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Lipstick Apology

Four little words written in lipstick… mean Emily must say goodbye to everything she knows. Emily Carson has always been a good girl. So when she throws a party the night her parents leave for vacation, she’s sure she’ll get busted. What Emily doesn’t know is that her parents will never return. That their plane will go down. And the only thing left amidst the wreckage will be a tray table with the words: Emily please forgive me scrawled in lipstick—her mother’s last words.

Now it’s fall in New York City and Emily’s trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Her public tragedy captures the attention of more than just the media—and soon two very different boys at her new school are pursuing her: the cute, popular Owen and the quirky chemistry partner slash pastry-baker-by-night, Anthony. But even with such delicious distractions, Emily can’t let go of her mother’s mysterious apology. Does she have the courage to face the truth?

With help of a whole new kind of family—one that includes a make-up artist to the stars, a teen model, and a wacky hairdresser—Emily must choose between the boy who makes her forget it all, and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately, heal.

Sometimes goodbye is just the beginning.


Nominated for Pennsylvania’s Young Reader’s Choice Award
Jen was awarded Georgia Author of the Year in the Young Adult category

“Chick-lit fans will . . . devour the pages right up.”
School Library Journal

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley is a) non-genre, b) really awesome, and c) not technically out yet, being as it’s one of those wacky advance reader copy things. Lipstick Apology is sort of like a combination of Gossip Girl and I’ll Be There For You (the sequel to Beaches), as written by Meg Cabot. It’s smart, it’s sassy, it’s sentimental without becoming sappy, and it’s just all-around really worth reading. I didn’t find any of the lessons preachy, and all the characters were actually people, even if they weren’t necessarily people we were supposed to like. . . I really recommend it.”
—Seanan McGuire, YA? Why Not?

Lipstick Apology is a skillfully written and memorable novel with so many wonderful messages between its pages. Jennifer Jabaley has packed an incredible amount of emotion within the novel—from grief to the exhilaration of first love—and she has created a dynamic, fallible, and likable heroine in Emily. Many of the experiences that Emily faces aren’t very different than those that teens face on a daily basis, but it is the unique way that Jabaley presents them that makes Lipstick Apology such an engaging and even humorous read. She skillfully reveals to readers the true nature of friendship, the complexities of romantic relationships, and demonstrates that true love isn’t judgmental, but it is about learning to see beyond mistakes and faults and accepting people for who they truly are. Lipstick Apology is a novel of holding on and letting go that is simply beautiful.”
—The Compulsive Reader

“Amazingly good first novel by Jennifer Jabaley. Laugh out loud moments and believable characters make this book much more accessible than your average Urban YA. I highly recommend it—and hope to read more by Jennifer soon!”
—Elizabeth O. Dulemba, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator