Once again, Krysten Lindsey Hager takes her readers into the mind of 15-year old Hadley Daniels as Hadley embarks on her first real romantic relationship. When we last saw Hadley, she had finally found her place, solidifying friendships and making her relationship with Nick Jenkins official. Of course, when you’re 15, nothing stays the same for long, especially when old feelings of insecurity find their way to the forefront of your mind.
I wasn’t sure at first if I’d like this sequel to Next Door to a Star as much as I did it. Hadley and Nick have just started holding hands in public when she lets the local mean girls and her lack of confidence question how true her relationship with Nick is. But when she starts being honest with herself, and Nick, about the cause of these insecurities, she’s able to get passed them-eventually.
Hager brings back all the same characters from book 1, including Simone, the star next door, who became one of Hadley’s good friends. When she finds out that Nick used to have a huge crush on Simone, Hadley finds herself in a tailspin, imagining the worst. When something happens to seemingly confirm her fears, Hadley is forced to confront them and reevaluate her friendships and romance. I liked the honesty of this, as high school is a time for learning how to navigate relationships and learn to trust your own feelings.
Even though the characters are 15/16 in Competing with the Star, I found the narration and dialogue to be more fitting for a younger person, maybe late middle school or a high school freshman. I liked the innocence of the book, something that’s hard to find these days, even in YA reading. I would have been happy to let my 13/14-year-old daughter read this when at that age.
3.5 Stars for Competing with the Star.
I received this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Competing with the Star was published in March 2016 by Limitless.