Pretty is the new plaid

Jen Lancaster's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Happy 3rd Birthday to our perfect baby, Chick Lit Is Not Dead. Thank you for never keeping us up all night, never having a diaper blow out, for never going through those terrible twos--and most importantly, for never talking back! We love you. In the last three years, we've hosted over 150 authors, launched five features (number six revealed today!) and written two (almost three) books.

But today it's all about the number ONE.

One majuhly talented and funny as hell author who's on our site to help us celebrate...

You know that feeling when you see a young guy that's so hot you don't care that you're openly salivating like a cougar in heat?

Or when you bite into that rich, chocolate dessert that's so good you don't care that it's going straight to your ass?

Or when you cry just a little when Phillip Phillips makes it into American Idol's top 24. (Okay, maybe that's just Lisa.)


That's how we felt when this author not only said YES to our invitation to help us celebrate, but to launch our latest feature: 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me.

Jen. Effing. Lancaster

Need we say more?

Oh and just for shits and giggles, we also asked if she'd give away FIVE copies of her fabulous novel, If You Were Here (out in paperback March 6th). She said yes to that too. Y'all can thank us later. 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.

So we're not going to make you wait any longer because we're not dumb asses. We know you want to find out what Jen Lancaster has to say.


First, happy anniversary! Cheers to three great years of bringing chick lit authors and readers together!

I’m really excited to share the advice I’d give to a teenage me. This topic is at the very front of my mind as I’m in the middle of writing a novel called Here I Go Again which takes an in-depth look at the origin of high school mean girls. The central theme is how decisions we make in the past can impact us for years to come. (I realize this sounds uber-serious, so please note there’s also a time travel element and a tribute to David Coverdale of Whitesnake.)

Anyway, if I could offer a seventeen year old Jeni five bits of advice, I’d say the following:

1. Stop calling yourself “Jeni” and dotting the “i” with a sunflower. You sound like an asshole.

2. Okay, the first suggestion is pretty specific, so I’ll do six instead. Ahem, here goes… everyone is currently going through something. Yeah, maybe you know some girls who seem to have their shit together more than you. Maybe they’re thinner and more popular, maybe they’re dating the guy you wish you were with, maybe they have a designer bag for which you’d kill. Don’t waste your time envying them because you have no idea what happens behind the closed doors of their life. All is not what it seems. Maybe the skinny chick has an eating disorder. Maybe the girl with the hot boyfriend puts up with his abuse. Maybe the one with an awesome bag would rather have nothing if it meant her divorcing parents weren’t engaged in a possession-based arms race. Don’t let yourself be distracted by what anyone else has or what you believe you lack. You just worry about you. The grass is rarely greener.

3. Don’t be so wrapped up in looking cool. Follow the Tao of Snookie on Jersey Shore when she says, “You do you and I’ll do me.” (I assume this is more of a “to thine own self be true” aphorism and not something sexual.) (At least I hope.) Be who you want to be, not who everyone peer-pressures you to be. Individuality is cool. Following the pack for the sake of belonging isn’t.

4. You’re not fat. Seriously, you’ll never have the metabolism of a seventeen year old again. Appreciate what you have now, because trust me, your ass will never be this high again.

5. If you believe high school is the best time of your life, then you’re doing it wrong. “It gets better” should ring true for almost everyone. If it doesn’t resonate with you, then you’re probably your high school’s version of Regina George. Fix that shit immediately or you’re going to be the gal who peaked at seventeen and who everyone shuns at the reunion.

6. The harder you work now, the easier it will be when you get older. I coasted through high school, doing what was expected and not a lick more. Then in college, I did even less. Sure, eventually everything worked out for me, but not without having to move some major boulders in my thirties. I wish that I’d possessed awareness that my path would have been so much smoother if I’d buckled down when I was building a foundation.

Now if only I could travel back in time and tell my high school self these things…

Anyway, happy anniversary, thanks for having me, and rock on!

Thanks, Jen!


Liz & Lisa

If you're not already, you should be following Jen Lancaster's hilarious and refreshingly honest blog, Jennsylvania. And be on the look out for her upcoming book, Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner.