For What It's Worth

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Guest Post: Ella Martin – Things I Wish I’d Known…

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Click on the covers to go to the books Goodreads page
I loved Martin’s first book in her Westgate Prep series, Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, for the way it dealt with a troubling trend in YA – the possessive boyfriend – I highly recommend this book and series for younger teens especially and parents looking for flawed, realistic, yet positive YA.

I’m thrilled to welcome Westgate Prep series author Ella Martin to the blog today to talk about her own experience attending a prep school. There’s a lot of wisdom in this list and I wish I could go back and read it to teen me.

~ My review for Book #1 Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? and I’ll be reading/reviewing book #2, I Love Him, I Love Him Not soon!

EC 0106About a year before my last high school reunion, I was talking with some friends about our high school experience and marveled at how much we had in common regardless of where we ended up professionally or geographically. It was then that I started calling myself a prep school survivor. As I’ve revisited my prep school days writing the Westgate Prep series, I’ve come up with the following list of
things I wish I’d known.

1. Everyone’s life has static. Some people are just better than hiding it than others.

2. There’s always someone smarter than you are. Or prettier. Or more athletic. Or…or…or… They may not necessarily go to your school, but they’re out there. Somewhere. (Also, see #1. Their lives aren’t perfect, either.)

3. The people who cut you down are the most insecure. That’s because they see you as better than them in some respect.

4. The homecoming queen is probably lonelier than you think. Same for the student council
president, the captain of the football team, the yearbook editor, and everyone else. (Again, see

5. Most romantic relationships that happen in high school are Happily For Now stories. Forever is a long way away.

6. It’s okay to have a life away from your friends—especially your significant other. It’s expected.
It’s even encouraged. (See #5.)

7. People in your close-knit circle of friends have secrets they’re afraid to share. Some are so well-
hidden, it will take years of therapy to come out. But even the people you think you really know
may be hiding something. (That’s #1 again.)

8. Not everyone is having sex. Or drinking. Or doing drugs. Or…or…or… And some of the people
you think are doing [insert thing here] aren’t. (See #7.)

9. No one cares where you went to high school once you’re in college. And if you go to school
outside your home state, there’s a good chance no one has even heard of your prep school.
(Also, see #2.)

10. Surviving prep school isn’t that different from surviving any other kind of high school—or life in
general. Some things are pretty universal.

The truly amazing thing about this list is how it applies to adulthood, too.

Find Ella! Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? (Westgate Prep #1)

Bianca is the Westgate Prep quarterback’s sister—and that’s her only claim to fame. When her friends’ social experiment turns her into the It Girl of the Sopho-more class and she captures the attention of the most popular guy in her grade, though, she’s ecstatic to introduce the world to her first boyfriend. But no one’s ever told her what to do when her friends hate her boyfriend and Prince Charming starts acting like a control-freaky nightmare. It doesn’t help that being around her broth-er’s best friend is making her head all fuzzy, either. ~ Goodreads

I Love Him, I Love Him Not (Westgate Prep #2)

Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married! Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway.

Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting her at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible. Talia prides herself on keeping her emotions in check and hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not. ~ Goodreads


  1. Yes on that 8, that is what everyone thought

    1. Exactly. I ran into a girl from HS that was known as the school druggie because she had roach clips all over her pocket book and she was a loner. I found out she just did that to keep people away - she never did any drugs! Now she's a personal fitness trainer O_o

  2. I love this post so much! My HS reunion is in about two years and I'm super curious to see where everyone ended up.

  3. I love this post so much! My HS reunion is in about two years and I'm super curious to see where everyone ended up.

    1. I graduated in 83' but I've never been to one of my reunions. Apparently no one else goes either because now it's held in a bar with about 10 people lol

  4. Great list and I hope it helps someone out there. Also, your story about the supposed druggie was interesting...

    1. It's so weird to meet people now and realize just how wrong you were about them.

  5. Loved her list! And I've never been to a reunion and don't regret that either! lol

    1. I hated HS and I wasn't close to many people so reunions are lost on me.

  6. What a wonderful list, Definitely some truths to it. I havent' seen this series before, I need to go look it up. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I think it's even worse now for kids because of social media.

  7. Replies
    1. I loved the first book Jen. It's a little younger for YA but it deals with something that both you and I get irritated with a lot. I think you would like it.

  8. This is really a great list! These are some of the things I actually struggled with. I was never the popular one and stuff and that really mattered to me then but now, not so much since I've graduated from college and I KNOW things now, and none of that ever really mattered! <3

    1. I was so shy in HS. I wish I didn't worry about it so much and felt comfortable with my own sense of style instead of worrying about conforming.

      I couldn't care less now. lol

  9. I had a wide circle of friends so I knew that not everyone was doing "it" (whatever "it" happened to be) and who you thought was, wasn't.. and who you thought wasn't... was. :)

  10. This is so true Karen, all of it. This is why I say we need to really examine why bully's bully. I don't think kids are inherently evil and there is way to much bullying going on.

  11. I totally agree that the most insecrue are the people that cut you down. And there will always been someone smarter, prettier, or better than you in some respect. :)