Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother is a coming-of-age story for any woman who has ever questioned her sexual maturity and readiness, stayed silent at a time when she should have spoken up or accepted treatment that was less than what she deserved.
Aaliyah Panarese is the teenage daughter of successful, overprotective parents who want the best for her but rarely consider her hopes and dreams. Under the matriarchal rules of her abusive mother, Aaliyah is expected to, without question, follow in her footsteps and attend law school after she graduates from high school. Frustrated and too cowardly to express her dreams of becoming a writer, she escapes life’s harsh realities by journaling heartfelt letters to her mother inside a diary, hoping that one day they will be the keys to rebuilding trust and strengthening the emotional connection that is lacking between them.
In a desperate attempt to find her voice, and feel accepted and loved, she befriends Stacy, Tonja and Manny—the most rebellious girls at her school. Aaliyah follows the crowd, breaks her parents’ rules and is quickly thrown into a battlefield marked with peer pressure, self-loathing, sexual discovery and broken friendships. Her journey takes dramatic twists and turns while delivering a cautionary tale that is grounded in the reality of what it is to be a teenager in today’s instant-access generation.
Check out the book trailer for Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother Below
Motivational Speaker | Author | Entrepreneur
Pauleanna Reid is a multi-passionate millennial entrepreneur who has excelled as a Nationally Published Journalist, Amazon Best-Selling Author of her debut fictional novel, Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, Motivational Speaker and Co-Founder of New Girl on the Block Enterprises. As a notable name across the country, her budding empire is built on her core principles, which is to: help young women forge their own paths and proceed without permission.
As a survivor of teen bullying, abuse and mental illness, Pauleanna believes that her scars are her symbols of strength. Her inspiring story of turning opposition into opportunity has inspired many young adults as well as caught the attention of major media outlets across North America. Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round table discussions and media appearances (Rogers Television, MTV Canada, Global Television, ESSENCE Magazine), she positively influences youth to reconnect with their passions and challenges them to protect their dreams.
As a leader of the new school, Pauleanna creates unique teaching methods to empower millennials who are in transition and unsure of their next steps. Her platform is designed to educate, entertain and inspire. Although her experience comes from the school of Hard Knocks, her message has captured the attention of numerous educational institutions, including: Guest Lecturer on personal branding at New Jersey City University, Host of Junior Achievement’s 2015 ‘Next Generation Leaders Conference’ at Trent University, Keynote Speaker at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School and Ursula Franklin Academy. With just a stage and a mic, Pauleanna uses incredible wit and condor to engage audiences of all sizes.
Her latest initiative is New Girl on the Block Enterprises, a mentorship program but way sicker than your average. The program is a go-to resource for millennial women to receive assistance with life planning, career strategies and personal style. Creating a sisterhood network of women aiming to blaze their own trails, the mentorship program arms them with the tools to do just that. Started in 2014, New Girl on the Block is already boasting a roster full of potential; the program has successfully mentored more than 60 women and men globally (from across North America to Europe and abroad). With a big goal to become an internationally recognized mentorship program, the New Girl on the Block team has its eyes set on reaching 5,000 mentees by the year 2020.
Using the success of her journalism career to fuel another life-long dream, Pauleanna’s first novel, Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, debuted as an Amazon Best Seller after only two weeks on the market. It is a coming-of-age story for any woman who has ever questioned her sexual maturity or readiness, stayed silent at a time when she should have spoken up or accepted treatment that was less than what she deserved. Now with more determination than ever, Pauleanna plans to bring her novel to the big screen and is excited to pursue this new direction.
She is savvy, successful and a renaissance woman who breathes life into her passions and continues to fight for everything that she loves. Her fight today is to serve and protect young adults who are struggling to find beauty in a world of chaos and to help provide them with vision when they cannot see potential in themselves. Not only does Pauleanna illustrate versatility but proves that the secret to her success is in her ability to give more than what she takes from this world.
