As a lowly freshman named for "The King," Presley Moran walks high school corridors paved with the stuff of family legend. Her cousin Barry, a senior heartthrob and brainy varsity letterman, insists that looking good on paper is the key to success. But Presley's young aunt Betsi, a former homecoming queen, has her own ideas about good looks and how to use them.
"Can you keep a secret?" Betsi asks Presley, who, at age fourteen, is eager for entrée into the adult world of beauty, attraction, and romance. But as Presley is about to discover, some secrets should never be revealed. Will the illicit thrill of being a trusted confidante, privy to the details of muddled entanglements and incompatible desires, be worth the consequences of guilt by association?
Propelled by the crash of falling idols, The Girl I Wanted to Be is a timeless and true portrait of passion, loss, and hard-won wisdom.
"Touching and heartfelt. Sarah Grace McCandless navigates the minefields of family and adolescence with grce and skill. She's a writer to watch." -- Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Queen of Babble
"Sarah Grace McCandless's The Girl I Wanted to Be is a unique coming-of-age story where not only adolescents are growing up, but beautifully flawed adults -- complicated characters whose secrets are revealed with precision and candor, with a deft eye and plenty of heart." -- Lisa Glatt, author of A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That and The Apple's Bruise