Friday, 7 November 2014

The Hit List Blog Tour - Guest Post & Giveaway

Title: The Hit List
Author: Nikki Urang
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: November 11, 2014

The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to be a new beginning for Sadie Bryant. Moving across the country is exactly what she needs to escape the gossip surrounding her injury, the devastating betrayal of her ex-partner, and to rebuild her career as a solo dancer.

When the school announces that the annual Fall Showcase, a performance that secures a spot studying in London, will now require each dancer to have a partner, Sadie’s fresh start is a nightmare. Now she has to dance with Luke Morrison, the school womanizer with a big ego. Sadie doesn’t know how to trust Luke enough to dance with him after her last partner left her broken, but Luke is determined to change that.

Then, The Hit List comes out. A game of sexual conquest where guys get points for all the girls they hook up with—and it seems like every guy at the school is playing.

The girl worth the most points? Sadie.

Sexual harassment is a term that most people are familiar with. You may or may not know that sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advances or remarks. It can be verbal or physical, like a proposition or touching or it can be non-verbal, like a look. It can be obvious, like grabbing someone, or it can be obscure, like a joke.

It doesn’t matter how blatant or subtle, sexual harassment is not okay.

Chances are pretty good that you know someone who has been a victim of some sort of sexual harassment or abuse, whether they’ve told you or not. And sadly, chances are too high that you’ve experienced a form of it yourself.

Unfortunately, schools are a common place for sexual harassment and abuse to occur. Games and pranks happen all the time, sometimes with a clear target and sometimes not. THE HIT LIST was born from a conversation I had with a friend when we were in high school who told me the senior guys were betting on who could sleep with a freshman girl the fastest. The internet has made anonymous harassment possible. Social media allows it to spread like wild fire. Sometimes it feels like schools aren’t doing their part to stop it. Sometimes they’re doing all they can.

One of the threads of THE HIT LIST is an online game that awards points for various sexual acts, including a list of girls worth bonus points, all broadcast for anyone with an internet connection to see on a blog. The goal of this game is simple: earn the most points by documenting sexual encounters and submitting them to The Hit Man. Anything is fair game as long as consent is provided.

While this game might not be in every school, the things that happen as a result are something real teens face every day, things that Sadie has to deal with, too.

Healthy relationships don’t involve sexual manipulation, deceit, or bullying. Anyone who cares about you won’t lie to you in order to get something from you. They won’t tell you that you need to do something for them because they did something for you. They won’t pressure you into doing something you’re not ready for.

You never have to do something you don’t want to do. You don’t have to just deal with someone brushing up against you or touching you in a way you aren’t comfortable with. You are not in the wrong if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy because of someone else’s actions.

Talking about harassment is important. Not everyone is a victim, but everyone can work to prevent it. Stand up against harassment when you see it. Don’t allow it to continue. Together, we can stop it.

If you have been a victim of sexual abuse or harassment, please reach out for help. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673).

About the Author

Nikki fell in love with books at a young age and looked forward to reading a book with her mom before bed every night. It was only a matter of time until her love of reading turned into a love of putting those words onto the page. Now, her days are spent helping those overcoming opiate addiction and her nights are spent writing. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two stubborn cats.
Links: Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads - Tumblr - Pinterest
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