A spotlight on What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillame

What I Like About Me is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize.

‘You’re probably wondering if Anna’s plan to talk me up and draw me into conversation with Sebastian Lee was more successful than her plan to get me into a hot new bikini. Well, I hope you don’t mind spoilers (personally, I’m torn on them: sometimes they can enhance my enjoyment, and other times they make me really, really mad), because here’s a big one: IT WASN’T.’

– Jenna Guillame, What I Like About Me

Here’s what the judges said…

‘Maisie Martin has spent most of her life hiding her body. She won’t even wear her swimmers to the beach, and even though she’s supposed to be having the summer of her life, she’s stuck sweating on the sand in jeans and a t-shirt. But then, her dad was supposed to be with them, instead of going AWOL. And her best friend is supposed to be getting over her ex, not starting a summer fling with Maisie’s crush. Maisie is definitely not supposed to be taking part in the Miss Teen Summer Queen pageant, but this summer, ‘supposed to’ isn’t going to get in her way.

What I Like About Me tackles the issues of family tensions, unrequited love, and body positivity with frank realism and boundless sass. As DJ, or ‘Dear Journal’, we witness Maisie’s side-splitting highs and bitter, scathing lows. Guillaume navigates Maisie’s struggles with her confidence without being trite or patronising, and – true to the novel’s breezy beachside rom-com spirit – there are also plenty of poolside parties, perfect kisses and big romantic moments. A joyful and raucous read about self-doubt and discovery, growing pains and owning yourself in front of the world.’

– Georgia Phelan, chair of the 2019 Readings Young Adult Book Prize judging panel, in consultation with and on behalf of the 2019 judging panel


Meet the author…

Jenna Guillaume was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl’s completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years.

Read more about the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2019 shortlist here.

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What I Like About Me

What I Like About Me

Jenna Guillaume

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