How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

4.3 45
by Zoey Dean

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Rose and Sage Baker, 17-year-old orphan twins with
more money than God, are living the good life in
decadent Palm Beach, Florida. Life is grand--until their
purse string-controlling grandmother is infuriated by a
Vanity Fair profile of the girls' unsavory exploits. Now,
they'll lose their inheritances if they don't get into
ultra-selective Duke…  See more details below


Rose and Sage Baker, 17-year-old orphan twins with
more money than God, are living the good life in
decadent Palm Beach, Florida. Life is grand--until their
purse string-controlling grandmother is infuriated by a
Vanity Fair profile of the girls' unsavory exploits. Now,
they'll lose their inheritances if they don't get into
ultra-selective Duke University. Enter Megan Simms, a
brainy, recent Yale grad who's drowning in school debt.
For $75,000 dollars--enough to pay back her loans--
she must ensure the girls are accepted at Duke. This is
no small feat, given that the twins cannot sit still longer
than it takes to down a glass of Cristal. Megan is going
to have to learn her Pucci from her Prada, and play by
a whole different set of rules if she's going to whip
these two into academic shape. Along the way, she just
might discover that the twins aren't the only ones
getting an education.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Dean, author of the popular A-List young adult series, graduates to big-girl chick lit with this hip remix of Cinderella, The Ugly Ducklingand The Simple Life. Megan Smith, unable to cut it in New York's cutthroat world of magazine publishing, snatches a lucrative offer to transform two pampered and scholastically challenged 17-year-old twins into scholars. Sage and Rose Baker, known mostly for majoring in "ennui and partying," are heiresses to an $84 million fortune, but the money isn't theirs until they pass the SATs. Their grandmother, the fortune's overseer, pays Megan $1,500 a week to get the "Fabulous Baker Twins" up to snuff, and an additional $75,000 if they are accepted at Duke, their late parents' alma mater. But the transformation works both ways, as Megan learns she'll have to earn the twins' respect before they accept her tutelage. Megan, meanwhile, secretly intends to segue her time with the high-profile twins into a writing career. Things work out for everyone, but not in an expected fashion. Dean's writing is swift and the book is consistently funny, though her twin terrors aren't as nasty as they could be. Regardless, this is a great one to take to the beach. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Grand Central Publishing
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Read an Excerpt

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

By Zoey Dean

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2007 Zoey Dean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-446-69718-7

Chapter One

Snatching my receipt from the bodega ATM, I already knew the bad news. I'd just withdrawn two hundred dollars, and my account balance was hovering a little over zero. So I stashed the cash and receipt in my battered backpack and asked what any recent Yale graduate whose student loans had left her seventy-five thousand bucks in debt would wonder:

"If I were to charge for sex, how much could I get?"

"Depends," answered my best friend, Charma Abrams, flatly. Her nasal monotone had been influenced heavily by too many girlhood hours spent with MTV's Daria. "Do you get to pick and choose your clientele?"

"Let's say I'm going for maximum cash."

"Hard to say. Let's go find you a pimp in Tompkins Square Park." Charma examined her reflection in the anti-shoplifting mirror above the limp-looking green vegetables. "Or we could ask your sister."

My sister. Lily. As Charma well knew, Lily was playing a rich-girl-turned-hooker-turned-pimp in Streets, Doris Egan's new off-Broadway play. Lily's photo had graced the cover of last week's Time Out: "The New Season's Must-See Young Thesp."

My sister had been must-see her whole life. Drop-dead gorgeous, talented singer and dancer, Brown University grad, Lily had been born to be stared at. As I took in my own reflection in the warped deli mirror-medium height and weight, size eight on the top and size ten on the bottom on a good day, long brown hair exceptionally prone to frizz, a heart-shaped face with nice enough hazel eyes, a thin nose, and lips like the "before" photo on a lip-plumper ad-I wondered for the zillionth time how Lily and I shared a gene pool.

The chief reason I'd chosen to attend Yale was so I could do one thing in my life that was more impressive than what she had.

The immaturity of this is not lost on me, by the way.

"Come on," I told Charma. "I don't want to miss him."

