Today we welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager, author of “True Colors.”
Krysten is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.
About the book:
Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.
Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.
Landry Albright gets pushed into trying out for the American Ingénue reality show modeling competition with her two best friends. She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.
Enter the gorgeous Devon Abrams, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?
Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modeling than just getting your hair done and looking pretty. She begins missing out on being with new friends like Ashanti, a girl who truly has Landry’s back. Landry also has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.
Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt either.
While I was deciding whether or not to chicken out, the stage manager, Georgia, started having the girls go out on stage. I overheard somebody say one girl fell out of her shoe as she stepped on the runway.
“Is she okay?”
“Yeah, she’s fine. She just pretended to have two heels on and walked on her tip toes,” Georgia said.
I would have burst into tears and run off the stage — kind of like I did when I was four years old and in a dance recital. We were supposed to be little ballerinas and have scarves attached to our tutus, but my mom was still in school at the time and she came home late and forgot to give me my scarves. So all the other little girls pulled out their scarves, and there’s a video of me looking on either side of my tutu for my scarves and then bursting into tears crying “Mommy!” as I ran off the stage. My grandmother said I was adorable, but I don’t think it was any coincidence my grandfather died two weeks later.
At least I didn’t have to worry about missing scarves tonight. All I had to do was focus on not tripping. If I could just make it down the runway and back, I’d be fine. Unless, of course, I suddenly came down with Tourette’s Syndrome and started swearing live on the air… but I’d know if I had Tourette’s, right? It doesn’t just come on out of nowhere, does it?
“Okay, girls. Your group is next,” Georgia said.
I took a deep breath. All I had to do is say, “My name is Landry, and I’m from Grand Rapids.” Easy—as long as I didn’t get the dry heaves or puke into the microphone and electrocute myself…or get diarrhea on live TV. Why did I ever go to the audition in the first place? Everything was fine when I was just boring old Landry fading into the background. The girls at school were a lot nicer to me when I was nobody special. I mean, before this stupid competition I had friends, but now it seemed like there was no one I could trust. Maybe if I lost this stupid thing I could go home and everything would be back to normal.
“Okay, girls. You guys are next.” Georgia pushed me in the back. “Don’t forget to smile,” she said in my ear.
Then the girl in front of me morphed into a different person. She straightened her spine and walked with a little skip in her step. “I’m Desiree, and I’m from Sterling Heights,” she said in a low sexy voice. Great, I had to follow her.
“I’m Landry, and I’m from Chicago, Illinois,” I said. I moved away from the microphone and realized I said “Chicago” instead of “Grand Rapids,” so I went back to the microphone to correct myself and slammed into the next girl. She acted like she didn’t notice, but I had hit the microphone and it made a shrieking noise. I heard laughter. People were laughing at me. On television. I wanted to die.
I saw Georgia gesturing at me to get off the stage, and I walked off. I had been practicing my stupid runway walk for weeks and for what? A chance to humiliate myself on live TV? I’ve always been sorta accident prone. If anybody was going to do something stupid and embarrassing it was probably me, but I thought I could control myself for two seconds on live television. I’m such an idiot.
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