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
Top Ten Favorite Songs:
- I Don’t Care by Cheryl Cole: It’s the song I put on when someone or something has upset me and I have to take a moment to step back and realize I don’t care about what anyone else thinks and how they react to me or my life. It’s a very freeing and liberating song.
- Feelin’ So Good by Jennifer Lopez: This video for this song represents a time in my life when I was in grad school and I love watching the video and reminiscing. This is probably why I’m having trouble cleaning out my closet with all the J.Lo clothes from back then in it!
- Fight Song by Rachel Platten: This song represents every moment where I had to keep pushing and keep going when other people thought I should just stay with a “safe job.” I had a lot of people who thought I was crazy to keep pursuing a writing career because it’s such a shot in the dark. I look back at old journals of mine and can see who had no faith in me. It’s sobering.
- I Look to You by Whitney Houston: I started listening to this one a few years ago when I lost a friend and a cousin around the same time. This is also a song I would play during the time my dad was going through an illness. I actually played it for him in the hospital and it was so weird—the lyrics which had always made me think it was a narrative for me, suddenly sounded like what my dad was going through himself. It’s one of those songs where you have nothing left and you turn to God for strength.
- Change Your Mind by Boyce Avenue: I swear this song is my soundtrack for so many of the breakup/love-gone-bad bad relationships scenes I write.
- Healer by Kari Jobe: If I’m upset or not feeling well, I play this one on repeat and it always calms me down. My friend Melissa sent me the video for it when I was having a hard time years ago and it was the perfect song at just the right moment.
- Mama Do by Pixie Lott: They used to play this video all the time when I lived in Portugal and I loved it then and love it now.
- I Need You Tonight by Professor Green featuring Ed Drewett : Take the INXS song and add an English rapper to it. Magic.
- That’s Life by Frank Sinatra: This one felt like my theme song when I lived overseas. It’s funny because there’s a line in the song that basically says if nothing happens by July, you’re going roll up and die, and I kept saying, watch me find out something major in July. Sure enough, July that year I found out I was moving back to the U.S.
- Breathe (2 AM) Anna Nalick: it just sums up how you feel in those early morning hours when you’re writing in your journal uninhibited.
Facs 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.
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.