Bianca Zander's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Our guest today: Bianca Zander Why we love her: Not only does her debut novel rock, but the 5 things she'd tell her teen self are spot on!

Her latest: The Girl Below

The scoop on it: After ten years in New Zealand, Suki returns to London, to a city that won't let her in. However, a chance visit with Peggy—an old family friend who still lives in the building where she grew up—convinces Suki that there is a way to reconnect with the life she left behind a decade earlier. But the more involved she becomes with Peggy's dysfunctional family, including Peggy's wayward sixteen-year-old grandson, the more Suki finds herself mysteriously slipping back in time—to the night of a party her parents threw in their garden more than twenty years ago, when something happened in an old, long-unused air-raid shelter. . . .

Our thoughts: Want to dive into something a bit deeper at the pool this summer?  Then pick up Bianca's engrossing novel.

Giveaway: FIVE copies!  Leave a comment and we'll choose a winner on Sunday June 24th after 6pm PST.

Fun Fact: Bianca is a Brit but has spent the last two decades in New Zealand!


1. Go easy on the war paint, especially foundation. Later on in life, you will spend a small fortune trying to get your skin to look half as good as it does now, and you will look at photos of yourself in badly applied orange gunk and wince. Instead wear sunscreen, drink water and don’t smoke. Sticking to this theme: the single most beautiful thing in the world is youth. At this point, it’s impossible to comprehend just how beautiful you are simply by virtue of being young, but one day you’ll wish that for even one second you had appreciated what you had, while you still had it.

2. In social situations, don’t waste time feeling embarrassed or self-conscious. Ninety nine percent of the time, people are too absorbed in their own dramas to pay even the slightest bit of attention to yours. Even if your dress is falling off, chances are no one has noticed, and if they have noticed, within seconds their attention will have switched back to its default focus: their own dress.

3. Don’t bother crushing on guys who aren’t interested in you. They will never be interested in you—and no amount of witty puns, sidelong glances or white-girl dance moves will change their minds. The same applies in reverse: if a guy IS interested in you, don’t dismiss him as a psycho until you know that he really is one.

4. What your mother says about guys being only interested in one thing is truer than you can imagine. This is confusing in relation to the last point because occasionally a guy who isn’t interested in you will go to great lengths to have sex with you, and if he does: run a mile. You won’t run a mile, you’ll be pathetically, cringingly grateful but after you have slept with him, he will get dressed in the blink of an eye and the fact that he’s not that into you will hit you like a freight train. Which brings me to point 4b: always use a condom.

5. Despite falling into all the above pitfalls, you will also eventually fall in love, and even though it seems utterly inconceivable, your first love will not be your last. Try to remember this when your first love cheats on you and then dumps you for a trashy-looking slut.

Thanks Bianca!  xoxo, L&L

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