Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but i
mpresses the judges enough to make it to the next round.
However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.
The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.
“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.
I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.
“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.
Tori was next.
“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.
About Krysten Lindsay Hager:
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star
and Competingwith the Star. Best Friends…Forever?
was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors
is an international bestseller. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Grand Haven Tribune
, and on the talk show Living Dayton.
Author social media links:
Read Other Books by Krysten Lindsay Hager:
Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.
Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue TV show modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?
Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.
Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?
A few more thoughts about Self-Esteem, Frenemies, Modeling, and Middle School Drama from Author Krysten Lindsay Hager:
In the Landry’s True Colors Series
, we meet my character, Landry Albright, a fourteen year old who deals with self-esteem issues as she tries to see where she fits in with the others at school. Is a girl who just wants to be noticed and fit in, but she also shies away from the spotlight at times. Landry wants to be more self-assured and wouldn’t mind if the modeling competition were to make her a big star…assuming she doesn’t have to wear heels in public or talk in front of a crowd. As she makes new friend, she finds herself conforming to fit in and gets away from her true self. She makes friends who seem to be more sure of themselves, like Thalia, Peyton, and Ashanti, and they encourage Landry to be herself.
Landry and I share a similar sense of humor and way of looking at things. Neither one of us is good at math and spent that class time daydreaming. In True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book 1)
, Landry gets pushed into trying out for a modeling reality show competition by her two best friends. She goes in feeling anxious and unsure of herself, but the other two girls, Ericka and Tori, push her into going to the audition with them. However, things take a turn when Landry gets chosen to move on to the next round and Tori and Ericka don’t. However, in book two, we see that even though Landry moved on in the competition, she still deals with self-image issues after the girls at school talk behind her back.
“It had hurt my feelings when I overheard girls at school say the only reason I had gotten as far as I did in the American Ingénue competition was due to my height. Sure, models had to be tall, but would it have killed someone to say, “Hey Landry, you looked really nice and confident up on that runway?” (from True Colors
Landry also worries about fitting in and being accepted with her new group of friends. She feels like she finally found a comfortable group to be with, but her self-esteem takes a hit when she goes to visit her grandparents for Christmas and feels left out when she sees her friends’ posts on their social media pages about how much fun they’re having in her absence (from Best Friends…Forever? Landry’s True Colors Series Book 2):
“I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that’s when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.
My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑
knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the “Three’s Company” hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, “Wish you were here,” but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.” (from Best Friends…Forever?)
In the series, we see Landry learn that her true worth is more than just her appearance and fitting in with the right crowd. Images of models and celebrities are everywhere showing what the supposed “ideal teen” looks like, which leads Landry to have an unpleasant experience at the makeup counter where the salesperson makes Landry feel worse about herself in order to get her to buy more products. However, soon Landry begins to see through the artificial side of things and she learns to value what’s truly important in herself and others.