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.
Love gone bad.
Is this really what it's like to live...
Next Door To A Star?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'll admit I wasn't sure about this book at first. I almost gave up on it, but I'm so glad I didn't. Krysten Lindsay Hagar has created a very convincing young teen. The voice is so youthful, I had to remind myself and adult wrote it. Don't get me wrong, the writing is solid, but the character comes across as relatively immature, which is normal for a girl her age. My issue was that I didn't much care for Hadley. She was insecure and shallow. Both of those are also very legitimate trates in a fourteen or fifteen-year-old girl, which made it difficult to really care what happened to Hadley. I was ambivalent at best over whether or not she made new friends, got to meet her idol, or hang out with the popular girls. But see that's just the thing, girls that age grow up a lot and change as a result of that growth. Because Hadley was so difficult to like in the beginning, for me, her development was that much more rewarding. Plot This is basically the story of a girl trying to fit in. When her best, and really only, friend moves away, Hadley realizes no one else in her small school wants her around. Eager for a fresh start, she spends the summer by the lake with her grandparents who just happen to live next to, Simone, a girl who used to star on a teen soap that sounds a bit of Dawson's Creek. Simone only reluctantly spends time with Hadley, preferring her popular friends, the story of Hadley's life. Charlotte, the butt of many jokes by the cool kids, is willing to spend time with Hadley, which means Hadley's less interested. She blows Charlotte off time and again to be with Simone instead, even though Simone stands her up repeatedly. This is when I really didn't like Hadley. But Hadley learns a lesson about what matters and her growth is organic, logically flowing from the events in her life. Characters Other than disliking most of the characters, they are very believable as the often shallow, messed up young teens they are. In fact, Hadley is one of the most authentic young teen characters I've read in awhile. Because of that, I'm really glad I'm not a teen any more. I'd forgotten how mean they can be to one another, how much image matters, and how rude they can be without remorse. Ending The ending wasn't earth shattering, but it was definitely worth sticking through the story for. Watching Hadley, Simone, and some of the other girls really grow and become more self-aware gave me hope for their generation (one my fifteen-year-old daughter is a member of). What Didn't Work for Me 1. The pacing. There were too many times when the story just moved way too slow for me. Hadley would go into town and get ice cream at least a dozen times and nothing much seemed to happen as a result. There seemed to be a lot of events that didn't advance the plot. 2. Black holes. A couple of things I thought would lead to something else, never did, leaving me scratching my head as to why they were mentioned. 3. The epiphany. Hadley realizes something in a pretty big moment, but the way it unfolds came across as odd to me. What I Enjoyed About Next Door to a Star 1. The author's voice. Hadley comes across as so authentic, there are times I still can't believe it was written by an adult. 2. The friendship dynamics. So much of the fighting among teen girls, not being allowed to like a boy because one of your friends liked him first, not being able to talk to someone because someone else is pissed at them, the shifting loyalties and jockeying for position, took
If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult novels then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf. Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world. And when she finds herself vacationing, and eventually living, next to a former television actress, she thinks this is her opportunity to finally become part of the popular crowd. But beneath that top, superficial, layer rests a meatier story about acceptance and being true to oneself, regardless of the consequences. I’d been wanting to read one of Ms. Hager’s novels for some time now, and Next Door to a Star certainly didn’t disappoint with characters that felt familiar, as if they were people I’d met before, and plot twists that kept the story moving at a brisk pace. And, as with most YA novels, the ending will make you smile, satisfied to have spent several hours with Ms. Hager’s charming characters.
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite Being fourteen is just not an easy job. Especially for the socially awkward. And Hadley fitted right into that category. Sometimes it was the only place she felt she fitted. When her best and only friend Lexi moves away, Hadley is certain that her future suddenly turned bleaker than ever, if that was possible. An invitation to spend the summer with her grandparents seemed the best solution for her. Hadley entertained hopes of befriending Simone Hendrickson, her grandparent’s movie star neighbor. Of course, she thought, that will never happen. Things like that never happened to her, but it was fun to imagine. So, Hadley is surprised when Simone actually recognizes her as a companion, even though it is obvious that it is a rebound situation. Simone is constantly at odds with Morgan and Pilar, neither of whom give Hadley the time of day. It seems that Hadley is doomed to be the “loser,” no matter where she lives. Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl growing into her teen years. Hadley is faced with the reality of the fickleness of young girls while also learning the truth of the old adage of “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Caught in a maze of jealousy, painful gossip, and the status of brand name importance, 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.