NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
★ SYNOPSIS ★
Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.
After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.
Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.
It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.
To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…
He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.
So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.
Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.
Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnLXsu2c43k
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnLXsu2c43k
The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.
Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.
Charlotte called later and asked if I wanted to go with her to the party tomorrow .I went to put on my fake tan and imagined myself walking into the party looking all tan and gorgeous, and everyone would be wondering who I was and why they hadn’t asked me to hang out with them before. Connor and Lucas would want my phone number, Nick would be begging me to go out with him, Simone would realize I was cool, and Morgan would want to be my friend.
Then reality set in. First, the fake tan squirted out of the bottle all gooey. I rubbed the cold cream all over my arms and legs and put a little on my face. Simone had said you had to wash your hands well or it would stain your palms. I wasn’t sure how to put the tanning stuff on the back of my hands without getting it on my palms and drying, so I decided not to put any on my hands at all. I sat on some paper towels so I wouldn’t get any brown stuff on my bed, but it seemed to dry fast.
I woke up the next morning and I was definitely darker. My face was kind of orange, but my arms and legs had streaks on them. It was like somebody had burned me with a curling iron. Plus, my hands looked like I had white gloves on compared to the rest of me. I couldn’t go to the party all streaky.
People would make fun of me. I thought about putting the tanning stuff on all the lighter places on my body, but then it might look like I had a disease.
I ended up wearing a long sleeved shirt and jeans to the party. Charlotte had on a t-shirt and shorts when she came to pick me up.
“Aren’t you hot wearing all that?” she asked.
“I want to be covered for the mosquitoes,” I said. “Malaria is nothing to mess around with.”
I wasn’t the only one wearing jeans at the party, but I felt like I was dressed for a winter carnival when I saw Morgan and Pilar. Pilar had a deep pink halter top on with tiny jean shorts, and she had put some shimmery stuff all over her arms and legs. Morgan was wearing a blue crocheted tank top, and she would have passed for at least seventeen. She had her curly blonde hair down for a change, and all the guys were sitting around her.
“She’s so fake-looking,” Charlotte said as we watched Morgan and Lucas dance.
Morgan seemed so confident as she moved her hips. I wouldn’t be able to dance so free even if I was alone in my own bedroom. I was glad I had worn jeans because I would have seemed like a skinny kid next to Morgan’s muscular legs.
Bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and the new Star Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors and Best Friends…Forever? as well as in, Next Door to a Star. The sequel to Next Door to a Star (Competing with the Star: Star Series: Book 2) will be out March 22nd and the 3rd book in the Landry’s True Colors Series (Landry in Like: Book 3) will be out January 12th.
She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern 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.
Facts About Next Door to a Star
The idea for the book came from situations I observed back in my school days. I couldn’t understand why some girls let their “friends” treat them the way they did. Hadley isn’t based on me, but rather on a lot of things I witnessed that made an impression on me.
The Pilar character is a mix of both a mean girl and a victim of a mean girl. In the next book, Competing with the Star, you’ll learn more about Pilar and why she acts the way she does.
The first time I saw the show, “Girl Meets World,” I thought that Lucas (Peyton Meyer) looked exactly like how I pictured Nick Jenkins in my mind.
When I saw my cover, I just gasped because the cover model is the perfect Hadley. Hats off to Ashley Byland of Redbird Designs for getting that so right.
I went to Grand Haven almost every summer as a kid and teen and made several research trips, too. There’s nothing like walking the pier imagining the characters with you. I have tons of pictures—I even have the picture of the alley where Asia and Hadley see their rock star crush, Jack Brogger.
There’s a scene where Nick walks Hadley and her friends home early from a party even though it means he has to leave himself. It’s based on something that happened when I was in high school and a guy left a football game early to walk me and my friend to her brother’s car which was parked far away. I thought it was the sweetest thing and never forgot that.
When I was writing the book, I pictured Grace Kelly as Aunt Faith.
People ask me who Charlotte’s grandpa was based on and honestly I imagine a comic book strip character when I write his scenes—he looks like Ralph from Crankshaft. Oddly, I got to meet the creator of Crankshaft last spring at a writing event. I hadn’t signed the contract for Next Door to a Star at that point though, but we did talk about Ralph because I liked the storyline he did with Ralph and his wife’s dementia.
The idea for Hadley’s rock star crush came from my decades long crush on George Michael. I used the last name “Brogger” for him because that was a nickname my grandpa’s coworkers gave him.
Simone and Hadley do movie marathons of Josh Haven, but who was my Josh Haven? Well, when I was in grade school it was…Charlie Sheen. Yup, my cousin Anne and I did a movie marathon of Charlie Sheen films. Her mom even rented, “Heidi,” for us and we fast-forwarded through every scene Charlie wasn’t in. You might be thinking about the “Two and a Half Men” show right now, but let me just say, “Wall Street.” Google it, see Charlie’s beauty, and then ask yourself why my uncle would think that was an appropriate movie for a 10 year old to watch.