Sixteen-year-old Megan Shine is navigating her mediocre life inside the bubble her overprotective dad has created for her. If it wasn’t for her best friend Tessa, a coquettish risk-taker, there’s a good chance nothing in her life might happen at all. But when Tessa moves to a new school sophomore year and starts making new friends, Megan feels a shift in their relationship and knows it’s time to start living or be left behind.

Under Tessa’s influence, Megan takes a chance and goes out with a boy named Jason, who’s as charming as he’s a misfit. Before long, she’s pulled into his world capturing her heart and pulling her away from her old, safe life at home. Diving head first into an all-encompassing new love, she soon gets caught up in the lies she tells her dad to see him while experiencing the intoxicating emotions that only a first love brings.

As their love reaches a fever pitch, Jason is unexpectedly killed in a car accident, leaving Megan devastated. And then she discovers she’s pregnant, leaving her to make the hardest decision of her life–will she keep her baby or not. Fearful of her dad’s reaction, she has to find a way to tell him she’s pregnant and finally make a choice. Will she choose to have everything go back to the way it was before she met her first love or will she keep what remains of everything she once loved–Jason?

KEEP WHAT REMAINS is a contemporary YA novel complete at 68,000 words. I’d describe my book as Sixteen Candles meets Riding in Cars with Boys.

I work in a high school counseling office in the middle of Missouri. I’m knee-deep in teen angst every day, and I love every minute of it. If I’m not in my office at the high school, I can be found in the library with the hum of teen gossip all around me. I am also a member of the SCBWI.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Carrie Guittar


Anything worth talking about in my mediocre existence always starts with Tessa. Always has.

Glancing up as I walk in, Tessa stands in her bra and underwear with one leg balancing on top of the bathroom sink shaving her long leg. The top of her short, strawberry blond hair recently cut into a Molly Ringwald bob is pulled back with a pink butterfly clip. She, and every other girl in the country, copied the look as soon as they left the movie theater after seeing Sixteen Candles last year. Everyone except me. I favor Kelly LeBrock’s look from Weird Science. Tessa says I have the boobs to pull it off. But I think it all comes down to the hair—I’ve got the same crazy tangle of curly brown hair that’s so voluminous, it kind of looks like I stuck my finger into an electrical outlet. But in a good way.

“If you didn’t shave, you totally better because there’s going to be some seriously cute guys at Lori’s house tonight.” Tessa’s mouth curls into a sly smirk of rebellion.

“Ugh, but I hate shaving my legs unless I’m in the shower,” I say, bending over to run my hands down my shins and doing a stubble check.

“So, like, dry shave.” She shrugs and turns her attention back to her legs. “You’ll thank me later.” Tessa finishes up and hands me the razor.

“What exactly is it that we’re doing tonight?” I avoid looking at the razor that’s so full of Tessa’s leg hairs that I want to gag.

“No questions remember? I promised you an exciting Saturday night, and I’m totally going to deliver. I’m stoked for the surprise I’ve got coming your way.” She lets out a nasally squeal of happiness.

“What have you done now?” I slap my hand over my mouth, realizing I asked another question. The familiar feeling of being terrified that Tessa’s going to get us in over our heads takes hold. It’s like the mix of thrill and dread you feel when locking in your seatbelt on a roller coaster. You have no clue how the ride’s going to go but you want to do it anyway.

Since Tessa moved to a new school last year, she met a new group of friends that I don’t know—thanks to being stuck at home babysitting my brother almost every night of the week when my dad’s working overtime. Gathering from what she’s told me, some of them are a bit out of control, and that’s saying something coming from me.