Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Four-Letter Word” as Want to Read:
Four-Letter Word
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Four-Letter Word

3.15  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. And a night that will ruin them all, in this high stakes gripping story of manipulation and innocence lost, from the author of Bleed Like Me.

Chloe Sanders has wasted the better part of her junior year watching her best friend Eve turn away from her for the more interesting and popular Holly Reed. Living with her grandparents
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Simon Pulse
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Four-Letter Word, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Four-Letter Word

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  120 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Four-Letter Word
Carlene Inspired
3.5 Stars

Four-Letter Word tells the alarming story of Chloe Sanders and her sort-of friends as they give in to the whim of the new girl, the seemingly larger than life Chloe Donnelly that gives narrator Chloe a new nickname, Other Chloe. New Chloe comes from Chicago, seems to know about everything, and uses a game to control the 7 friends. What seems to be a simple game becomes something much scarier when the truth is revealed, people will do anything they need to in order to protect their
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Security and a sense of belonging aren’t Chloe’s strongpoints. When new girl named Chloe arrives in school and dubs her “OtherChloe”, Chloe feels even more left out. New Chloe proposes a game girls against boys with the prize being Platinum Favors, Chloe becomes even more alienated. And the stakes are too high. Too high for some.

Chloe and the other teens’ biggest mistake is that they all have, but don’t listen to, the voice inside their heads that says ‘Stop. Proceed with caution.’ She
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, dissapointed
When Chloe Donnelly becomes the new kid of the high school and infiltrates her group of friends, Chloe Sanders’ life makes a drastic turn. Her parents have been living in Africa doing volunteer work for a few years so Chloe lives with her Fox News obsessed grandparents. Her best friend Eve is pulling away from Chloe and focusing more on Holly, a newbie to their group of about a year. Chloe Donnelly becomes part of this skewed group, and soon these four girls along with four guys are roped into ...more
Katelyn Russ
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 it was okay. kind of juvenile. reminded me of why i began to stray away from young adult books. ...more
Mandie Baxter
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
It’s been a long time since I sat down and read a book in one sitting. But this one had me up until 1 am because I couldn’t stop reading. It was so good!!! I remember hearing about it years ago and couldn’t wait to jump in. Well worth the wait. It’s also been a long time since I met a main character who was so painfully awkward, but in a good, realistic way.
Maria Katsulos
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, tla2018
Do you ever finish a book and think that it has possibly garnered five stars, but the more you think about it, the more it shows its true, albeit still very interesting, colors? For me, that was Four-Letter Word by Christa Desir.

Four-Letter Word honestly had one of my favorite expositions of the books I've read so far this year. As a recent high school graduate, I thought that the way Desir wove in the different conflicts and characters in Chloe Sanders' life was pretty seamless -- nobody was
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gillian Flynn meets Judy Blume in Christa Desir's latest YA work. An intriguing new girl shows up at high school and inserts herself into the lives of a group of friends. She introduces them to a new game and before they know it, secrets are being revealed, friendships are being torn apart, and lives are being turned upside down. Christa Desir once again gives us frank talk, real-world scenarios, and no apologies for telling it like it is. This is the book I wish I could have given to my ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
The blurb from the cover is a pretty accurate description of the book...the plot centers around this group of eight students playing multiple games of Gestapo, things progressively getting more tense until everything blows up, Chloe Donnelly ends up missing, and the other seven teens are implicated in her disappearance..dun dun dun!

Obviously I did not enjoy this book, but good lord, where do I even begin?

Main character Chloe is boring, sanctimonious, and incredibly judgmental. Even more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Chloe Sanders has moved back to her hometown of Grinnell, Iowa, after spending a period of time in Burkina Faso, Africa, with her parents, who joined the Spirit Corps in order to do humanitarian service abroad. Since moving back to Grinnell and living with her grandparents, Chloe has had a relatively mundane life --- that is until Chloe Donnelly comes to town. She encourages the now dubbed “Other Chloe” and her friends to play a word game called Gestapo. When the stakes rise and the player’s ...more
So that blurb overhypes what this game is and what’s at stake and as a result the book felt like a let-down. On top of that Other Chloe is self aware to a fault, to the point where things start to feel unrealistic, especially toward the end where Other Chloe makes all sorts of assertions and realizations that fit so neatly into the plot. Then the book over-explained everything into deflation. Like a balloon losing all its air. It just was an all around let-down.

This was a book listed on Riveted
Cierra Clark
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Four-Letter Word”
By: Christa Desir
A game played with eight “friends” ending with a reward most people would want, a platinum favor. One night that leads to many regrets, leaving all of them at the police station. This fictional book is called “four-letter Word” by Christa Desir.

“Four-Letter Word” is written in first person of a seventeen year old girl named Chloe Sanders. She’s struggling to hold on to her relationship with her “best friend”, while she’s found a new best friend, Holly Reed.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
** Age warning!! **
This book is the fucking best. OK EVEN AFTER ALL THAT, I STILL WANNA PLAY GESTAPO WITH MY FRIENDS. but the practice fun version not the actual version that ruined their lives. ANyway this book was PERFECT it was full of DRAMA and I was living vicariously through them and soaking in all their drama without having to go through it myself because i love it but don't want it for myself just want to hear about other people's. well, characters (since theyre not real LOL). Two words:
Ale96_CalS Paola
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received a temporary digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

This was one of the most frustrating books I have ever read. The writing was good and the plot was original, until the end, but I pretty much hated every...single...character...