"Not very often do you come across a book so accurately written for teen’s facing the overwhelming amount of challenges presented in today’s society. Ms. Reid’s skillfully written, honest account is on point and difficult to put down. Raw, poignant, touching, reflective, she has managed to capture what its like to be a teenager struggling to find herself. Friendship, peer pressure, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, abusive relationships, familial relationships, Ms. Reid tackles these issues head on and in brilliant fashion, leaving you rooting for the main character. A thoroughly entertaining yet often educational read, Ms. Reid has nailed it with this one."
---Natasha Gibbs Watson, Child and Youth Worker, Bachelor of Social Work
"There are fiction writers and then there is Pauleanna Reid. I am amazed at your first attempt as a fiction writer. These first four chapters (of your book preview) had me in an emotional turmoil. I was happy, I was sad, I wanted to hurt somebody, I was laughing out so loud, I cringed and it’s all because I could related to everything she wrote about. The book becomes available March of 2014 and I am thinking I can’t wait that long to satisfy my curiosity on what this brilliant writer has in store for us."
--- Carol Noble, Toronto Ontario
"Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother is a must read. Young adolescent girls will be able to relate to all the trials and tribulations Aaliyah is faced with as she struggles to fit in. They may see bits and pieces of themselves in the different characters throughout the book. It may inspire them to start a journal of their own; of things they may have been too afraid to tell their own mothers. This book has many unexpected twists and turns that will keep the reader looking forward to see what is going to happen next."
---Denitra Knight, Elementary School Teacher, Brampton Ontario
"Pauleanna Reid’s novel, “Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother,” is a story to which teens and adolescents can surely relate. Highlighting the dangers of the cycle of abuse and conforming to peer pressure, along with demonstrating the secret normalcy of identity confusion, family tension, and experimentation with sexuality in adolescence, this Bildungsroman is a story of learned self-respect and pride. Through a breadth of characters stemming from a wide range of privilege and experience, readers are provided with many perspectives of issues and concerns, and these angles are processed through the mind of a “typical” adolescent. While all children, tweens, and teens are vastly different, they all connect through struggles and celebrations that inevitably accompany the negotiated path to maturity. With sometimes graphic language, yet evidently language with which young people are all too familiar, this page-turner will keep readers wanting more and truly rooting for Aaliyah to succeed in her journey to reconnect with her family, as well as her own direction in life. Through Aaliyah, many young people will see themselves and their own vulnerabilities, and will be able to learn from this courageous character’s mistakes and achievements."
--- Christine Cote, High school teacher, Toronto Ontario
"Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother by Pauleanna Reid is a bold, well-written story that leaps off the page. Not only did I identify with and relate to Aaliyah, but I also experienced new things as I saw the world through her eyes. This is a smart read by an author who clearly respects the intelligence of her audience - it is real without being raunchy, lesson-filled without being preachy, with enough twists and turns to keep you intrigued. Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother leaves me wanting more - not just more of Aaliyah, her family, and friends, but also more from the talented author, Pauleanna Reid."
---Bridget Quammie, Speaker, Writer and Founder of 83 to Infinity
"The writer did a wonderful and accurate job of identifying the voice of an unheard generation in this book. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. The book pulls you in from the very beginning and keeps you captivated with intense honesty and secrets most usually keep locked inside. A book long overdue in a time where childhood dreams and memories unfold into adulthood actions. This book is for anyone who had secrets they couldn't tell to their parents."
---Dalton Beckles Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Motivational Speaker
"The path from puberty to young adulthood is often a battlefield marked with feelings of shame, guilt, self loathing and doubt- a journey that very few people are brave enough to divulge and that many young women stubbornly deny. Pauleanna Reid’s book, Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, illustrates this process with the story of Aaliyah Panarese, giving her a voice that details her transition to maturity with the depth and detailed rawness reminiscent of the impactful stories written by author and activist Sista Souljah. Throughout the novel, Aaliyah’s stories took me back to my formative years as a teenager struggling to make my way through peer pressure and deceit while trying to remain true to myself. This book is a coming-of-age story of discovering one’s self worth and understanding one’s value through a process of trail and error. Reid has created a highly entertaining book with a story that grips at you from the beginning."
