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  • Apple's Angst
  • Written by Rebecca Eckler
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  • Apple's Angst
  • Written by Rebecca Eckler
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Written by Rebecca EcklerAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rebecca Eckler


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On Sale: September 14, 2010
Pages: 0 | ISBN: 978-0-307-37601-5
Published by : Doubleday Canada Doubleday CAN Titles
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Apple is back for another story filled with plenty of drama, boys, gossip — and, of course, angst.

Things in Apple's life are slowly getting back to normal: her friendship with Happy seems to have survived her Crazy Girl Moment (i.e. sabotaging Happy's relationship with Zen), she has a new sort of-boyfriend, Lyon (cute and very sweet, but no pitter-patters in her heart), and she's landed a gig interning for Angst magazine (hottest teen magazine around). But, as it usually happens for Apple, life is never this perfect. Just add into the mix a snarky co-worker, an ever-annoying famous talk-show mother, and a major secret crush on her best friend's boyfriend that just won't go away, and things are about to get a lot more complicated . . .


“Apple! Are you insane?” Happy demanded, viciously tearing Apple’s fourth-favorite pair of jeans from her. “Please tell me you’re not thinking of wearing those,” Happy continued, dismay dripping from her tongue. “ I know you’re obsessed with jeans. But please, not today! Today, you can’t be yourself!”
Happy tossed the jeans into a corner, a revolted look on her face, as if she were tossing out a baby’s dirty diaper. Her perfect ski-slope nose crinkled as if there was also a foul stench in the air. She ran her fingers through her shiny, long black hair and shot Apple a glance. Happy’s green eyes said it all: “What am I going to do with you?”
“Hey, be nice to the jeans!” Apple huffed, picking up the pants, folding them, and placing them gingerly on her bed. “What did they ever do to you?”
There were already dozens upon dozens of items of clothing in the Absolutely Not pile in the corner of Apple’s bedroom, including jeans in every wash, shade, and style imaginable.
The heap was getting higher by the second. Apple hadn’t known how much she owned until most of her clothes had been ripped from hangers and emptied from dresser drawers and she could see them in the one mammoth heap. Some of the clothes, much to Apple’s shock and shame, still had price tags. This made her feel supremely guilty. Apple loved to shop, especially with Happy. Happy always managed to convince Apple she “should” buy something when they shopped together. But most of the time, no matter what was in her closet, no matter the occasion, Apple ended up in jeans and a tank top.
All that money gone to waste, thought Apple, looking at all the unused clothes, wondering if she could return any of the items, or if—genius idea!—she should actually start to wear them.
Happy hadn’t approved of any of the outfits Apple had so far held up as possibilities to wear today. Every outfit Apple suggested had ended up in Happy’s Absolutely Not pile, mostly because Apple kept holding up variations on jeans and a tank top.
“Didn’t you hear what I said?” asked Happy. “You can’t be yourself today.”
Apple had heard her—she had simply pretended not to the first time.
“Oh, I heard you. So what exactly do you mean by that?” she asked, watching Happy pick up another pair of jeans, looking unimpressed. “Hey!” Apple cried. “I love those jeans. What’s wrong with them? They’re such a dark wash they could pass for a really funky pair of pants. And you said you loved them on me! And you said my butt looks fabulous in them. And you’re the one who gave them to me, in case you forgot,” she said, hoping to convince Happy before the jeans ended up in the Absolutely Not pile.
Apple suddenly wished Lyon was there, though she knew he would probably rather cover himself naked in honey and lie on an ant pile. But at least he would tell her that no matter what she wore, she looked fantastic. Thinking about her boyfriend, Apple couldn’t help but smile. He had come by first thing in the morning only to drop off her favorite strawberry-banana smoothie.
“I just wanted your day to get off to the perfect start,” he had told her. And though she was dressed in one of her dad’s T-shirts and an old pair of sweatpants, he had also told her she looked adorable. Thanks to Lyon and his surprise visit, it had been the perfect start to a day.
As Happy sighed, with exaggerated tolerance, Apple was brought back to the present. Happy was speaking to Apple as if she were a very patient teacher explaining to a six-year-old how to add single-digit numbers.
“How many ways am I going to have to explain the situation to you so you’ll actually understand, Apple? I do love the jeans. And they do make your butt look great. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry if I hurt the jeans’ feelings,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I do love all your jeans. But you just can’t wear jeans today! Today is too important, even for designer hand-me-down jeans from yours truly. Even if they make your butt look delicious.” Apple tried to interrupt, but it was impossible. “And I know how you always say that Lyon loves you in jeans, but today is not about impressing your boyfriend, who would find you attractive in a garbage bag. Deal with it,” Happy said, finishing her rant.
“But that’s me,” Apple argued. “Jeans are me! That’s who I am! I’m a jeans-and-T-shirt type of gal. I’m at my most comfortable casual.”
“I know that. We all know that,” Happy said, glancing to the far end of Apple’s bedroom, where their other best friend, Brooklyn, was sitting silently, eyes closed, hands resting on her knees, palms facing up.
Brooklyn was meditating, something she had recently taken up as an add-on to her regular yoga practice. Brooklyn was as obsessed with yoga as Happy was with fashion and Apple was with jeans.
If Happy had been looking to Brooklyn, whom they called “the Noodle” because she was so lean and flexible, for backup it wasn’t happening. Not only did Brooklyn live in yoga pants, but ever since she took up meditation, she had also acquired the amazing capacity to tune out everything that was going on around her. You could dance in front of Brooklyn, making ridiculous faces and gestures, while she meditated and she still wouldn’t budge.
“So what you’re really saying is that they won’t like ME if I wear jeans, even though that’s who I am?” asked Apple. It bothered her that there could be people out there who thought like that, who would judge her based on what she was wearing. Apple liked to believe that people weren’t that superficial or judgmental, even though she knew that was kind of naive.
Apple never judged people by the way they looked or dressed. Though she would admit she sometimes laughed along with Happy’s biting criticisms of someone else’s outfit, Apple was not the type to actively start those conversations, or even have those thoughts.
“No, what I’m trying to say is that, today, you just have to be a better version of yourself. At least you have to dress like a better version of yourself,” Happy said gently, taking Apple’s hand as if she were breaking bad news. “Listen, how are people supposed to take you seriously if they aren’t a little envious of what you’re wearing? They want people to look up to you, don’t they? And people won’t look up to you if you don’t look like you’re a person to aspire to! If you were going to be interviewed to be a counselor at a day camp or a salesperson at a clothing store, I’d tell you to wear jeans. But this is so, so different. This is so much bigger and more important. You have to impress these people. Please, please, please just let me pick out what you should wear. You’re going to be working at Angst magazine! This is, like, the most important day of your life! It’s Angst magazine!”
Rebecca Eckler|Author Q&A