We headed out of the bodega and crossed East Seventh, dodging a couple of joggers and a bag lady carrying on a onesided conversation with the president: "You call that a foreign policy, you asshole?" It was one of those crystalline Indiansummer days when nature puts on a last-ditch floor show-the stubborn final leaves of autumn danced on their branches as the low November sun bathed them in ocher light. I wore my usual no-name jeans, a white Hanes T-shirt, and an ancient navy cardigan that my favorite of our family's three dogs, Galbraith, used to sleep on when he was a puppy.

"Where are you meeting this guy?" Charma asked.

"Southwest corner." I scanned the crowded benches lining the walkway to the center of the park. Everyone was enjoying the mild weather that surely wouldn't last longer than a day or two.

"Did he tell you what he looks like?"

"Tall, thin, dark hair cut short, soul patch, right ear pierced with a rhinestone stud," I rattled off. "He'll be wearing a red flannel shirt and Levi's, loose-fit."

"Boxers or briefs?" Charma asked.

I raised an eyebrow.

"I just wondered. Since you've got every other detail down."

"When I told him I was twenty-two, he said he was twentynine, which probably means he's mid-thirties and trying to pass. So I'd guess boxer-briefs." I made a beeline for an empty bench to our right. Too late. Three old Polish ladies had spotted it first.

Charma shook her blond curls out of her eyes. "About the whole sex-for-money thing? Waste of your brain. And I don't think your customers want to be remembered in that kind of detail. Stick with the magazine."

"Oh, like that's not killing my brain cells on a daily basis."

I had a magna cum laude degree with a double major in English and American history and had been features editor of the Yale Daily News. So you can't say I arrived in Manhattan with the wrong credentials. I thought I'd have no problem finding a job writing in-depth stories at an important but leftleaning periodical like The New Yorker, or Rolling Stone, or hell, even Esquire-which only shows that a girl can be twenty-two years old, ridiculously well educated, and still as dumb as a bag of hair.

As it turned out, every other graduate from every other Ivy League school had come to New York the day after graduation, and we all wanted the exact same jobs. Many of them, however, had something that I lacked. Connections.

My dad is a professor in the economics department at the University of New Hampshire, and my mom is a nursepractitioner at campus health services. Lily and I had grown up in an old farmhouse filled with books, intelligent conversation, and excessive pet fur. My folks lived an ecological life. Theirs had been voted Best Compost Heap by Earth Lovers, the local greenie newspaper. It is a little-known fact that parents who win Best Compost Heap cannot help their daughter find a job at a hot-shit New York City magazine.

June morphed into July, which morphed into the hothouse of August, and I still was ridiculously unemployed. Then, right after Labor Day, I got my first and only job offer. Since I owed Charma the September rent and felt it would behoove me to sustain my body on something other than ramen noodles and canned tuna, it was either become an editorial assistant at Scoop or learn to intone "May I run through our specials this evening?" with a perky smile on my face. Walking gracefully while carrying hot food is not my strong suit. Nor is perkiness. The choice was made.

You know Scoop, though you may not admit to actually purchasing it. It's one step up from Star and two steps down from People. A few of my highlights to date included captioning such photo spreads as "Did Jessica Get Implants?" and "Lindsay's Wild Mexican Vacation!" Yes, I'd found it necessary to lower my journalistic aspirations a standard deviation. Or ten.

As Charma and I ambled along, a guy with short blond hair, a day's worth of stubble, and a ratty Wolfmother T-shirt smiled at us. Well, her. Charma turned to watch him pass, letting out a low, appreciative whistle. She 's a much better flirt than I am.

I looked around, trying to find my mark. There was a junkie looking to score at ten o'clock. At high noon were two teenage schoolgirls with too much everything-makeup, hair, boobs, skin, stiletto boots-who apparently felt the need to shriek every other word at each other. Then I spotted a guy in jeans and a flannel shirt cutting through a stand of trees at two o'clock. Bingo. I waved.

"Megan?" He held out a hand with slightly dirty fingernails, but I was in no position to turn down a shake. He had something I really, really wanted.

"Yeah, hi, thanks for coming. Pete, right?"


A couple with a baby stroller vacated a bench to our left. I sat down and motioned for Pete to join me. Meanwhile, I noticed Charma chatting with Wolfmother, who'd circled back to make actual contact. Who could blame him? Charma had the kind of natural curves women pay a small fortune for and even then have to settle for saline.

