Blurb: 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.
Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
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.
10 Faqs About Best Friends…Forever?
I wrote the scene where Landry and Ashanti go to the school book fair because I loved those when I was in school. I remember walking past the long tables and wanting to buy everything and that was where I got my first scented bookmark—it smelled like cotton candy. Book fairs are awesome.
To create the devastated feeling Landry has during the break up, I listened to sad songs like, Boyce Avenue’s, “Change your Mind,” and I was in the grocery store when they started playing Mariah Carey’s “Can’t Let Go.” I went home and put that on repeat. But it helped me channel the right feeling…and I may have reminded myself of the day when I was a teen and found out one of my favorite athletes had gotten married. How could you, Moose? You hadn’t even met me yet! Ahem, I mean, whatever…
I wrote the makeup counter scene where the salesperson makes Landry feel as if she needs lots of makeup because I hated when I was a teen and women behind the counter had attitudes. I have a yellow tone to my skin and they always made me feel bad saying I needed a “color corrector to cancel it out.” I wanted readers to know they look fine they way they are—it’s just a ploy to get you to buy more.
There are a lot of scenes with Landry getting great advice from her dad because my own father was always the one who gave me the best advice. He was a school administrator, but started off in counseling so he was very sensitive to kids’ feelings. You can really “hear” my dad’s voice in some of the scenes.
I used a lot of my own personal experiences when writing the character, Kendall. My mom was the one who pointed out that she saw a lot of me in the character. That just goes to show people never see themselves in a character!
The freshman information night where Landry goes into total panic mode about seeing how much older the students look is based on my reaction when I went to mine. The idea of high school terrified me, but I ended up liking it. I remember walking in with my friend Barbara and seeing all these girls with their Clinique compacts out fixing their makeup and wondering how everyone had the exact same compact.
The butterfly necklace the girls all want is based on one I bought myself on Mackinac Island. I was looking for something to celebrate the release of the first book in the series, True Colors, and I thought the colors of the crystal represented the book cover for the first book. I decided to put it in the second book since a butterfly is very symbolic of change and metamorphosis, which show the changes Landry goes through as she comes into her own.
Landry’s traumatic hair cut is due to the fact I went to get my hair cut last summer and walked out with a short bob—something I was totally not expecting. It took me a while to get used to it and I felt exposed walking out of the salon, so I wrote down all my feelings and I quickly realized it was meant to be a scene for Landry.
Readers always ask about my inspiration for the Peyton and Ashanti characters. Peyton is a character composite of a bunch of friends I’ve had over the years and Ashanti is what I would imagine the perfect best friend to be: loyal, understanding, fun, and someone you can be yourself around.
The sweet guy in the salon who fixes Landry’s hair for her and makes her feel more comfortable is based on a stylist who was nice to my sister when someone turned her hair orange. It was the day before she was going to start high school and she was desperate to get it fixed. The woman at the salon wanted to dye it black. My sister’s hair is light, so she was thrown. A nice guy came from behind the desk and offered to help. She was able to start 9th grade without an extreme hair color thanks to him. The lesson here is don’t dye your hair right before you start high school.