---Safia Bartholomew, Journalist
"Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother is an amazing story written by Pauleanna Reid. This story is special because as a social worker in the Greater Toronto Area I work with single mothers who share many similar experiences which Pauleanna shares in this novel. This book will become a popular read as some of the experiences that Aaliyah has been through are everyday life events that girls go through in high school. Listening and talking to my clients it is evident that the pressure of family life, pressure of boys and sex, looks and fitting in can get so overwhelming. Young women reading this book can learn and connect to her story as it brings to light that when bad or unexpected happens, it can be a learning experience and a way for them to grow stronger and confident; in some situations I would say it can help to form a positive identity in ones self."
---Kaazmi Manji, Master of Social Work, Registered Social Worker
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve known I’ve wanted to become a writer since I was a little girl. I remember writing short stories from the time I could hold a pencil. My passion for writing got really deep in elementary and high school. I grew up feeling really insecure with low-confidence and self esteem, but found happiness and peace when writing in my journal. In those moments, my imagination would run wild and as my love for writing grew, I realized that this could be a career path for me. I followed my heart and it led me to the start of an awesome career as a journalist in 2010 and around this same time is when I began writing my novel too. I’m always pushing myself to explore new avenues of writing. I believe writers have a huge impact on the world. If it weren’t for writers, some of our favorite television shows, movies, songs, and books would not have been created. For me it has never been about making money, I want to leave a legacy; a catalogue of exceptional work that will outlive me.
This story is grounded in the reality of what it is to be a teenager in today’s instant-access generation. In what ways do you relate?
I am extremely passionate about this piece of work and my inspiration stems from my own personal life experiences. During my writing process I allowed myself to be vulnerable and speak my truth. I feel like Aaliyah is a part of me. I have many reasons for writing this novel and one of them was to begin the healing process so I could finally let go of baggage I’ve been holding onto for many years. Writing has been so therapeutic and has allowed me to be okay with feeling vulnerable. With that being said, I’ve also gained the courage to open up to my mother and tell her the things that I’ve been too scared to say. But now that I have, we are so much stronger because of it. Aaliyah is a teenager, yes, but we can all see a bit of ourselves in her story. She is searching for acceptance, love and her purpose. Even at such a tender age, her life encompasses so much growth and maturity. We grow up with her. We root for her and wish for her, what we also desire for ourselves.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I created Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, first and foremost, to help build a stronger relationship with my mother; one filled with passion, love and vulnerability. I also wrote it to start the healing process of a series of experiences I endured in my past that I have been trying to mentally and emotionally overcome for many years. One of the most surprising things I’ve learned in creating this book is that I can be anything and everything I want to be. I wanted to write a book, I did it. I wanted to open up to my mother, I did it. I wanted to begin my healing process, I am. This journey has been both challenging and emotional, but well worth it.
Do you have any special writing rituals?
This is going to sound crazy but when writing this book I wrote anywhere from 6-12 hours at a time, with small breaks of course. I was so disciplined out of fear of not accomplishing a goal that was so important to me. I write my best work very early in the morning before the rest of the world rises. There are times when I stare at a blank screen or write a chapter that I’m not happy with, but I just keep going. But before I even started, I created an outline so that I had a vague idea what direction I’d take the story. But just like you, I was also surprised with my ending. Writing can take your everywhere and back and I love submerging myself in that process.
What do you want people to know about your main character, Aaliyah?
I want people to know that Aaliyah is the little girl inside us all who is searching for a sense of purpose, passion and wants to be accepted and loved. Her story is one of strength and courage and what is most admirable about this character is that she is relatable. Whether it’s her unfortunate circumstances, the longing for her mother’s love, the search for fulfillment, her insecurities or those moments of innocence when she lets her hair down and enjoys the simple pleasures life has to offer, I think we all can take something away from this unforgettable story.
