Time for the July edition of Dear YA Author!
For more info on the series, disclaimer that advice is not in lieu of a professional’s, and submitting your own questions or being featured as an author, email dearYAauthor@gmail.com and/or see this post.
This month features Ella Martin. Ella’s YA novel WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? debuted this month. I just started it and so far it’s a fun read with a great cast of characters. Check out the blurb from the back cover:
Bianca is the Westgate Prep quarterback’s sister—and that’s her only claim to fame. When her friends’ social experiment turns her into the It Girl of the sophomore class and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade, though, she’s ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky nightmare. It doesn’t help that being around her brother’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, either.
You want to get this book, stat, right? Buy links are at the bottom and a chance to win a copy AND a signed postcard or poster!
Ella says she writes about kids who are way cooler than she ever was. Not sure if that’s true, but I think Ella’s book and answers to this month’s teen questions have totally redeemed her. Check it out, y’all:
Dear YA Author,
I’m thinking about breaking up with my boyfriend. As great of a time as we may have together, I just don’t feel what I used to feel with him anymore. I feel terrible and I’ve really tried to make it work, but it isn’t working out. I don’t want to seem like the bad guy but I think I will be…especially since there’s another boy. He’s not in the picture at all, but I definitely would like to begin talking to him. Ugh, what do I do?
Dear Bad Breakups,
This is never an easy scenario, and yes, no matter what happens, when you break up with him (and yes, that’s “when”, as it sounds like you’ve already made up your mind), he’s going to see you as the bad guy. All that said, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. People change as they grow, and not all couples grow together. It happens.
But what’s troubling is that you say you’ve tried to make it work. I really hope this just means there have been some disagreements over petty things and not that he’s being creeptastic or anything. If he’s behaving like a control-freaky jerk, though, that’s a whole other story and you should absolutely kick him to the curb and don’t look back.
As for the other guy you want to start talking to, he’s only a part of this discussion because you’ve discovered there’s someone more interesting than your boyfriend. And that’s cool. Just don’t mention him to existing boyfriend when you dump him.
Hopefully New Guy will be awesome and amazing and things will work out. If they don’t that’s cool, too. You’ve got lots of time and lots of boys to meet.
Whatever you do, though, don’t settle. As one of my characters says in my novel, “You can do so much better than ‘not that bad.’”
Dear YA author,
My friends and I have been friends with this girl since middle school and lately she has become really annoying. She is only worried about herself and always wants to know where one of us is. We have tried telling her but she still does it. How can we tell her so she will listen and understand when enough is enough?
Dear Over It,
Wow, insecure much? It sounds like your friend is feeling left out while you and the others in your group are starting to explore stuff that interests you. It could be because she hasn’t figured out yet what she likes to do, or it could be because she’s afraid to try something new. Regardless, she’s probably freaking out about being left behind.
Is there anything you can do about it? Um, well, not really. I mean, you can invite her to join you in different activities, but if she’s reluctant, you can’t force her. You guys should, however, sit down with her in a kind of intervention and let her know that just because you’re not with her every second of the day doesn’t mean you don’t like her; it just means you guys are have a lot going on. Whether or not that will work, though, depends entirely on her.
Your best course of action after that would be to acknowledge her fear and redirect her attention to stuff you think would interest her. And if that still doesn’t work, it may be time to add some distance. But that’s always a much tougher pill to swallow.
Good luck and lots of hugs to you!
Dear YA Author,
Me and my best friend have been friends since 6th grade were are now sophomores. Towards the middle of the year I began talking to this boy. And we eventually started to date. We had been together about 3 months when my best friend started acting different. She said it was me that had changed but I didn’t realize I did. She began to say all these rude remarks about my boyfriend. And then she would try to pick an argument with him. She said that I had to pick between my boyfriend and her. But I couldn’t break up with my boyfriend, and I couldn’t lose my best friend. I had no idea what to do. So I just went with my heart. I got advice from my sisters and a lot of other people. I took their advice. For about 2 weeks I tried to be so nice to her and do a lot of fun things with her. I tried to make her feel like she wasn’t left out but no matter what I did, it was like her mind was made up and I couldn’t change it. Weeks passed and we hadn’t said a word. I would occasionally see her in the halls and I would try to look for her and pass her so I could smile at her, but she would rarely smile back. I had no idea what else to do, I thought that I did all that I could and that a true friend wouldn’t have made me pick between my boyfriend and her. It has now been almost 5 months and I haven’t communicated with her at all. My boyfriend and I are still together and doing great, but now that summer is here I’m starting to realize how much I miss her. I have no idea what I should do or if I should even do anything. Should I just spend time with other friends and forget about it or should I try to get in touch with her? I’m unsure of what I should do. Sincerely,
An average 15 years young girl
Friend breakups are the worst. Best friends are like sisters you choose, and cutting those ties is more painful than breaking up with any guy, so I completely empathize.
You are absolutely right that a true friend would never ask you to choose between your boyfriend or your friends. (No boyfriend worth dating would ask you to choose, either.) My guess is she’s feeling left out, possibly even jealous of him. And it’s quite possible you have changed since you started dating your boyfriend—and that’s totally normal and healthy! It’s called growth, and it’s important. But I’m curious to know how your friend thinks you’ve changed. Like, does she think you’re behaving irresponsibly? Does she think you’ve been shutting out everything in your life that doesn’t revolve around your boyfriend? Or is she baffled by some new interests you share with your boyfriend?
At any rate, it sounds like you guys need some serious girl time. I suggest you reach out to her this summer and invite her to do something the two of you used to do freshman year. Plan a sleepover with just the two of you, tell your boyfriend you’re incommunicado while you’re with her, and make an effort to talk about anything except him while you’re together.
Friends are important—best friends, especially. In a lot of ways, they know us better than we know ourselves and can identify unhealthy behaviors that we’re too close to see. She may just feel left out, or she may hate your boyfriend because she thinks it isn’t a healthy relationship. But you’ll never know unless you tell her you miss her and ask her to be part of your life again.
I hope you guys can patch things up. Boyfriends are awesome, but there’s nothing like having calorie-fests and complaining with your friends about stupid stuff boys do (and they always do stupid stuff).
Everyone GO find WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and, iTunes! To find out more about Ella and like/follow her all round the internet, you’re in luck. Ella has a blog, is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.
High-five and a hundred thank yous to Ella Martin for answering these questions, a MILLION thank-yous to the teens who sent your questions in, and the readers who stopped by! Ella has offered to send a signed postcard or poster to a lucky reader and I’m going to throw in an copy of her book for your i-reader. So, if you want to WIN AN E-COPY OF WILL THE REAL PRINCE CHARMING PLEASE STAND UP? AND A SIGNED POSTCARD OR POSTER, all you have to do is comment on the post. Comment with any book you’d recommend to one of the teens who sent a question this month. Also, if you have one, leave your twitter handle in the comment section, so I can shout you out when I announce the winner next Thursday the 24th of July!