Young Adult Debut Promotions: The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Young Adult Debut Promotions (YADP) is a post I do to help out debut authors, and to get them noticed.  My posts will definitely include a feature of the book, a feature of the author, and a giveaway, with an interview, guest post, or excerpt optional.  If you would like more information about YADP click here and scroll down until you come to the section talking about it.

Today I am featuring...

Chelsea Pitcher
And she will be doing a guest post and giveaway!

The S-Word
by Chelsea Pitcher
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 7, 2013
by Gallery Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)

Goodreads / Purchase
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker. 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.

Guest Post:

Several years ago, I was flipping through a magazine when I came across an interview with Natalie Portman. In it, the interviewer mentioned that Portman hails from the same hometown as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan (notorious partiers at the time). Why, the interviewer mused, did Natalie suppose those girls behaved so differently from her? Did she have anything to say about their behavior?

It was clear the interviewer was baiting her. All she had to do was bite. But Portman took the high road, saying (and I’m paraphrasing here, as this was a while ago):

I don’t know what kind of person I’d be without the support of my family. They are my rock.

It isn’t such a novel idea, is it? Of course a person’s support system affects her choices. Yet, so many times, when faced with a behavior we don’t understand, the inclination is to lash out, rather than try to relate. To do what’s easy, instead of what’s right.

Years later, as I sat down to write THE S-WORD, this idea still resonated with me. It might have even resonated more, considering the book’s high school setting. After all, how common is it to see a fellow student wearing an unusual outfit, and whisper quietly to a friend, “What was she thinking?” How easy is it to see a boy huddled in the park, lips clinging desperately to a joint, and mutter, “He’s wasting his life”?

After that, the names come easily: slut, burnout, loser, skank. They’re just whispers, shared between two friends. And even if they do catch on the wind and spread like wildfire, what’s the big deal? We’ve all heard that “sticks and stones” thing a thousand times. Words are only words. 

They’re harmless. 

Well here’s the thing. If we lived in a perfect world, where everyone had a supportive family and awesome friends, maybe being bullied at school wouldn’t have the power to ruin someone’s life. Those taunts could still hurt, scrape, and gnaw away at a person’s sense of value, but through the support of their family and friends, they’d find a way to get through it. They’d come home to hugs and encouragement and spend the night laughing on the phone with their friends. They’d ride on unicorns while Care Bears shot rainbows out of their tummies and…

You see where this is going. In reality, no one has such a perfect life. Even those with supportive families suffer through bouts of loneliness and insecurity. Those surrounded by friends still wonder if they’re truly known by the people in their lives. And what about the majority of teens, the ones without an ever-supportive family and awesome friends?

The ones whose parents work so often they never actually see their kids?

The ones who’ve been bounced in and out of foster homes their entire lives?

The ones who suffer abuse at the hands of their relatives?

In their own houses. 

In their own bedrooms. 

What about them?

The truth is, we often have no idea what’s going in someone’s personal life. No idea what their family is really like. No idea what they’ve already survived. And by passing on little slut-like words to our friends, even if we think no one is listening, we could be doing much more than ruining a person’s day.

We could be taking away her only safe place.

By reducing a person to an outfit, an action, a word, we could be ripping away someone’s only reprieve in a world wrought with pain, loss or abuse. And what does that leave him?


It’s something to think about, at least, the next time that cleverly crafted taunt forms on your lips. God, what a laugh you’ll get! People will be rolling on the floor. Then again, you could be taking away a person’s last refuge, leaving her nowhere to feel safe, untouched, undestroyed.

Is it worth it?


~There will be 1 winner
~Giveaway ends on May 17, 2013 @ 12:00 A.M.
~This giveaway is US/CAN

Finished copy of The S-Word.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get to know Chelsea Pitcher:


Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.




  1. Thank you for sharing and the giveaway too!

  2. Thank you so much for having me!! :)

  3. Your book sounds AMAZING! I can't wait to read it & Congrats on the release! :) Thanks for the giveaway too! :)

  4. This book sounds really intense and emotional. I can't wait to read this! Thank you for the giveaway :)

  5. I hate that word too and that seems to be no male equivalent.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. This book sounds like an emotional read.

  7. can't wait! sounds like an intense adventure that i can't wait to dive in. thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Gosh, this sounds awesome! I've seen it everywhere, lately. Congrats to Chelsea!

  9. Ohmygosh. This guest post really got me thinking about how I judge a lot of my fellow high-schoolers who are making really bad choices and have a life devoid of morals. Maybe they were never taught to have the same standards I have, maybe they have something really hard going on. This doesn't mean that I can excuse what they're doing, but I should at least try and help them instead of assuming they are just completely horrible people for doing what they do or behaving a certain way. Thank you for this post. This has been an eye-opening piece of self-reflection. I will definitely be reading The S-Word sometime soon.

    Marie @ Marie's Bookworm Blog


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