Competing with a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past—or so they say…
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?
“So you don’t miss your old school? Or anyone back home?”
“Who? Lexi’s in Dallas now.”
He shifted. “I dunno, some guy or somebody you used to date.”
I shook my head.
“You know, I heard you guys ran into Jack Brogger a couple weeks ago. How can I compare to that?”
I tried to hide my embarrassed smile. Everyone teased me about my insane crush on Jack who was my favorite pop star and I had no idea Nick knew about all of that.
“Jack’s cute, but…”
“Don’t even tell me he’s not your type. I heard all about your love for him from Asia and Simone.”
My face was getting so warm now. “I admit I do like him a lot, but you know…”
“What? He’s not here, so you’re stuck with me until he comes back to town?”
“My type is someone who is sweet and someone I can talk to about anything. I think Jack’s more into the club scene. From what I’ve read anyway,” I said, not sharing that I had Jack’s name on a Google Alert so any mention of his name came across my radar—or my phone to be more accurate.
“Sweet? Usually that’s what girls say before they tell you there will be no second date and then you enter the friend zone,” Nick said.
“Nope, I’m a girl who appreciates the sweet guys. I’d much rather go out with a guy who’d spend his sixteenth birthday with his grandpa than a guy who would take me to a big concert or a club,” I said. “I’d pick the thoughtful guy every time.”
Nick stopped walking and looked at me. “You know, I don’t tell a lot of people about everything that’s going on with my grandpa. It’s been so hard to watch his decline—his life changed overnight with that stupid surgery. I run into Pilar at the home a lot and she’s never once asked what’s going on. Maybe she doesn’t want to be nosy—I dunno. But you’re the first person I’ve shared all that stuff with.”
I smiled. “I’m glad you did.”
“Me too,” he said, and kissed me. Okay, this was officially the perfect first date.
We walked to the end of the pier and he put his arm around me. “You know, forget what I said about the fancy dinner thing. I think this was seriously the best first date ever,” he said.
“That’s what I was thinking.”
“You didn’t even ask me to take a selfie with you,” he said. “Simone and Morgan and those girls are always taking so many selfies here on the pier, I’m not even sure they notice the water around them.”
“I got caught up in the moment and forgot all about taking pictures,” I said. “But would it be lame if we took one? I feel if we don’t, this moment didn’t happen.”
He started to laugh. “Okay, sure. That’s what I like about you. You were in the moment and not just posting crap online so all your friends could see it.”
“Yeah, but that’s what everyone does.”
“Exactly, and I like that you’re not just like everybody else.”
“Hadley our teenage heroine has many of the insecurities, which inflict most of us at this young age…A lovely story, with some good lessons about friendship, self-esteem and relationships, perfectly pitched for teen/young adult readers.” From author Jane Hunt.
“…Hager’s main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl’s early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18.” Review from Readers’ Favorite book reviews.
“…The story gives you so much insight into the minds of teenage girls and makes you realize that deep down, everyone has the same insecurities and everyone goes through the same things in life. Despite these insecurities and fears, the main character stands up for herself. This is such an important message for teen girls!” Amazon customer review
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like. and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.
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