In the highly anticipated sequel to Suck it In and Smile, Ellie is wrestling her picture-perfect life as a social media influencer back under control — but how long can she keep bridging the distance between the desire to be herself and the pressure to conform?
Ellie is an inspiration to her hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube. Her book of wellness tips (including her signature recipe for chocolate chip–chickpea cookies) is about to launch. She is one half of a social-media power couple with singer Samuel Vanasse, who is now her fiancé. And she is on the verge of breaking into the top three on the YouTube charts. She has everything she needs to be happy — but lately, when she starts crying, she can’t seem to stop.
Between her father’s failing health and the charming yet enigmatic Dave, between her friendship-rivalry with another YouTuber and the pressure to be “authentic” at all times, Ellie is lost. She retreats into her old patterns and tries to regain control of her life, one Fat Burning Challenge at a time. But listening to her heart isn’t as easy — or glamorous — as she’s been making it look to her followers.
This exciting conclusion to Ellie’s story examines how we measure success and happiness, while exploring the complexities of body image, female rivalry and grief.
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About the author
LAURENCE BEAUDOIN-MASSE has written two novels: Suck It In and Smile (originally published as Rentrer son ventre et sourire) and its sequel. She is a concept editor for Radio-Canada. Laurence would like to help girls who, like her, never feel like they measure up. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Excerpt: Say Yes and Keep Smiling (by (author) Laurence Beaudoin-Masse)
The first time I got a brand partnership — a real one — I was sure I was going to get called out. That I’d be criticized for selling out, being self-serving. That it wouldn’t be acceptable. I was already used to getting free products, special invitations and being paid an amount that seems ridiculously low today — but at the time I was super happy about it, even honored. I prepared my post, clicked Share and waited for the first reactions with my heart pounding and my belly churning.
And then ... nothing. People clicked Like and that was that. Meh.
Even today, no one cares about content placement in my posts. Partnerships have even become a sign of success, of privileged status. Now there are two kinds of users on the networks — ordinary people and us professionals. While everyone is there to share their thing or exchange their news, we come with our professional cameras, our skills, our war machine in full view. We take in the love and the love money. And everyone thinks it’s all ... just great.
On one condition, that is. You have to “stay true.” … Authenticity is the unwritten law of the web, the content creator’s code of conduct.
And everyone insists on that, including me.
A realistically flawed character worth rooting for in a story worth reading.