What advice do you have for writers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Allow passion to be your guide because it will never lead you astray. It’s really that simple. I also suggest that you always strive to become a better writer by studying the footprints of others and consistently working on your craft. If you are a writer, then write (and read a lot too). It’s the only way to enhance your skills. Ultimately, your journey will be a unique one filled with many challenges but if you trust your instincts and always believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Just keep going. It took me 4 years to write my novel and finally arrive to this point in my career. For others, it may take 1 or 10 years. But I stayed in my lane and I didn’t watch what anyone else was doing. There’s an awesome quote my friend once told me, “Those who are certain of the outcome, can wait, and wait without anxiety.” I try to use this approach in everything I do.
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Download Pauleanna's official author biography here
Pauleanna Gives An Insider On Her New Book
Context with Lorna Dueck
Pauleanna Reid Talks Teen Parenting (video)
Pauleanna Reid | Inspiring Women To Be As Sharp As Heels On Their Stiletto (video)
Passblog Top Achiever of The Month
Pauleanna Reid Talks Bullying and Mental Health (video)
Love is Moving, Global Television (8min 10secs mark)
Pauleanna Reid Talks Mental Health & Its Impact On Canadian Youth (video)
Impact: Living with it, MTV Canada
Pauleanna Reid Talks Why Faith, Love & Persistence Are The Keys To Success (video)
Unified Young Entrepreneurs, Rogers Television
Pauleanna Reid Talks 2012 Summer Fashion Trends (video)
Daytime Durham, Rogers Television
Why Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother is a Must-Read
Daily News Service
Pauleanna Hustles and Motivates to Inspire Others
Secrets of a Side Hustler
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Professional Young Thing
Mentor Mondays with Pauleanna Reid
Doina's Infinite Solutions
Fabulous Friday with Pauleanna Reid
Sexy, Wealthy & In Heels
Pauleanna Reid Talks About Her Biggest Inspirations, Overcoming Adversity, & Dishes Her Best Life Advice
Samantha Clarke Photography
Pauleanna Reid Talks Self-Love & Breaking Free From Suicide & Depression
Out of the Shadows & Into the Light
Print/Online Magazine Spots
One-on-One with Author Pauleanna Reid
Pauleanna Reid Talks Surviving Depression & Suicide Attempts
Pauleanna Reid Debunks Mother-Daughter Relationships
Pauleanna Reid Shares How She Stays Ahead of the Curve, Overcomes Obstacles & Stay Inspired
Pauleanna Reid Talks Beauty, Style, & Her Biggest Inspirations
20 Questions with Pauleanna Reid
Exclusive interview with Pauleanna Reid: The Brand & The Story Behind It
PRODUCT Toronto Magazine
Pauleanna Reid Speaks with Radio Host, Arlette Davis, About Being The New Girl On The Block & New Book
Loving Me Today Radio
Interview with Pauleanna Reid
Womens Movement Radio
Book Club footage: EICTMM
The Reiding List
Black History Month Keynote Speech (video)
Loretto Abbey Catholic Senior Secondary School
Pauleanna Gives Keynote Speech (video)
3rd Annual RISE Above Young Womens Empowerment Conference, Centennial College
Pauleanna Reid Gives Keynote Speech
Black T.I.E. Charity Brunch,
General inquiries email@example.com Publicist Publisher For Pauleanna's official author biography and downloadable, high-resolution images of Pauleanna and her book cover, please visit the For Media Page. Pauleanna is happy to sign your book for you or your gift recipient. Just send your book along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the address listed below. 1 Dundas Street West - Suite 2500
All specific requests for interviews, book signings, media appearances, media kits, speaking engagements and photos related to Pauleanna’s new book, Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother should be directed to Safia Bartholomew.
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For Pauleanna's official author biography and downloadable, high-resolution images of Pauleanna and her book cover, please visit the For Media Page.
Pauleanna is happy to sign your book for you or your gift recipient. Just send your book along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the address listed below.
1 Dundas Street West - Suite 2500