys….this book was so amazing. I cried, my heart broke, and then I cried some more. I was an emotional basket case from the very beginning. I want to recommend this book to each and every one of you. This is what great writing is. All of you need to go out and read Carey’s story.
This book actually released today, so go out and get your copy. If you’re looking for something similar to If You Find Me, I would suggest Nora Roberts Quinn Brothers of Chesapeake Bay series. It’s an adult series, but it is amazing, and I have read it way too many times to count.
Publication Date: March 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Teaser Quote: “Beans ain’t free, but they’re on the cheap, and here in the Obed Wild and Scenic River National Park, dubbed ‘The Hundred Acre Wood,’ I must know close to one hundred ways to fix beans. From the dried, soaked-in-water variety to beans in the can-baked beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans….
It don’t sound important. It’s just beans, after all, the cause of square farts, as my sister used to say with a giggle on the end. But when you’re livin in the woods like Jenessa and me, with no runnin’ water or electricity, with Mama gone to town for long stretches of time, leavin’ you in charge of feedin’ a younger sister – nine years younger – with a stomach rumblin’ like a California earthquake , inventin’ new and interestin’ ways to fix beans becomes very important indeed.
That’s what I’m thinkin’ as I fell the scratchy cookin’ pot full of water from the chipped porcelain jug and turn on the dancin’ blue flame of the Bunsen burner: how I can make the beans taste new tonight, along with wishin’ we had butter for the last of the bread, which we don’t, because butter don’t keep well without refrigeration.”
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
I have been dying for Mila 2.0 for months now. I love dystopia/sci fi types of books..not to mention that the cover of Mila 2.0 is so freakin cool! The book is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mila. She lives in the middle of nowhere on a ranch with her mom. Her dad just died in a horrible fire, and she is now the new girl at school. But soon there is an accident that reveals that Mila is not exactly human.
Now Mila and her mom are on the run from the government, who actually created Mila. At the same time, Mila is having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that she is an android, especially when she feels so human. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book that force Mila to accept the fact that is she an android, but still having to embrace the humanity in her as well.
There are four parts to Mila 2.0. The first part starts off a little bit slowly. That’s where most of the foundation is laid. That’s where we learn about Mila’s fake life…and then we slowly start to learn that Mila is different. But it’s during the second, third and fourth parts that Mila 2.0 is a jaw dropper.
I had a really hard time putting this book down, because it was so action packed. During the last quarter of part 1 the action starts, and then it. never. stops. So many twists and turns and “woah” moments are thrown at you in this book. I swear it like put my blood pressure way higher than it needed to be. My heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I was just in complete and utter awe.
Those of you who are way into books that have hot and heavy romances will be a little disappointed with Mila 2.0. There were two potential love interests that were introduced, Hunter and Lucas, but there was really no real romance or love triangle going on in the book. Hunter is only in the book for a very brief period of time, and Lucas plays a bigger role during the last half of the book, but there was no real attraction between him and Mila. I’m expecting that the second book will be a lot more focused on the romance factor, but it just didn’t happen in this one.
What I loved about Mila 2.0 is that I never could guess anything that was going to happen. In most books, the action scene is toward the end and predictions are made way in advance, but Mila 2.0 has a million action scenes. So many things are happening in this book, and there are so many twists and turns, that I just never knew what to expect. There were even a couple things that I guessed in the beginning of the book that never even happened. I was always on my toes, and I loved it.
I did have a slight problem with the torture scenes that are introduced when Mila is brought to the government facility. Don’t worry…there’s no gore or nastiness that happens during this book, but I really didn’t know what to expect with those scenes. I really wanted to skim those pages, because I was so flippin nervous, but I forced myself to sit through them…even if my eyes were scrunched up a little bit.
I also had a problem with Mila’s obsession with Hunter, because he really wasn’t in the book for that long. I know that he played a small part in the first few chapters, but then he just wasn’t around for like over 300 pages. And Mila was just always going on about him, and I was like seriously? You met this guy for like 2 days. Big whoop. So I did have a slight problem with that. I also didn’t fall in love with Lucas. Hopefully that changes in the second book.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza. I’m obsessed over this book and this series, and I just want more. I’m actually pretty devastated that I read Mila 2.0 already, because now I probably have to wait like a year for the second one. My advice to readers who pick up this book is to just push throughthe first so many chapters when she doesn’t really know about herself yet. Once you get through that, things pick up pretty quickly and never stop. Go read this book. It’s out in stores already, so no excuses!
Publication Date: March 12th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Teaser Quote: “The room was a small square of hopelessness.
A flash of red. And then:
Dimensions: 10 ft. by 9 ft.
I swallowed a horrific giggle. Perfect. And now I knew the exact measurements of hopelessness.”