Monday 21 September 2015

Book Review: Next Door To A Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Last Updated: 21 May 2021

Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager book cover

AD* | Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

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 neighbour 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.

Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live… Next Door To A Star?

I seem to have read a glut of books featuring a normal person falling in love with a celebrity recently - see my reviews of The One Thing, Finding Flynn, Zaryk and Jesse's Girl - so I had quite high hopes for this book. I knew this one was different from all the others because the main character wanted to befriend the celebrity rather than fall in love with them. So therefore I was looking forward to seeing the same kind of premise explored slightly differently.

Unfortunately, I was left disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I love YA - it's probably my favourite genre. But this type of YA? Not so much.

The main character was an annoying, whiny girl who complained about everything and was never satisfied. She was selfish and self-absorbed and didn't seem to mind hurting other people to get her own way. The rest of the characters weren't much better either. Simone, the eponymous star next door, was equally annoying, and even more self-absorbed. The boys were childish and immature stereotypes, Morgan and the rest of the 'mean girls' were just downright irritating.

The only decent characters were Charlotte and Asia. Charlotte was sweet, real, and charmingly childlike. She didn't care about fitting in with the popular girls and wasn't afraid to be different, which was a refreshing island in a sea of stereotypical drama. Asia's winning point was her character development. Throughout the book, she went from being one of Simone's cronies to Morgan's BFF, then finally ended up as herself. The part where the girls helped set up Hadley's doll's house was one of my favourite extracts from the book because it showed that no matter how hard they try to grow up, they're still kids at heart.

The plot was another disappointment, simply because it didn't really go anywhere. Sure, stuff happened, but there were no major plot points and nothing that made me have to keep reading. To be honest I got kind of bored about halfway through and only continued reading because I don't give up on books.

It was just too childish, with too much irritating teen drama, and it wasn't interesting enough for me.

Also, is it just me, or does anyone else think the cover star really looks like Jennifer Lawrence?

Rating: 2 stars

Next Door To A Star is available to buy now (paid link; commission earned).

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 

Will you be reading Next Door To A Star? Let me know in the comments below!

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