Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Review: True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

True Colors (Landry's True Colors Series Book 1)
By Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publisher: Clean Reads
Published: June 16, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

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 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, 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. She begins missing out on being with friends and 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. 

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My Thoughts:

Ericka, one of Landry’s two best friends insists on Landry and Tori going to the mall with her to enter the modeling tryouts to be on the American Ingénue show. Landry only very reluctantly agrees to enter when Ericka insists they both enter with her. Landry was surprised at the result of the tryouts, but more than shocked by her friends’ reaction.

I liked Landry’s down-to-earth nature. The story was written from her point of view, sharing her thoughts and feelings. I could really relate to her because I was always invisible, didn’t have many friends and didn’t feel like one of the pretty girls or have a great self-esteem either. I give her a lot of credit for getting up there and participating in the first modeling tryout in the first place. I know I wouldn’t have done it – no matter how much prodding from my friend!

The one person in the novel I didn’t like was Devon. She was a master manipulator. I found her to be very self-centred and demanding, always wanting to be the centre of attention. She was always talking down about people when they weren’t around and getting mad at her friends when they didn’t go along with what she wanted. She held grudges and refused to speak to them when she was mad at them.

I think the modeling tryout for American Ingénue and the following aftermath, while not pleasant for Landry were good for her in that they really helped her to grow up and understand what real friendship is, and how to be genuine with those around her. Some of the twists and turns in True Colors really showed how artificial or even two-faced people could be. Her experiences helped her to grow as a person, learn more about herself, be strong and believe in herself and reach out and make new true friends.

Mixed in with all of this was Landry’s confusion over her parent’s relationship. She lived with her mother in Grand Rapids and her dad lived in Chicago, but they weren’t officially separated or divorced. Developing a friendship with someone she could talk to about someone she could share her troubles with helped her figure out some strategies could help her deal with her home situation.

The teen years are notoriously difficult for young women. Peer pressure issues, self-esteem, hormones and everything else that goes on including the granting of greater freedoms, curfews, boundaries and so on can make this time especially difficult for those without strong friends or mentors with whom to talk things out.

I thought the author did an excellent job of writing a book that really speaks to the issues of teen girls today. While the girls are a little boy crazy sometimes, the book was clean and fun and I think it really hit the mark. If you have a teenage girl, this may be a book you want to pick up for her. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Children's Books on Values. True Colors is an international bestselling book. Her standalone YA novel, Next Door to a Star, is out now. Stay tuned for a release date for Landry in Like.

Krysten is 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.

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