Sometimes it’s hard to get over your past.
Rachel is convinced she’s a loser and second-best to her sister: an ugly duckling to Danielle the swan. She’s positive no one wants her around. In short, she’s a walking bundle of nerves. Only one thing will make her happy: to be thin.
Danielle is hopelessly devoted to her ex-boyfriend. But he hasn’t any problem moving on. In fact, she’s sure he’s interested in her best friend, Nicole. Which isn’t exactly helping their friendship.
Nicole is haunted by a humiliating rejection. Everyone thinks she’s oozing with self-esteem, but inwardly she’s scared she’s totally worthless.
One day they’ll look back on it as just a learning curve. If they survive, that is.
“The interlinked stories dizzily spin through boys, Junior Cert results, bulimia, boys, underage drinking, boys, seduction, and all of the baggage that comes into the life of your average 14/15-year-old. Well-written with funny, hard-hitting dialogue.”
(Mary Arrigan, The Sunday Tribune)
“…nearly every teenage girl can relate to some aspect of it…”
“A great storyline. I could relate to a lot of the characters’ feelings about themselves and other people.”
“At the beginning I was not able to put it down, through the middle I was not able to put it down, and at the end I was wishing the book didn’t have to end.”
“The moment you read the opening line… you feel a bit connected with the character and want to know more, and after you’ve read a paragraph, you can’t put it down.”
“… a wonderful book … I was totally gripped while reading this … ”
“…very easy to read but has a sense of maturity…”
“A book for teenagers that’s intelligent, interesting, sophisticated, funny, enjoyable and thought-provoking WITHOUT treating the reader like some sort of braindead bimbo. Which I have to say is how I feel a lot of the time when I read novels written solely about make-up and shopping. WE ARE THE NEW GENERATION OF TEENAGE GIRLS! WE DEMAND RESPECT FROM OUR LITERATURE! Ahem. …. I’ve read this book several times now, and would definitely recommend it. It’s mature, witty, it’s well-developed and an essential addition to my bookshelf, and therefore yours as well. So buy it! ”
I really liked writing about Rachel, Danielle and their friends, so it’s not really that surprising that I ended up writing a sequel, including Nicole’s point of view as well. Because there were so many things that I wanted to do with these characters, and could have done, as well as my struggle with ‘middles’, this book took me a year and a half to write, though a good bit of the ending was written in a single adrenaline-rush-fuelled night. I’m happy with how it turned out.
I’ve been asked a lot about whether I’m going to write another book about these characters. I’m not sure I will – I think sequels should be written within a short space of time, unless they’re set several years after the original, and it’s sort of like getting to know old friends again when you haven’t seen them (written about them) in five years – will it still work out? So I probably won’t continue the story of Rachel, Danielle, Nicole and the rest, but never say never.
Note: (spoilers ahead) a few readers have complained that Rachel is ‘cured too easily’ at the end of the book. I am not sure whether the fact that she’s taking a first, important step rather than ‘magically being okay’ is not clear enough, or whether one just needs to shrug and accept that you can’t control how people react to your own books. If I was going to write any kind of follow-up to Rachel’s story, she’d probably be in group therapy alongside Abi, angsting away…