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Four-Letter Word


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About the Author

Christa Desir writes dark contemporary fiction for young adults. She lives with her husband, three small children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has volunteered as a rape victim activist for more than ten years, including providing direct service as an advocate in hospital ERs. She also works as an editor at Samhain Publishing. Visit her at


Raw, real, and impossible to put down. Four-Letter Word tackles fitting in, sexuality, and friendship in an authentic voice teenagers will both believe and love. Without a doubt, this is Christa's bravest, best work yet.--Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice and Moxie
Tender, gripping, and deceptively haunting, Four-Letter Word reminds us just how necessary, dangerous, and potentially life changing some friendships can be. This novel is a startling jolt to the heart.--Brendan Kiely, New York Times Bestselling Coauthor of All American Boys and The Last True Love Story
Four-Letter Word is a mystery, a psychological thriller, and a searing look at what happens when we make a game out of other people's pain.--Elana K. Arnold, author of Infandous and What Girls Are Made Of
A game quickly turns sinister in this suspenseful novel from Desir (Other Broken Things) featuring high schoolers who have secrets to hide. In the game, captains of two opposing teams come up with a secret word, which the other team must guess by acquiring clues from the players, using "whatever means necessary." It all seems innocent enough when introduced by new student, Chloe Donnelly, who recently arrived in Grinnell, Iowa, and is looking for a little excitement. Chloe Sanders, however, has her own reservations as the game soon spins out of control after players resort to sexual favors and blackmail to win. By the time the teens realize how dangerous the game is, Chloe Donnelly has too much leverage on everyone to make quitting an option. Though the premise and repercussions of the game are a bit contrived, Chloe Sanders's battle to do the right thing, and her concern for her boyfriend, Mateo, who has the most to lose by quitting, provide a sense of urgency. Readers will likely be riveted to learn who ultimately wins the game and discover the truth about manipulative Chloe Donnelly.--Publishers Weekly "April 2, 2018 "

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