About Rebecca Eckler

Rebecca Eckler - Apple's Angst

Photo © Helen Tansey

Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most well-known journalists. She has been a columnist with the National Post, Canada's national newspaper, for five years, including a stint as a New York-based columnist and feature writer. Her work has also appeared in such publications as Elle, Fashion, Lifestyles, Canadian House and Home and Mademoiselle. She was the host of the television show Modern Manners, and has appeared on CTV and CBC television, and on Global television as a reporter, along with numerous stints on radio shows across Canada and the United States.

Author Q&A

20 Writerly Questions with Rebecca Eckler

1.  How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
It’s The Hills meets Gossip Girl, full of drama, boys, gossip, and, of course teenage angst! (God, I miss being a teenager! Although, emotionally, I may be stuck there!)
2.  How long did it take you to write this book?
This is the second book in the series. The first book, called Rotten Apple, took just over a year to write. Apple’s Angst, because I knew the characters so well, and how they spoke, and their attitudes, and their quirks, was easier to write. It’s not so much “how long it takes to write,” it’s more, “How much time I spend thinking about my characters!”
3.  Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write, when the weather is nice, is in my backyard. I have a pet squirrel and hummingbird, both who like to watch me write (They’re not really my pets, but they hang out with me in the backyard!) In the winter, I have a gorgeous office….which I never use. I end up writing at my kitchen table. Most likely, this is because of the close vicinity of my refrigerator and my cupboards of chocolate pudding.
4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose character’s names that are unique to say the least. I adore odd names. Because I’m not quite sure I could get away with naming a real baby such unique names, I give them to my characters. (However, argue with me all you want, I still think the name “Apple” is gorgeous!)
5.  How many drafts do you go through?
I’ve repressed that answer! Let’s just say that I write until the book is the best I think it can be.
6.  If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy which I think is a perfect book. Perfect! Also, I Love You Forever by Robert Munch. Brings tears to my eyes every time. And I’ve read that A LOT!
7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
A younger Natalie Portman.
8. What’s your favorite city in the world? 
Paris, without a doubt. Romantic and not a bad meal ever! And the shopping….and the shopping….and the shopping….and the pastries…and the pastries…and the pastries…
9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
Joan Didion, but frankly, I would love to talk to Eric Clapton, Britney Spears, Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga…I love talking to all writers. I would ask them, “Is writing HARD for you too?”
10.  Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? 
Nope! I need total silence. However, I take walking/running breaks where I blast top forty so I can’t hear my thoughts!
11. Who is the first person that gets to you read your manuscript? 
My editor. They are the only ones who get to see my books until publication.
12.  Do you have a guilty pleasure read? 
Us Weekly. But I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure. I’m a proud reader of US Weekly. Plus, I think any reading is good reading.
13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
No books! Ha! All my books are kept in my office or kitchen bookshelves. Wait…there’s a box of chocolates on my nightstand. It’s half empty. I like eating in bed.
14. What is the first book you remember reading?
Stephen King’s Cujo. I know. I’m weird!
15. Did you always want to be a writer?
I knew I always liked to write. I didn’t think it could be a career, but as far as careers go, I’m very, very blessed to be a writer. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
I drink Banana/Strawberry Vivano’s (smoothies) from Starbucks, with non-fat milk, half the strawberry portion, and double protein powder. Yes, the people at Starbucks love when I order!
17.  Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper? 
Hello? It’s 2010!! LAPTOP!!!! Also, I write two books on a laptop, then buy myself a new one. I believe in computer Feng Shui.
18.  What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time? 
I spent my advance on two pairs of Prada boots. Then I threw up, because I had morning sickness, while writing Knocked Up. Lovely, but true!
19. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
A gift certificate to a therapist!
20. What is one thing people don't know about you? 
I just cannot eat blue M and M's.



Praise for Rotten Apple:
"Eckler's breezy teen drama may appeal to kids who live for Gossip Girl, Laguna Beach, and The Hills."
Quill and Quire

"Funny, touching, and filled with teen drama." 

Praise for Knocked Up:
"[Eckler's] frankness, quirky style and light touch are a winning combination." 
Kirkus Reviews

"Painfully funny . . . . Readers are treated to Eckler's biting wit." 
Los Angeles Times

  • Apple's Angst by Rebecca Eckler
  • September 14, 2010
  • Fiction
  • Doubleday Canada
  • $15.95
  • 9780385663205

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