Dear Teen Me Blog Tour + Giveaway

Hi! Today I’m a stop on the DEAR TEEN ME blog tour (check out the other stops and chances to win here).

DEAR TEEN ME, edited by E. Kristin Anderson and my awesome friend Miranda Kenneally, releases next week – Oct 30! It  includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, Sara Zarr, and – EEP! me!) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends–and a lot of familiar faces–in the course of DEAR TEEN ME.

The Dear Teen Me site inspired the book and features dozens more original letters that aren’t in it.

You can also add Dear Teen Me on Facebook or on Goodreads.

The entries run the gamut from heart-wrenching to hilarious, and I enjoyed reading it and learning more about some of my fellow authors!

In honor of the blog tour, I thought I’d post a few pictures of Teen Me. You can click to embiggen.


Me at 15, before our Christmas concert (I played clarinet) (What am I wearing??)




Me at 16, with my friend Jeremy, before junior prom

I’m 5’3″ and he was at least 6’4″

Also, I cannot believe I worried about being fat. Teen Jess, you were ITSY.


Senior year musical – me as Glinda the Good Witch of the South. A part basically created for me to come on at the end in a pretty dress without having to sing. The Cowardly Lion was my neighbor, the Scarecrow was my best friend, and I had a years-long crush on the Tin Man. Oh, small towns.



Me and my grandpa at my graduation!




In hunting for these through the family photo albums, I also found a ton of awesome pics of me with my sisters. I’m going to post some of those soon! (They are really hilarious and adorable and embarrassing.)

I have one copy of DEAR TEEN ME to give away. To enter, just leave a comment below with a message to your teen self! (My own letter is about not needing to lose yourself once you have a relationship, but you’ll have to get the book to read it for yourself.) This one is international and runs until next Thursday at noon EST.

18 Responses

  1. This is such a great idea for a book, and one that I'll be sure to add to my library collection.

    I would tell my Teen Self that it is OKAY to say no. It really is. The world won't end if you take on only what you can handle and, in the process, preserve your emotional stress levels. It really won't. Promise. Because, really, you're already doing a billion AP classes and plays and the sailing team and chamber choir and learning to drive and having a life and stuff. You don't need anything else. Say no.

  2. I'd say, It's okay. Calm down. You're not terrible and you're not alone. Everything that happens will be what it will be and things will work out. You're you and that's a good thing. And someday you'll have a little daughter who thinks the same.

  3. ClaireC

    I can't wait to read this!!

    I would tell my teen self… not to worry so much about everything! Everything seems like The Most Important Thing Ever in high school, and it's not until you leave that you realize that was just one, tiny microcosm of your whole life. I would also tell myself to dump that one boy… he wasn't worth the headache 😛

  4. Mary Preston

    My message would say DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. You worry about things that don't really matter. They certainly won't in a few years.

  5. Carmel

    Oohhh, interesting!
    Here goes. *clear throat* This is awkward!

    Dear teen me,
    Life is NOT a race. Waiting serves a purpose. Don't hurry. Honor each emotion, whether happy or sad. And let the universe unfold as it should be. 🙂

  6. My message to my teen self would be to go not be scared. Many times I was hesitant to try new things, scared that people will make fun of me and because of that I missed out on many things. I want to tell teen me that it doesn't matter what people say. In the end it's important to live a life without regrets and that's the only thing that one should care about.

    1. Great advice! I grew up in a really rural area and was very scared of things outside my comfort zone too. It wasn't until I was in my twenties and moved to DC that I became way more willing to try new things!

  7. Heather Leib Gomez

    I remember that dress! I'm actually partial to the greenish gold one you wore the next year (not a stalker you guys!)

  8. Johannah

    Go canners! Lol. I graduated From there too!

    Dear teen me,
    Don't worry about what others think of you. Are you happy? Yes? Then don't care what they think.
    And that chick that picks on you… drops out of college and now works at B K.

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