Sarah Pekkanen's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Today's guest: Sarah Pekkanen Why we love her: Her books fit women like the perfect little black dress.

Her latest book: These Girls (Out tomorrow: April 10th!)

The scoop: Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.

Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.

Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Our thoughts: As BFF's for 25 years, to say we relate to the novel's central theme of friendship is an understatement. Hands down, this is Sarah's best book yet. Our question: How does she keep topping herself?

Fun fact: She was the first author we hosted on Chick Lit is Not Dead over three years ago.

Giveaway: 5 copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners on Sunday, April 15 after 6pm PST.


1. You're not as dorky as you suspect you are.  Stand up straighter and smile and talk to some of the people milling past you in the hallway. I promise they're not all laughing at you behind your back. In fact, many of them are every bit as insecure as you. Even the mean girls. Especially the mean girls! Okay, so don't talk to them, but your high school is bursting with interesting, smart, funny, quirky people. One of them, a blonde girl who also loves to write, will become your best friend two decades after you graduate. Go over and say hi to her - you can do it! (I'm nudging my teen self  in the shoulder now).

2. That spiral perm you're saving up for? Oh, dear God, no - back away from the hair salon, slowly, and your 9th grade pictures won't make you cringe forever. I know you think fun, bouncy curls will make a zippy change from your stick-staright hair. But you're going to end up with a head full of frizz, a look that will not be improved upon when your hair begins to grow out and the top half is stick-straight and the bottom half is a mass of frizz. For the next few months, people will come up to you and say, "Oh... you got a perm." And then there will be a long, painful silence as they desperately try to come up with something positive to say about your new 'do. They will be unsuccessful in their attempts. If you really want a change, put more lemon juice in your hair and sit out by the pool. Yes, I realize that doesn't work, but I'm trying to distract you from the perm horror that awaits you.

3. Keep doing sports. You're on the track team and the field hockey team, and there's no better way for a teenage girl to spend her time. You're checking out the bruises on your shins (admit it, you're proud of them) instead of the size of your ass in the mirror, and that's pretty wonderful. You're learning about teamwork, and commitments, and losing when you want to win more than anything in the world, and giving it your all until you're about to collapse. Those lessons that will serve you well throughout the rest of your life.

4. The local Saks Fifth Avenue that hired you as a teen model? Um, one of the first jobs they're going to call you for will involved you putting on a giant, fuzzy, Winnie-the-Pooh costume. You're not really going to understand why, but they're paying you, so it's all good. Except for the fact that you invited a guy to come see you model, and he will instead witness you lurching around Saks dressed as a bear named Pooh. This may not help your reputation.

5. Stay open, stay hopeful, stay positive. And always follow your heart, kiddo. Like everyone else, you're going to have your share of heartache and sadness. But your'e also going to have a really good life.

Thanks, Sarah! xoxo,

Liz & Lisa

To find out more about the lovely and talented Sarah Pekkanen, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.