Valerie Frankel's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Y'all know how much we loved Thin is the New Happy and It's Hard Not to Hate You by Valerie Frankel. Well, she's baaaack with Four of a Kind, a novel we're considering one of our new faves. It's about the secrets lives of four women and a monthly poker game (get it? four of a kind...) where they lay their cards on the table- literally. It's juicy, hilarious and insightful with just the right amount of sass. There's a character to which every woman can relate. As you read, are you Bess, Robin, Carla or Alicia? Excited to read it? You're in luck! We've got 5 copies of Four of a Kind to give away- just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of five copies. We'll randomly select the winners after 6PM PST on Sunday, March 4.

We also love Valerie's list of things she wishes she'd told her teen self. (We hate to admit it, but she's so right about #2.)


1.     Find Your Truth. At first, I tried to fit in. I acted and dressed like a born-on-a-schooner preppy. As a pudgy, frizzy-haired Jew, that didn’t play. Then I tried not to fit it, and went full-on ‘80s punk with a black-and-orange Mohawk, safety pin jewelry, and snarly attitude. As a suburban New Jersey doctor’s daughter, the Cockney guttersnipe thing was a bit forced. Somewhere between those extremes was the real me. I would’ve figured out my personal style—and drawn confidence from it—a lot sooner if I’d stopped trying to look and act just like my peers, or nothing like them.

2.     Let Mom Win. My mother and I had some epic battles during my teen years. Now that I’m a mother, and my two teenage daughters often drive me up a freakin’ wall, I can see now that—in some cases—I should have just gone along with Mom’s plan. If for nothing more, we would have argued less. We might’ve learned to smooth over some of our big conflicts if we hadn’t fought the little ones to the death.

3.     Forever Is For Later. Why did I think any guy I spoke to might be my next major boyfriend? I put the pressure of eternity in a hallway “hello.” If I hadn’t hung my romantic dreams on, say, a guy I made eye contact with on the cafeteria patio, maybe I would have actually managed to talk to him.

4.     Appreciate Your Weight. I thought I was a hideously fat teenager, but I would be thrilled now to weigh what I did then. My teen years set the foundation for thirty years of bad body image that followed. If I could re-do it, I would have elevated my thinking from constant self-criticism to appreciation. It’s a lot to ask of your teen self, or any teenager, to be grateful for what you have and not to obsess about what you want, though. It’s a lot to ask of forty-year-olds, too.

5.     Write a series of books about young witches and wizards at a secret school for magic in England. Or, for that matter, Take your babysitting and waitress savings—$500 in 1983—and buy shares in Microsoft. Today, they’d be worth $1,000,000,000,000. I shit you not.

Thanks, Valerie!  xoxo, Liz & Lisa

To find out more about the fabulous Valerie Frankel, visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.