Today we're excited to spotlight What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume.
Read on for more about Jenna and her book, an guest post, plus an giveaway!
Meet Jenna Guillaume!
Jenna Guillaume was the editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and, most importantly, Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Previously, she worked in the features department of Girlfriend magazine in Australia, writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She also contributed to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl’s completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years. Guillaume lives in Australia. Visit her website at jennaguillaume.com [jennaguillaume.com].
Meet What I Like About Me!
You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.
The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she'd be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she's spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie's already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she's always loved. But Maisie's got something to prove.
As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn't let anything, or anyone, hold her back.
Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.
~ Guest Post ~
How to Fall in Love with Who You Are
YA Books Central
When I started writing my YA rom-com What I Like About Me, my primary goal was to create a sweet romance. To me, romance has always been the best part of any story (for real, telling me there’s a good ship I can jump onboard is the best way to guarantee I’ll read or watch something). So as I began work on my first book, all I wanted was to get lost in a story about two people falling in love and all the cute stuff that goes along with it.
But something happened as I began to develop the main character, Maisie. She’s a fat girl full of insecurities—many of which stemmed from my own painful experiences. As I got to know her and listened to what she had to say, I realised that, while romance with a cute guy was still very much part of her journey, what was going to be just as important—if not more important—was the romance she would have with herself.
Maisie needed to learn to love herself. And as I wrote, I realised I did too. It’s a complicated and fraught process, trying to love ourselves. But it’s an important one.
With that in mind, here are some of the things that can help when you decide it’s about damn time you fell for the most important person in your life—you.
We tend to be really great at seeing the best in our friends, and dishing out compliments. It’s sometimes doubly true when it comes to strangers (hello, strange girls in public bathrooms give out the BEST compliments). When it comes to looking in the mirror, though, we all-too-often only focus on the negative things. Meanwhile, we downplay our achievements and minimise praise yet take every criticism to heart.
Of course, it’s important in general to be kind, but that kindness should really start with yourself. In What I Like About Me, Maisie keeps a list of the things she likes about herself. Initially, it’s quite short, but grows over time as her confidence grows with it. Doing something like this can actually be a really useful and practical way of identifying what’s great about you (and trust me, there’s plenty there), but even if you’re not much of a list-maker, focusing on the positives and challenging your brain when it wants to zoom in on negatives is a key part of loving yourself.
Yes, you should date yourself, and be proud of it while you’re at it. It’s a good thing to put as much energy into having fun with yourself as you do with other people (in a totally PG way, of course—but also, you know, you do you). Pursue the things you’re passionate about with enthusiasm. Learn things you want to learn and do things you’ve always wanted to do. Carve out quality time with yourself, even if that means doing nothing but laying around and reading or bingeing Netflix. Remove phrases like “guilty pleasure” from your vocabulary—because you should never feel guilty about things that bring you pleasure. Do things that reinforce the idea that you are important and worthy and should be loved and taken care of. Most especially by yourself.
Work for yourself
Every single relationship—whether it be with friends, family or a romantic partner—takes work. They need to be nourished and cared for, and you need to make an effort in order for them to flourish. So of course the relationship you have with yourself takes work, too—perhaps more than any other relationship in your life. It’s challenging, but crucial. Because by putting in the work, you’re again reinforcing the idea that you are loveable. You’re choosing yourself, and that in itself is an act of love.
This work means complimenting and romancing yourself, like I’ve already mentioned. It also means taking care of yourself—listening to your body, feeding and exercising it well, letting it rest, and appreciating it for the things it can do.
It means not giving up when things are hard.
Loving yourself is a process. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly realise you’re in love with who you are. It’s something you have to keep working at.
It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Because you are too.
What I Like About Me
By: Jenna Guillaume
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
Release Date: April 1st, 2020
One winner will receive a finished copy of WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME and a book-branded pocket mirror ~ (US/Canada Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*