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About The Book

The witty and wise authors of The Nanny Diaries are back with an irresistible comedy about a forty-something wife and mother thrust back into the workforce, where she finds herself at the mercy of a #BossHalfHerAge.

When Rory McGovern’s actor husband, Blake, loses his dream job and announces he’s going to “crash” at a friend’s, Rory can’t imagine that he might be entering a mid-life crisis that could avalanche their whole lives. She was already spread thin and now, without warning, she’s single-parenting two kids, juggling science projects, flu season, karate classes, and middle school applications, all while coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage. Financially strapped, her only hope is to accept a full-time position working for two full-time twenty-somethings, Taylor and Kimmy.

Armed with their Ivy League MBAs and dressed to go clubbing, these girls think they know it all and have been given the millions from venture capitalists to back up their delusion—that the future of digital media is JeuneBug, a luxury lifestyle site for kids.

With shattered confidence, Rory jumps in headfirst and despite being constantly undermined by her underwhelmed bosses, becomes the top contributor thanks to her creativity and—wait for it—experience. Her bosses might think that’s a dirty word, but when the Proenza Schueler hits the fan Rory’s experience just might be the only thing that can save them.

Since their “diabolically funny” (The New York Times) debut The Nanny Diaries, McLaughlin and Kraus have proven their ability to illuminate provocative issues with wry wit and heartfelt emotion. How to Be a Grown-Up is an entertaining and insightful story aimed at anyone, of any age, who is waiting to feel “grown-up.”

About The Authors

Photo by Melanie Dunea/CPi

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus are the New York Times bestselling authors of The Nanny Diaries, Citizen Girl, Nanny Returns, and the young adult novels, The Real Real and Over You. They are the cofounders of, a book coaching firm, and work together in New York City. For more information visit

Photo by Melanie Dunea/CPi

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 28, 2015)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451643466

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for How To Be a Grown-Up:

"McLaughlin and Kraus have done something much more interesting by making Rory funny, self-aware and supremely competent: a fully realized human being. The joy of this book is not wondering whether she will succeed, but watching her do it. Rory is a modern damsel in distress who doesn't wait for a prince to rescue her, but pulls on her boots and strides out to slay the dragon herself."

– Eliza Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review

“Such a cupcake of a book, it feels like you're doing something more self-indulgent than reading.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“...humorous and rewarding... smart and lively.”

– Booklist

“A super-fun romp of a generational collision and a marital breakdown, starring a flustered but steel-strong leading lady.”

– Library Journal

“ …the book never fails to set a course for adventure and make it hilarious, with the occasional moment of quiet reflection on modern times.”

– Book Reporter

“This book is LOL funny.”

– Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“McLaughlin and Kraus have given us late 30-somethings a little summertime indulgence. As The Nanny Diaries did for readers in their 20s, How to Be a Grown-Up hits the midlife sweet spot.”

– BookPage

Praise for The First Affair:

“Just as they humanized a pop princess in their last outing, here they offer up a convincing portrait of a damaged young woman whose head is turned by the attentions of a dashing and powerful political figure. This compassionate examination of a young woman led astray is an utterly absorbing page-turner.”

– Booklist on THE FIRST AFFAIR

“A dishy, sometimes somber, scandalous tale of what happens when you fall in love with the president of the United States.”


“Jamie’s unreliability as a narrator and complexity as a character add an interesting dimension to a story that might otherwise have seemed trashy and exploitative."

– Publishers Weekly on THE FIRST AFFAIR

Praise for Between You and Me:
“Pop star craziness meets Nanny Diaries wit and social commentary? Yes, please!"

– Hollywood Reporter on BETWEEN YOU AND ME

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