Title/Author: Competing With The Star (The Star Series Book 2)/ Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: YA Fiction
Date of publish: May 2016
The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past—or so they say…
“Hadley our teenage heroine has many of the insecurities, which inflict most of us at this young age…A lovely story, with some good lessons about friendship, self-esteem and relationships, perfectly pitched for teen/young adult readers.” From author Jane Hunt.
“…Hager’s main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl’s early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18.” Review from Readers’ Favorite book reviews.
“…The story gives you so much insight into the minds of teenage girls and makes you realize that deep down, everyone has the same insecurities and everyone goes through the same things in life. Despite these insecurities and fears, the main character stands up for herself. This is such an important message for teen girls!” Amazon customer review
Hadley has gotten in with the “In” crowd at her new high school. She had good friends and a great boyfriend and life was good, even if she had to deal with a few ‘mean girls’ along the way. While I was never friends with a tv star, I have to say that this book brought me back to high school romance with all its unknowns and insecurities. I imagine most teen girls would see themselves in this book somewhere.
I read the first book in this series, ‘Next Door To A Star’ and I admit that I was a little bit frustrated at hard all the girls tried to seem like something more than they were, though there too I was reminded of the seething pit of social rules governing high school relationships.This book is a fabulous sequel and shows tremendous growth for the group. I love that Hadley has a close group of friends and Nick was and is a favorite character for me.
There are some great lessons about friends ship and trust through out the story.
It isn’t necessary to read book 1 in the series to enjoy this story, but it would helpful with tracking the hierarchy of the kids’ relationships, plus it offers some great back ground on Hadley and her family. Read my review of the first book HERE
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“So you don’t miss your old school? Or anyone back home?”
“Who? Lexi’s in Dallas now.”
He shifted. “I dunno, some guy or somebody you used to date.”
I shook my head.
“You know, I heard you guys ran into Jack Brogger a couple weeks ago. How can I compare to that?”
I tried to hide my embarrassed smile. Everyone teased me about my insane crush on Jack who was my favorite pop star and I had no idea Nick knew about all of that.
“Jack’s cute, but…”
“Don’t even tell me he’s not your type. I heard all about your love for him from Asia and Simone.”
My face was getting so warm now. “I admit I do like him a lot, but you know…”
“What? He’s not here, so you’re stuck with me until he comes back to town?”
“My type is someone who is sweet and someone I can talk to about anything. I think Jack’s more into the club scene. From what I’ve read anyway,” I said, not sharing that I had Jack’s name on a Google Alert so any mention of his name came across my radar—or my phone to be more accurate.
“Sweet? Usually that’s what girls say before they tell you there will be no second date and then you enter the friend zone,” Nick said.
“Nope, I’m a girl who appreciates the sweet guys. I’d much rather go out with a guy who’d spend his sixteenth birthday with his grandpa than a guy who would take me to a big concert or a club,” I said. “I’d pick the thoughtful guy every time.”
Nick stopped walking and looked at me. “You know, I don’t tell a lot of people about everything that’s going on with my grandpa. It’s been so hard to watch his decline—his life changed overnight with that stupid surgery. I run into Pilar at the home a lot and she’s never once asked what’s going on. Maybe she doesn’t want to be nosy—I dunno. But you’re the first person I’ve shared all that stuff with.”
I smiled. “I’m glad you did.”
“Me too,” he said, and kissed me. Okay, this was officially the perfect first date.
We walked to the end of the pier and he put his arm around me. “You know, forget what I said about the fancy dinner thing. I think this was seriously the best first date ever,” he said.
“That’s what I was thinking.”
“You didn’t even ask me to take a selfie with you,” he said. “Simone and Morgan and those girls are always taking so many selfies here on the pier, I’m not even sure they notice the water around them.”
“I got caught up in the moment and forgot all about taking pictures,” I said. “But would it be lame if we took one? I feel if we don’t, this moment didn’t happen.”
He started to laugh. “Okay, sure. That’s what I like about you. You were in the moment and not just posting crap online so all your friends could see it.”
“Yeah, but that’s what everyone does.”
“Exactly, and I like that you’re not just like everybody else.”
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star . Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.
In Her Own Words:
1. If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past and present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?
I’d love to have lunch with the late Paula Danziger because her biography is what made me realize I was meant to write YA books. She took her own difficult experiences with growing up and shared them with her readers to help them deal with going through the same things and that’s what I hope to do with my own work. I loved her novels as a teen, but really began to appreciate them after I was past those angst-y years of trying to fit. I would also like Lois Lowry and F. Scott Fitzgerald to be there and I wouldn’t say a word—I’d just sit and let them talk about their writing process while I listened and took notes.
2. If you could be friends with a character in one of your stories who would it be and what kinds of things would you do together?
I would love to be friends with Charlotte. She’s such a loyal friend and has a sweet, sensitive way of giving advice and helping out her friends. She wants what’s best for Hadley and provides kind of the calm in the storm for Hadley. She’s a good listener and the voice of reason, too. We should all have a friend like Charlotte.
3. What would your dream library look like?
I love watching TV shows about old estates or visiting them like the Edsel Ford house in Detroit or the Dodge house because they have these amazing rooms with built-in bookcases. I also used to like the library on my Clue board game, too! I’d want my library to have dark wood built-in bookcases, a green velvet sofa, a window seat, and a fireplace.
4. What makes you want to share your stories?
What makes me want to share my stories is that I’m writing for that girl who comes home from school after having a hard day where she feels left out or maybe that she just doesn’t feel like she completely fits in and life seems overwhelming. I want her to feel like she’s not alone—make her laugh and make her realize she’s okay just the way she is right now.
5. What is your all time favorite book or author?
I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is one of my all -time favorites, but I also love The Crack Up. His essays are so real and have an edge to them. This might sound weird, but I’m holding off on reading all his short stories because once I’ve read them all then there is nothing new of his to read.
6. Name three fun facts about you or your work.
I went to my high school reunion this summer and saw some of the people who fueled my inspiration for the mean girls. Not all of them were there and I was tempted to ask, “So hey, how’s ____?” But I was afraid it’d get back that I was asking. I will say if Next Door to a Star or Competing with the Star had come out before the reunion…well, I probably wouldn’t have gone!
When I was flipping through the channels one day I stopped on the show “Girl Meets World” and my mouth dropped open because the character Lucas looks exactly like how I imagined Hadley’s boyfriend, Nick Jenkins to look, but I created the Nick character a long time ago! It threw me so now when I see people online talking about if Lucas should pick Maya or Riley, I think, no, he belongs with Hadley.
The book is set in Grand Haven, Michigan where I used to visit in the summers when I was a teen. I used to dream I’d run into one of my celebrity crushes there and I never did, so I let Hadley live out my fantasy with that. Almost all of the places she goes in the Star Series are real places in Grand Haven and Saugatuck.
7. Which of your current works in progress are you most passionate about?
I’d have to say the follow up to Competing with the Star where Hadley gets a chance to be in her favorite singer’s music video. She’s had a crush on Jack Brogger forever and he’s everything she thought he’d be and more. I admit I’m used my own crush from my teen years to write those scenes. The new book will be called Aligning with the Star.
8. If you could go on a road trip with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and where would you go?
I would love to go on a road trip with F. Scott Fitzgerald and we could go visit New York City and he could show me what places inspired him. We’d need to go shopping too, and I feel that Scott would be fun to shop with—like he’d hold your purse while you tried stuff on and never complained how long you took.
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