Beauty Queens


Sosie tensed and turned her head.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. I just don’t want this to stick.”

“Okay,” Jennifer said, trying to ignore the tiny warning alarms going off inside her. They washed in silence until Jennifer could no longer take it. “Are you sure everything’s okay?” she pressed. Her heart beat quickly.

Sosie glanced at Jennifer, and for a moment, she thought about saying all was well. But it wasn’t. The uncertainty she’d felt last night had blossomed into a sure distance she couldn’t ignore. Jennifer was great — loyal, kind, good, nicer than Sosie by far. The truth was that she liked Jennifer … but not as much as Jennifer liked her. Sosie was no Duff, but she knew she’d end up breaking Jen’s heart all the same. It was better to end it now before things got too ugly.

“I’m just not sure I want a girlfriend right now,” Sosie said at last, feeling lame.

Jennifer went cold inside. “Are you breaking up with me?”

Sosie nodded slowly.

“But … why? What did I do?”

“Nothing,” Sosie said.

“What can I do?”

Sosie hesitated. “Nothing,” she signed.

The waves licked at Jennifer’s tanned knees. The sand tugged at her toes, making her sink in. She tried very hard not to cry, but two tears trickled down her cheeks anyway.

“I’m sorry,” Sosie said. “Can we still be friends?”

Friends. Funny how a word could be welcome in one way and horrible in another. Jennifer wanted more than that. The hurt was a pain in the center of her chest. It was hard to breathe. Friends? How could she see Sosie every day and pretend she didn’t want to kiss her? To hold her? To share everything?

Jennifer wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. “No. Sorry. The Flint Avenger travels solo.”

She yanked her toes free of the sand and fought the undertow back to the shore. Sosie watched her go, feeling a terrible mix of relief and regret. Looking down, she saw that her hands were splotched with tree sap. She’d waited too long to wash off the pitch, and it had set across her palms like a brand.


The following preview has been approved for all audiences by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.


All Charlie Tanner wanted was to live happily ever after.

OPEN ON: Split screen from WEDDING DAY & WEDDING DAY 2, with an attractive young woman, CHARLIE TANNER, walking down the aisles in two very different wedding dresses. Her hair is perfectly highlighted.


But Charlie has been unlucky in love.

CUT TO: Same split screen, but with images of Charlie catching husband #1 kissing another woman and watching husband #2 being led off to jail in chains for a massive embezzlement scheme.

CUT TO: Montage of Charlie getting promoted at her PR firm, attending events, going to a concert, and eating dinner alone.


Now Charlie Tanner is through with living for someone else. She’s calling her own shots and making her own rules.

CUT TO: Charlie playing poker with her best friends. Bottles of beer sit on table.


I kept thinking, what’s wrong with me? And then I had an epiphany: Maybe it’s not me who’s screwed up. Maybe it’s this whole crazy notion that we’re supposed to do nothing but shop, have makeovers, and chase after some unattainable idea of romance or settle for some jackass rather than figuring ourselves out and living life to the fullest that’s wrong.


No. I’m sure it’s you.


Things are finally going right for Charlie … until she meets Mr. Wrong.

CUT TO: Charlie entering her boss’s office. An attractive but boorish man sits sprawled on the sofa, his shirt untucked, a beer in his hand.


Charlie, meet your new client, Dick Connor, author of He’s Never Going to Call You Unless You Follow These Rules.


You know, if you want to have sex with me, you’re going to have to step it up, sweetheart. (He swats her butt.) Where’s my beer?

CUT TO: Charlie hanging out in a park with her best g*y friend. They are having a picnic.


He’s crude. He’s sexist. He thinks Hooters is fine dining and women are only good for sex and getting his breakfast.


Oh my God. He sounds so hot.


I hate everything about Dick Connor. He makes me feel awful and inadequate.


That is actually a sign of true love.