Lauren Fox's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

We LOVE a good book about friendship.  After all, our friendships are extremely important to us! We've been friends since shoulder pads and Aqua Net were all the rage and think there's nothing better than having friends that know you better than you know yourself.  And still like you anyway! And Lauren Fox's latest, Friends Like Us, a super fun read about two besties whose friendship hits a speed bump when someone threatens to come in between them. It's fabulous and we think you'll love it!

Here's the dealio on FRIENDS LIKE US: For Willa Jacobs, seeing her best friend, Jane Weston, is like looking in a mirror on a really good day. Strangers assume they are sisters, a comparison Willa secretly enjoys. They share an apartment, clothing, and groceries, eking out rent with part-time jobs. Willa writes advertising copy, dreaming up inspirational messages for tea bags (“The path to enlightenment is steep” and “Oolong! Farewell!”), while Jane cleans houses and writes poetry about it, rhyming “dust” with “lust,” and “clog of hair” with “fog of despair.” Together Willa and Jane are a fortress of private jokes and shared opinions, with a friendship so close there’s hardly room for anyone else. But when Ben, Willa’s oldest friend, reappears and falls in love with Jane, Willa wonders: Can she let her two best friends find happiness with each other if it means leaving her behind?

Sound good?  Then leave a comment-we have FIVE copies to giveaway!  We'll choose the winners on Sunday March 11th after 6pm PST.  Good luck!


1.  That weird, sticky little memory you have for random details – the birthday of every single person you meet, the dumb joke your geometry teacher made about polygons, the way that dead mouse looked when you discovered it on the basement stairs, all belly-up and rigid and surprised and gray?  It’s going to come in handy.  (Not the dead mouse, the memory.)  Pay attention!  Pay attention to everything, even the stuff you’d rather ignore and forget about, like the exact way you feel it in your stomach when your first boyfriend breaks up with you.  Take notes.  Write it down.  It all matters.

2.  What doesn’t kill you will make you really, really miserable.  Yep.  But then, after that, you’ll be okay.  Stronger.  I promise.  Don’t be afraid of heartbreak, or of loneliness, even despair.  You will emerge from every sadness a more faceted, interesting, clear-eyed and complex person.  You’ll think you won’t come through at all, but you will, and you’ll come through better.  Most important, every shard of experience that hurts you will make you more compassionate and empathetic, and those traits, my little wrinkle-free, unsaggy, spider-veinless friend, are valuable beyond measure.

3.  Hey, scaredy cat.  Take a few more risks.  Opt in.  Say Yes.  Take that trip to Spain you saved up for the summer after your junior year instead of deciding that it was more important to finish the senior year AP reading list.  When you and cute R. are standing on the edge of the school parking lot joking about skipping 7th period gym and sneaking away to Kopp’s for frozen custard, GO!  Skipping a class is not a gateway drug to a life of heroin-addled indolence.  You will never regret doing something a little bit wild and rebellious.  You will, however, regret not doing it.  (Addendum:  saying no to that hot but vaguely creepy guy named Colin when he suggested you and he take a ride down Highway One late at night when you were visiting your cousin in San Francisco was a great move.  You’ll be thinking about that one for years.)  Okay, so:  take risks, but also trust your gut.

4.  Look, toots, your hair is curly.  Really, really curly.  No amount of product (which in the ‘80s we didn’t call “product” but rather “copious amounts of hair spray and/or mousse” – remember mousse?) is going to change that.  Your hair will never rest in a smooth, glossy cap upon your head.  It will never swing in a shiny curtain down your back.  You will never have anything resembling silken tresses.  Worst of all, it will never feather.  It just won’t.  I’m so sorry to break it to you.  So stop trying.  Live with what you’ve got.  Also, and on a related note, everything about you is fine!  Your face, your body – it’s the remarkable history of your ancestors stamped on your DNA.  Embrace it.  Stop hating yourself.  What a waste of time that is!  You will be so much happier when you finally figure out how to hold your head up high and love who you are.  It doesn’t need to take twenty more years.  (Did I just call my teen self “toots?”  Yes, I did.  It doesn’t matter.  On the subject of hair, especially, she’s not going to listen.  I have the unfortunate photographic record to prove it.)

5.  Invest in Microsoft.  Seriously.  Ignore 1-4.  Whatever.  I know you’re going to anyway.  But listen to me on this one.  Use your babysitting money.  College, schmollege.  M-i-c-r-o-s-o-f-t.

Thanks Lauren!  xoxo, L&L

To read more about Lauren, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook or Twitter.