Bittersweet Sixteen

Bittersweet Sixteen

by Carrie Karasyov, Jill Kargman

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Overview

Co-written by bestselling authors Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman, star of the Bravo series Odd Mom Out, Bittersweet Sixteen is a story of friendship, drama, and the hazards of turning sixteen.

A brand-new wardrobe from Saks, a private jet, and a red-carpet guest list: just your average Sweet Sixteen party.

At least it is for the teens who attend Tate, the posh all-girls high school in Manhattan. But Laura Finnegan—thrift store junkie and scholarship student at Tate—isn't like everyone else. And when her best friends Whitney and Sophie begin obsessing over their birthday bashes, tempers start to flare, Prada bags go flying, and guys are tossed around in vicious tug-of-war battles. Whose Sweet Sixteen will reign supreme?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061973970
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 440 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman are best buds who met at their all-girls private high school in New York City. They have cowritten two novels for adults, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing, and two novels for teens, Bittersweet Sixteen and Summer Intern. Carrie is also the author of The Infidelity Pact, and Jill is the author of Momzillas.


Jill Kargman is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including The Right Address, Wolves in Chic Clothing, Momzillas, and The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund. Her latest effort is a nationally bestselling book of essays, Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut. She is also a featured writer for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and Elle, and a copywriter for her greeting card company, Jill Kargman Etceteras.

Read an Excerpt

Bittersweet Sixteen AER

Chapter One

There's one thing you have to know. In the world of private schools, penthouses on Park Avenue, chauffeur-driven Bentleys, and $100-a-plate family dinners at Le Cirque, one thing reigns supreme as the pinnacle of a tenth-grade girl's social calendar in New York: the almighty Sweet Sixteen birthday extravaganza.

It was the first day of school, sophomore year. That September anticipatory stress was coursing through every capillary of every student, and not because of the backbreaking textbooks already tucked into our Marc Jacobs bags for the nightly grind. It was because the competition for the best Sweet Sixteen soiree was about to start, and it was steep. I mean, way more cutthroat than the honor society plaque.

Let me back up. My name is Laura Finnegan and I live in New York City. My school is not your average football 'n' cheerleader, pom-pom, pep-rally, flag-waving, all-American Rydell High kind of place. No varsity letters, no football games, no prom king . . . no prom. See, my school, Tate Academy, is — gasp — all girls. I know, nightmare, right? Oh, and did I mention the uniform? Gray pleated skirt and white button-down shirt. Not that we really care; I mean, who are we trying to flirt with by our lockers? No one! Oh, and btw, we don't even have lockers; we have carpeted lounges with individual closets opening onto the couch-filled room.

See, Tate is the top private all-girls academy in New York, a bastion of education and refinement that has been enlightening the city's finest young ladies for over two hundred years. Jackie O. personally saw to its landmarkpreservation in the eighties, when the ivy was eating away at the historic limestone facade. Located on the überposh Upper East Side, it boasts a student directory where most of the last names are the same as Fortune 500 companies.

Except for moi — I don't recall seeing Finnegan, my family's name, on any publicly traded stocks, or published in Forbes, or published ever, for that matter. Okay, maybe in a scholarly quarterly journal or something, but certainly not in the glossy party pictures of Vogue or Town & Country, where I regularly spied my classmates' moms in their couture designer duds.

Luckily, I don't really have to deal with all the over-the-top craziness of my own Sweet Sixteen. See, when I talk about these parties, I'm not talking about pizza and Pepsi at the local bowling alley. I mean black tie. I mean hotel ballrooms and flowers and lighting schemes and bands; events that cost more than a down payment for a small house in Ronkonkoma. But because my parents are NYU professors and barely have enough dough to have a Chuck E. Cheese fete, freaking about having the best bash isn't even an option. Don't get me wrong; it's not like I'm on welfare or anything, but my parents can't even pay twenty grand a year for tuition at Tate on their teacher's salaries, so they obviously are not going to cough up half a mill on a rager that lasts a few hours. And although I admit that sometimes I like to imagine what sort of multimillion-dollar soiree I would host if I had the chance, honestly, seeing how everyone was wigging over hatching their gilded plans made it a little easier to be poor.

So this autumn, when we all returned to school, I was prepared to ignore all the party-planning brouhaha and just dive into my textbooks and chalk up some A's so I had a decent chance of a scholarship to an Ivy. The morning crunch of girls packed our class lounge, snapping cell phones shut, hanging up Gucci overcoats, and unpacking their Prada book bags into their closets. I said hi and greeted some of my classmates, asking breezily about their summers and hearing their litany of whirlwind adventures and world travel — one skied in the Alps, one attended summer classes at Le Rosée in Switzerland, one worked with "youths" in inner-city Chicago by day (then checked in to sleep at the Drake Hotel by night), and one hot-air ballooned through Scandinavia. Me, I worked at a camp in Maine teaching sewing in the crafts department and had fun but was psyched to come home and see my friends. Most of all, my best friend, Whitney.

Whitney Blake is pretty much perfect. But not annoyingly perfect, just effortlessly flawless. Buttery blond and blue-eyed with Waspy facial architecture that Michelangelo would have used as a blueprint for his next statue, she was christened in Baby Dior, summered in Southampton, and sampled her first potato galette with caviar at age seven. I know, it sounds nuts, but it's all she's ever known, and she's actually really down to earth. Otherwise, I wouldn't be friends with her. We bonded from day one when she complimented my French braid in second grade, and since I am an only child and she has an older brother she never sees, we became almost like sisters. She never made a big deal about my non-glam background; in fact, she loves my fam — and the fact that my house is normal, happy, and chill. If her parents are jet set, mine are sofa set: mellow, book reading, and always relaxed. Whitney and I just get each other the way old friends do; we complete each other's thoughts and sentences; it's like we have a code.

