Jenni L. Walsh Shares Her “Ass Cheeks on the Slats” Moment

In honor of the launch of Amy Poeppel’s hilarious debut, SMALL ADMISSIONS, this week we’re writing on topics related to some of the book’s themes – parenting, school admissions, broken hearts, relationships, and friendships.

Let’s first start by gushing over this book. I began reading on a particularly hard work week. I cozied up in bed. I sipped on a glass of wine. I spat that wine all over myself. I quickly reached for my phone.

I sent Amy this:

I keep choking on my wine. This is the latest line that made me laugh into my glass: Her skirt was too short, so she could feel her ass on the wood slats.

Your writing is brilliant! All of these moments feel so real!

I kept reading. Some paragraphs I read aloud to my husband, who was trying to read his own book. It didn’t take long before I picked up my phone again to send Amy this:

I’m seriously dying. Where did you come up with this stuff? It’s gold!

It truly is. The book felt so real to me, like I was also experiencing the random, chaotic, hilarious, and cringe-worthy moments of Kate Pearson’s life. It reminded me of some of my own random chaotic, hilarious, and cringe-worthy moments. Maybe too well. Throughout the years, I’ve had many of my own “ass cheeks on the slats” experiences.

I remember one break-up. He was my first college boyfriend, together for freshman and sophomore year. He ended things the summer before junior year, conveniently a few days prior to his 21st birthday. Apparently, he wanted to celebrate without his ball and chain. We still spoke that summer, after his birthday hangover wore off, and when school started again, we had a few drunken reunions, until even those began to fade. There was one night I ended up on the steps outside his door, my face in my hands, crying. This girl sat down beside me, someone I never met before. She bumped her shoulder against mine and said, “I can promise you, he’s not worth it.”

Boy, was she right. I picked myself up after that and left that boy in my past. I grew up a little in that moment. Much of SMALL ADMISSIONS is Kate Pearson growing up, and although my experiences were ultimately different than hers, I saw myself in the characters of the book. I truly enjoyed my time with Kate. I shook my head at her. I laughed at her. I laughed with her. I cheered for her. I was proud of her. And I encourage you to grab a glass of wine and spend an evening (or two) with Kate Pearson for yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll see a little of yourself in Kate as well.

SMALL ADMISSIONS debuted on Tuesday and you can get your very own copy at your local bookstore or any of these sites:


Barnes & Noble



Seriously, go get your own copy. Enjoy!

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at