Krysten Lindsay Hager: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.

Going Back to Those Teen Years
Krysten Lindsay Hager

Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
Why would someone want to go back in time and revisit those early teen years and the awkward, cringe-worthy moments of insecurities, growing up, trying figure out where you fit in, who you are, and on top of that dealing with crushes, schoolwork, and friendships? Well, I decided to write the book I wanted to read when I was that age. Going back to that time period was a bit chaotic, but I am so fortunate there weren't camera phones to capture my scrunched hair period (Salon Selectives hairspray and spray gel to get it crunchy and scrunchy—what was I thinking?) And let's not forget Daisy Duke shorts, the MAC lipstick with dark brown lip pencil outlining my lips, yeah, that was…cute. Nothing like looking like you just finished a bowl of chocolate pudding and forgot to wipe your mouth. Oh, and I danced to Paula Abdul in a grade school talent show in a Guess sweatshirt and jean shorts. We won't even discuss how I thought using Sun-In on dark brown hair would turn out well. So the teen years are all about trying to figure out who you are and trying on different personas (or in my case, hair colors) to see where you fit in best. It's a confusing time where you can feel insecure, but it feels more isolating when the very people who are supposed to have your back are the ones that are creating that insecurity. Frenemies are a big part of growing up and learning how to deal with them is never easy. I wrote the series that I not only wanted to read when I was that age, but what I needed to read back then and I hope other readers will feel the same way.

The Landry's True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult/middle grade series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image. Best Friends…Forever? (Book 2) was ranked at #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases in Children's Books on Values and #1 on Amazon's Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction. True Colors (Book 1) is an international bestselling book.

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.
            Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what's right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?

"Landry, it's gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi's school next year," Tori said. "I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?"
"It's a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. "People break up all the time. It's not a big deal.ʺ
Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, "Yeah, right," and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first prefreshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn't told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she'd probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: "Landry, Vladi's here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, 'hello.' Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a 'loser dumpee?' What does that mean?"
Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn't have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.

Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Author bio:
Krysten Lindsay Hager is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn't like. She's worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she's not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master's degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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