"You got it?" Pete asked, drumming his fingers on his jeans impatiently.

"Right here." My heart hammered as I unzipped my backpack, taking out the white T-shirt that had, until an hour before, hung inside a frame on the exposed brick wall of our living room (whose futon also doubled as my bed). The front of the shirt featured a bird sitting on the neck of a guitar and the inscription woodstock: three days of peace and music. Not only was it the real deal from the greatest rock concert of all time, it was also signed by Jimi Hendrix. Two Cornell students, who would later become my parents, had stuck it out until Hendrix's set on Monday morning. My father had managed to get the shirt signed by the guitar god himself and gave it to my mother as a sign of his love and devotion.

Now, as a sign of my love and devotion, I was passing it on. To what's-his-name. Right. Pete.

"Like I said on Craigslist, it's in mint condition," I told him.

He held out a callused hand. "Let's see."

I hesitated. "I'd like to see the tickets first."

Out came his wallet, and then there they were: two frontrow seats to the Strokes at Webster Hall for that very night. The show had sold out within minutes last month. I'd tried everything to get tickets, but nada. Until now.

I should tell you, to be perfectly candid, the Strokes are not my favorite band. But my boyfriend, James, worships them. James-of the dazzling intellect and shining prose, a guy who considers Doris Lessing light reading-would blast "Heart in a Cage" and dance naked in his dorm room playing air guitar like a twelve-year-old. How can you not love a guy like that?

We'd met in a senior writing seminar where James quickly established himself as the most articulate student in the room, thinking nothing of arguing-and doing it well-with a professor who just happened to have written the preface to the latest edition of The Elements of Style.

I noticed James, of course. From my seat in the back, I was wowed both by his intellect and by his swagger as he walked to his rightful place in the front row. It was amazing what you could see when you weren't worrying about people watching you.

Take, for example, Cassie Crockett. She had a Maxim body and fabulous blond hair. But on the first day of class, I noticed two fingers sneak under what I quickly realized was a fantastic wig. Her fingers reemerged holding a few strands of dung-brown hair, which she covertly dropped to the ground. Then she did it again. And again. Trichotillomania-the obsessive-compulsive need to pull out your own hair. I spent whole seminars wondering what it was like for Cassie to go out with one of the guys constantly circling her. Maybe she never had sex. Maybe she had a No Above the Neck rule, instead of a Below the Waist one.

This is the kind of thing that goes around in my brain.

Anyway, back to James. A few weeks into the semester, I wrote a five-thousand-word piece for the Daily News about a New Haven intersection where businessmen pick up transvestite hookers. I'd spend an entire week blending in at a nearby coffee shop, observing the girls and their customers, memorizing every detail. Our writing professor read aloud a section of my article to illustrate the kind of specificity he sought from us. Then he nodded in my direction.

Every head craned around to look at me. I could see their reaction all over their faces: Her? Really?

James corralled me after class. I was too shocked to be nervous, and then I was too at ease to remember why I would have been nervous. We went for coffee and agreed on everything and everyone from Jonathan Safran Foer (loved Everything Is Illuminated) to Donna Tartt (loathed The Secret History). Lily, oracle of all romantic wisdom, had cautioned me to never, ever, ever have sex on dates one through three. I suppose you could say that I took her advice, in that my first meeting with James wasn't really a date. I was in his loft bed within five hours of "Want to grab a cup of coffee?"

We'd come to New York together after graduation, though not so together that we shared an apartment. His parents owned an excruciatingly chic white-on-white pied-?-terre in a Donald Trump Upper West Side development, though their threemillion- dollar mansion in Tenafly, New Jersey, was actually home. Dr. and Mrs. Ladeen-he was an intensely anxious but gifted cardiologist, she was a senior editor at the New York Review of Books-offered James the condo rent-free while he began what would surely be his meteoric rise to literary fame. Their expectation was based not only on the fact that he was truly talented, but also on the fact that his mother had used her connections to snag James a junior editor job at East Coast. East Coast is kind of like The New Yorker, except with even more of a focus on fiction.

Alas, James's parents had never warmed up to me. I'd tried, I really had, but there was no question they harbored hope James would get back together with his former girlfriend, Heather van der Meer, the youngest daughter of their longtime family friends. And thus the offer of lodging did not extend to me.

