Dear Teen Me - Blog Tour

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Thanks to Zest Books for including Read Now Sleep Later in the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour.

About Dear Teen Me:

How many times have you looked back on your teenage years and cringed, wishing you could offer your younger self some guidance? This book of nearly 70 letters by top young adult authors—including bestselling writers Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder—does just that, and today’s teens will benefit.

Here's my letter to my teen self:

Dear Teen Me,

Hey there, self. I know you're probably obsessing over grades right now, staying up late to do homework, and worrying about money. I know you're mad about your parents not signing your financial aid papers so you could go to Yale. I know you're pissed beyond belief that at the end of senior year, you're going to pack up all your stuff in Los Angeles and move back to the Philippines, never to be heard from again. 

I'm writing to tell you, it will be ok. You can relax and enjoy what you can. Enjoy the company of great family and friends who love you, delicious Filipino food you can eat without gaining weight, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on tv for the first time. You can relish those lazy days spent playing video games with your brother and sister, those rainy afternoons curled up in bed with a book. You don't have to stress out that badly, because when it comes down to it, you'll make the right decisions, get a job, and figure out which things in life bring you fulfillment and joy.

It's really not all that bad. We're really lucky, you and I! Despite the occasional roadblocks that pop up in our way, we are loved, we are safe, we are both clever and practical. We make good decisions, even if at first we make the wrong ones--but we learn from our mistakes. 

That fluttery, silly feeling that you get when you have a crush, when you feel like you're in "love"? You're going to regret it, and some of the shallow things it makes you do, but while it might be embarrassing for a while (well, for quite a long time, actually, as running into Susan Kim at the bookstore where you work 13 years later will tell us that's one of the perceptions of you that will endure in people's minds long after high school is over), but it will be no big deal. It will leave no lasting scars, and it will give you a sort of control sample when real love comes along. Funny how the real thing feels nothing like a crush. And hey, if you ever want to relive it, there will be a book for that.

On bullying:

You're more likely to do it yourself than to let people bully you. When in doubt, choose to be kind. And if you don't realize until later, at least apologize, mean it, and don't do it again.

On body issues:

Your mom is right. You run like a girl (wait, you are a girl!) and slouch too much. She's right. But your mom is also wrong and you should really get a chiropractor and a dermatologist.

On friendship:

All that stuff you read in books about needing lifelong, childhood friends is bull. You won't remember their names or why you were friends in the first place, and that's ok. Just cherish the friendship while it lasts and when it fades, let it go and remember it fondly.

On life:

Once you figure out how health insurance works and how to calculate your taxes, everything else is cake.

I don't want to spoil things for you or create some kind of space-time anomaly, in case you actually are reading this letter somehow, some way. So here's some generic advice you'll figure out eventually anyway:

1. Wear clothes that fit. Hint: Overalls are not a good look for us past age 5.

2. Don't beat yourself up for spending money eating out. Sure, it's cheaper to cook (sometimes). The important thing is not to go hungry.

3. Don't take everything so personally. Some people are also just thinking of themselves, and the situation turns out better if at least one of you is capable of insight.

4. You don't have to judge people. So they smoke pot. So they hate YA. So they vote Republican. So what? It's OK. We can still be pals.

5. Chemistry isn't actually as hard as it seems to be. Learn it the first time and you'll still remember it years later.

6. That baby photo of us from our first passport? Don't lose that! It's the cutest ever. (Ok, spoiler: we're going to lose it. Here's to hoping we'll find it again.)


Alethea at 34

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