Chloe, the main character was probably the worst. She was so judgmental of everyone, when she, herself couldn't do anything wrong. She is supposed to be 17 years old, practically an adult but her character reads like a whiny 12 year old.
Girl Anonymous
This book was not enjoyable for me at all.
First and foremost, it really misses the suspense/“page-turning” factor. I understand that the audience is supposed to feel for the characters and want to know what happens to them, but most of the characters(with exception of a few) were just one sided and cruel(even with their secrets revealed—singing is not going to make me have sympathy for a cheater). Furthermore, this book doesn’t seamlessly transition opinions. Even though I do agree with a
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-copyright
Chloe and her friends live in a small town in Iowa. When new girl, Chloe Donnelly shows up and proposes a game, a girls vs guys challenge that seems fun and exciting, Other Chloe and her friends are excited to participate. As the game gets more serious, trust and friendships shatter.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I loved the mystery and the twisted elements of the game seem totally plausible for high school. There are several high school students who be totally into reading this
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
* I received an e-galley from Netgalley in return for an honest review.*
Wow, so I read this in one day. And I'd kind of be surprised if you could do it any other way because it just keeps going. You are always wondering what is really going on and what is going to happen next. Wasn't as thrilled with the ending, kind of a let down, so that's why it is only a 4.5.
Chloe is having friend issues with Eve (her former bestie) and Holly when the new Chloe shows up after Spring Break. This new Chloe
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved all the Grinnell details, and I found the soap-opera-y drama of the Gestapo game compelling for about half of the book, at which point it started to feel repetitive. I did not love the insta-romance between Chloe and Mateo, nor did I love some of the details of the sexual content. (Sex positive = yay; completely unrealistic depiction of first sex between teenagers = nay; sex in my college chapel = big nay)
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
All this lead up and mystery for a climax and “solution” in the last 20 pages? No actual wrapping up of any story lines, character arcs, anything? I can’t imagine being the editor of this book and thinking that didn’t need to be fixed.

A 400 page book with 380 pages of lead up and the last 20 pages felt like the author went “oh crap I forgot to write an ending and it’s due in two hours”. Big yikes.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Incredibly boring - I thought it was going to be super dramatic and heart breaking in a completely different way than it was. Plus, I couldn't figure out what age group this was supposed to be for. It was a mix of telling everyone everything about growing up and girls bodies, while also trying to deal with heavy topics like grieving, though that was shoved to the side.
Super weird.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2019, 1-dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maddie S.
I thought that this book was a pretty good read. It definitely discusses some mature themes, and I would have liked a better ending, but wouldn't we all? If you're interested in teen fiction/young adult novels, I'd check it out! It's a good read for sure.
Angel Graham
Aug 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book. The only redeeming character was a secondary. Melissa. The game was stupid. The new Chloe was off her rocker from the get go. All the primary characters were just nasty. I wasted time and money on this book.
Nicole Gill
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Need to read this
Jan 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The beginning was good and some of the characters were well developed, but it became a bit repetitive and then the ending was very abrupt, with a lot of unanswered questions.
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This might be an ok read for an older teen, but I wouldn’t recommend for younger ones. I was a little scandalized.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
very long, and the plot was meh.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine the horror that with four letters, your deepest darkest secrets are tumbled in front of your closest friends and enemies. Chloe Sanders soon discovers how far she and her friends will go to protect those secrets- and it costs them all greatly. Four-Letter Word reminds us that not all high school problems are trivial and that everyone has something to hide.
Jessica McAllister
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, aug-2018-tbr
Wow. I can't believe I sat through this whole book. This book definitely was not for me. The plot was mediocre at best. The majority of our characters were all HORRIBLE. They were so cruel and selfish. The "Friendships" in this book were a joke. They were all catty and vicious and even our main character- who I guess was supposed to be the moral compass of the group was horrible and judgemental. The plot twist at the end was ridiculous and there was ZERO character development or consequences for ...more
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Six Months Later
  • The Best Lies
  • Here Lies Daniel Tate
  • How She Died, How I Lived
  • One Was Lost
  • Little Do We Know
  • People Like Us (People Like Us, #1)
  • The Athena Protocol
  • The Survival of Molly Southbourne
  • Best Friends (Real Friends, #2)
  • Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)
  • The Truth Lies Here
  • When She Was Bad
  • Stargazing
  • Even If I Fall
  • Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4)
  • The Arrangement
See similar books…
I'm a YA author who loves dark contemporary books. Novels include: FAULT LINE (Oct 2013), BLEED LIKE ME (Oct 2014), OTHER BROKEN THINGS (Jan 2016), LOVE BLIND (May 2016), and FOUR-LETTER WORD (May 2018).

I am also a feminist, rape victim activist, book seller, and romance novel editor. I live outside of Chicago with my husband and our three children.