That was okay. There was plenty of time. James and I were happy. And tonight was his twenty-third birthday. I wanted it to be memorable, which was why I'd cut my bank account in half: first, dinner and a fabulous bottle of wine at the restaurant Prune. During dessert, I would casually break out the concert tickets, which would cause him to whoop with delight and lavish upon me the kind of public display of affection to which he was normally allergic. After the concert, we'd go back to his place for the best part of the evening. And morning.

To finalize my plan, all I had to do was trade my dad's Woodstock T-shirt for the tickets.

"We doing this or not?" Pete tapped his coffee-colored loafer against the sidewalk.

I bit my lower lip. My parents would understand. Of course they would. Or at least that was what I told myself. We made the swap. God, James was going to be so surprised.

I stuck the tickets in my backpack and then rose to wish Pete a pleasant life. A kid with a shaved head-he couldn't have been older than fourteen-wheeled toward us on one of those delivery-boy bicycles. He was swerving from side to side, taking pleasure in scaring the little old Polish ladies nearby.

"Thanks," I told Pete. "Take good care of my-Hey!"

The kid on the bicycle sped past me, snatching my backpack before I could sling it over my shoulder.

"Stop! Stop that kid!" I bellowed.

I gave chase, Pete gave chase, and a lot of other people did, too. But the kid cut off the path and through the trees, pumping for all he was worth. A few seconds later, he was speeding down Avenue A with my backpack swaying from a handlebar.

It was almost as if the concert tickets and my two hundred dollars were waving goodbye.


Excerpted from How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls by Zoey Dean Copyright © 2007 by Zoey Dean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

ZOEY DEAN is the author of the New York Times bestselling A-LIST series. She grew up in Beverly Hills and now lives in Palm Beach, where she is working on her next novel and dreaming of a Pulitzer—Lilly Pulitzer, that is.

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How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Megan has great brains and terminal bad hair days. She's hired to be the SAT tutors for two celebutantes in Palm Beach, who will lose their fortune if Megan doesn't succeed in getting them into Duke. The book is hilarious, dishy, romantic, and very well-written. It even manages to have a moral. This is the kind of beach read that will have you laughing out loud, sighing at the ending, and getting a sun burn because you just can't stop reading!
SarahtheShopper More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book because I loved the TV show that was based on it (still miss it) and thought it might be a fun read for summer. I was not disappointed. The characters were fun and well developed. The plot was a little predictable but not in a bad way and I still enjoyed the ride. Overall, recommend for a good chik lit book for summer.
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DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I know that I am behind the curve when it comes to reading and enjoying Zoey Dean's book How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls, but I still enjoyed it. There are a number of parallels in this book and the series "Privileged" which was on a short run a few years back. The book centers around Megan Smith, a recent college graduate, who is struggling to make a name for herself and struggling with thousands of dollars in loans. When she gets fired from her writing job, her boss tosses her a line and hooks her up with a woman in Florida who has a position available for her. That position is to tutor her two teenaged girls, Rose and Sage, so that they get into Duke. What follows is a funny and touching look at what goes on inside the walls of the glittering mansions of Palm Beach. Megan struggles at first with the girls, but soon gets them to listen to what she is trying to say, and they in turn, help Megan become more a part of the Palm Beach life. I loved every part of this book. Its too bad that the series could not have gone on, because there are so many things I would have loved to see play out on the small screen. But alas, this is not a review of the show, its of the book. Therefore, the book is satisfying in its entirety and things are tied up as neatly as a Tiffany's blue box. I really loved the little "test questions" thrown at you in the beginnings of the chapters. They always made me laugh and inwardly cringe because they remind me of questions I saw on my SAT tests last year*shudder*. Since this is out in paperback form, its perfect to buy now, and hold onto for reading on Spring Break, or vacay, when you want to get away and have a good time doing it.
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clique_fanatic916 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book because instead of just showing an insight iinto the world of the rich, you see it from the perspective of someone from "the other side of the pond". Megan was a great character and her self conflict makes you feel as if you yourself could be experencing what Megan does.The twins are a great element because you get to see the superficial heiress side that most see, but also the deep sisterly connection that these girls have. A great read overall. :)
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alleyk More than 1 year ago
The book was great.When I finished I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to keep reading more and more.The book was very good.Recommend to anyone.
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