We do have our differences; I can get stressed out (schoolwork, parents, life) and she's usually very calm and confident. That's because when you've pretty much been the queen bee for as long as anyone can remember, no one tries to dethrone you. The whole Sweet Sixteen thing? Not a thorn in Whit's side — she and everyone else knew her January party would blow everyone else's out of the Evian. She's not cocky about it; she just knows. Like with guys. They woooorship her. I mean, putty in her manicured hands. They circle around her like sharks on the prowl for her size-four chum.

Bittersweet Sixteen AER. Copyright © by Carrie Karasyov. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, because it included problems that girls face everyday. It was unique at the same time, though! I love how Lauren doesn't care what others think! She is such a great person, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is so good! read it!!!!!!! i coyuld read it so many times and still love it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such a good book! I just couldn't put it down! It is romantic, funny, and leaves you wanting it to be a longer book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the BEST! i loved how jake fell in love with 'finland'at the end .. its such a good&romantic book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bittersweet sixteen definitely gave me bittersweet feelings. I haven't read any other book by Carrie Karasyov but her writing style isn't what bothered me. i feel that this book is targeted more for younger girls around 13 or 14. the book does a good job of expressing the pressures of being in high school and trying to fit in. other than that its not the most relatable because its not everyday a 16 year old goes to a private school on a scholarship with other girls who are all the offspring of celebrities and movie producers or just filthy rich. also its not everyday your two bestfriends get into a fight over who has the most extravagant sweet 16 party throughout the state. bittersweet 16 is cute but not so much an intelligent or meaningful read if thats what your searching for. young girls could relate to the main character Laura while in school because she just wants to be like everyone else and do all the fancy things her rich friends get to do. its full of all the teenage drama and fights girls go through. you have the basic middle school love story, the cute boy likes the pretty girl and would never think twice of "average" girl. throughout the book you feel for Laura and wish she would more considerate friends and the courage to speak her mind. when the book finally has its turning point i felt excited for them and as if i was really there. the end is relieving and you almost hope one day it'll happen to you in a less dramatic way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I read it when I myself wanted a really super sweet sixteen. The fact that all of Laura's friends have money and she doesn't I can relate to, being the poorest of my gagle of friends. Laura finally gets a wake up call about what means the most to her and that you can have a great Sweet 16 without having to spend a ton of money. She really developes throughout the book and its fun to be around when she goes through everything. Caution I can't spell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book and i could really conect to the main character. I think everyone should read this book... welll only girls.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So I am not much of a reader. I like to read but I lose interest really easily, however this book is by far the best book I have ever read other than Before I Fall. It constantly kept me interested and I kept looking forward to reading it. The story was so similar to things that have happened to me and I loved that. Fantastic book, I highly recommend it!
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1418 More than 1 year ago
I+really+liked+this+book.+It+wasnt+cookie+cutter+like+i+expected.+There+were+some+things+in+the+book+that+i+did+not+expect%2C+which+worked+in+the+book.+
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Anit_Xela More than 1 year ago
I dont know about this book.:.((. I mean, it was all fun from the glitz and glamour. . . . but i mean come on . You can tell fom the begining that in the end laura would end up with jake. He was perfect for her, not whitney or sophie. I think no matter how much they apologized to laura she now knows how they truly are so she can keep on watchin her back around them. You could kind of tell how the book goes. If the book was real, i would have liked to go to whitneys and sophies sweet sixteen parties. that would be sooo rad. All in all, you shold get this book and read it if you are bored , thats what i did i thought it was nice. I write this reveiew thruthfully and honestley.When I got to the end of the book ifelt like shouting yippee yi ya!!!! for laura for FINNALY hooking up with jake. I saw it coming all along but i was still excited.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bittersweet Sixteen was an amazing book! It was very cute and somewhat funny. You can really relate Bittersweet Sixteen to real life. I really never liked reading, and I decided to give this book a try. It was an amazing book. Now I find myself wanting to read all the time. Carrie and Jill make you feel like you are a part of the book, experiencing the drama and gossip with the characters. Bittersweet Sixteen was an awesome and cute book. I promise you will like it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am now in love with this book. I'm really sad that there is not going to be a sequel:[
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Personally, I loved this book. It showed that sweet sixteens can be stressful yet they can be fun. I really liked how Laura was down to earth and she didn't care if her party was expensive or fancy. I think there are a lot of girls in the real world who act like the ones in this book who are mean and catty but also nice, understanding girls like Laura. Yeah it's nice to have a huge party with all of your friends and whatnot but it's also not bad to have a small party and still have fun. It all really matters who your true friends are and sometimes you need to find out the hard way like Laura. Overall, i would recommend this book to anyone who likes this style of writing or are around this age group.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is really good its about how u kno how ur friendship is through hard times!!! i love this book soo much u have to read it
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was really good! i kind of knew what was going to happen though because i've heard this story somewhere. Anyways, it wasn't my favorite because it didn't grab me, and im a total book lover and i love to read but this one didn't make me want to have everyone read it. like i said, it was good and i got through it fast, but i didn't WANT to read it like other books, meaning, when i got something to eat, it didn't make me want to go back just to see what was happening next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooooo good. I read it in like one night. U so gotta read it.