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Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review & Guest Post - True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

About Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.

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Guest Post

Why Book Covers are so Important
by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Book covers are a reader’s first introduction to a book. It gives them an idea of what the book is about and hopefully intrigues them enough to want to read what the book is about. Everything from the font used, to the cover models and backdrop can help a reader decide if this is a book they want to take a chance on or not. With my Landry’s True Colors Series, my publisher assigned a cover artist. I worked with the cover artist (Cora Graphics) on all three books in the series. I got to pick out which model I thought best represented Landry Albright, my main character. For the first book, True Colors, I wanted the book to show there was some disconnect between Landry (the main character) and the group of girls she was trying to fit in with. For the second book, Best Friend…Forever?, I wanted to use the same model for Landry and I wanted to see her friends, Ashanti and Peyton on the cover, too. For a while it was going to be just Vladi the crush/boyfriend) with Landry, but I am so glad the two other girls are on the cover as well. The previous title dealt with Landry trying to fit in and “find her tribe” so to speak, whereas the second book had her dealing with true friends and how hard it is to deal with when there is any sort of drama between you and a best friend as well as having her first boyfriend. I have to say I also love the backdrop of the book with the school. The third book in the series, Landry in Like, was fun to work on because when I was sent the possible “mean girl” models, there was one that just stood out to me as the perfect Yasmin McCarty. I shrieked when I saw it and knew that was the one. I also love the backdrop on this one and the way the cover lets you know there’s some real drama going on in the story.

People still do judge a book by its cover and with my covers for the Landry’s True Colors Series, I think they all show the character is dealing with some inner conflict and feeling separated from the group, which so many teens deal with on a daily basis. I think the colors being used keep it light which showcases the fun side of the novels.

I had asked for the best friend bracelet charm to be on the first book in the series (True Colors) and it appears on the lettering. I also mentioned to the cover artist how the True Colors phrase in both the first book title and the series name had more than one meaning as it refers to seeing a friend’s true colors, but I also had another purpose in using it. You see, Landry is insecure and she often compares what she has to what other people have and thinks whatever they have/possess is better. For examples, in the case of her hair and eye color, she wants to look like her friend Devon with the curly dark hair and dark brown eyes or with Peyton’s dark red hair. With that in mind, Landry often picks thing (makeup, etc.) that match what the other girls use, whereas her true friends appreciate Landry’s unique beauty—like when Thalia picks makeup for her that matches Landry’s skin tone or when Peyton and Ashanti pick colors that flatter her instead of Landry just following the crowd and going along with what everyone else is wearing. Landry thinks her light blonde hair isn’t attractive because a frenemy refers to it in a negative light. It just shows us how hard we can be on ourselves and we can easily miss the positive side. So the rainbow font really shows the role color plays. The yellow heart featured on the third book is also something that pops up in the story, so I was very glad that was included.

The font has a romantic and sweet feel to it, which I think shows that there is a crush developing into a first love type relationship, which shows that Landry is growing up. Although Landry and Vladi are teens, they’re very innocent and sweet, so it’s more like one of those couples that is like a Nancy Drew and Ned type as opposed to those Bella and Edward type couples. I think the font reflects that and it reminds me of young adult romances—in particular sweet romances where there is nothing the slightest bit explicit, just that hint of first love and those hopeful feelings that come with a first crush. I think the colors are youthful and fun as in the sky backdrop as well.

The covers show you that the stories will be about friendships, relationships/first love, drama, and of course, school life. These are the types of covers I gravitated towards when I was looking for a great new teen book to read when I was growing up.

The Books in the Series

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Book Review

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

Landry would like to have an interesting life. She wants to be able to talk about the amazing things that have happened to her, but her life is just normal. She has two best friends, she's doing pretty well at school and she has nice parents. When Landry enters a modeling competition things change. Her friends Erika and Tori both want to try out, so she joins them. She's very surprised when the judges select her to go to the next round. Unfortunately her friends are less excited about this than she is. All of a sudden Landry has two great stories, but she has no friends left and there isn't anybody around to listen to them.

 Landry doesn't like being alone and tries to make new friends. New friends bring new demands though. Landry tries to keep everybody happy, but she also has to think about herself every now and then. That isn't always easy to accomplish. She has to learn to see people for who they truly are. And then there's a boy she really likes. Is he interested in her as well? Will Landry eventually get the chance to be herself and to be liked because of it?

I loved True Colors. Landry is a thirteen-year-old girl and Krysten Lindsay has described her feelings and the things she worries and cares about in a brilliant way. Her story is is sweet and special and it's wonderful to read about Landry's everyday life. Landry is an insecure girl, but she learns how to stand up for herself a bit better one step at the time. Landry isn't perfect, but she has a big heart, she's such a kind and good person. Her friends aren't always like that, not everyone is as nice as Landry. That makes life harder for her, but she also needs to become a little tougher, it's part of growing up. I enjoyed watching the start of that process.

I love Krysten Lyndsay Hager's writing style. She knows how to write about feelings in an understanding way. Her vivid descriptions of Landry's life are amazing. The story is never over the top, she keeps it realistic and therefore it's completely believable. I liked that aspect very much. I loved reading about Landry, it was like I was thirteen years old again and I enjoyed taking the trip down memory lane. True Colors is a book that would suit young girls and their mothers and grandmothers. I highly recommend this fantastic series.


One very lucky reader will win a swag package by Krysten Lindsay Hager.

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