Friday, November 8, 2019

Review and Interview: In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety by Krysten Lindsay Hager

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Krysten Lindsay Hager will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I was obsessed with reading when I was younger (still am actually), but I would take the edge off of a hard day at school by going up to my room and reading. I remember escaping into middle grade and YA books and how I’d feel less alone after seeing a character going through the same thing that I was dealing with. I always wanted to write a book other people could escape with when they were going through something. I love hearing from readers who tell me reading one of my books got them through something. A woman told my mother she took my book to her dialysis appointment to help her escape and that meant a lot to me.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

A makeup bag with lip stain, gloss, and blush in it. She’d also have her journal in there with a cute cover. She’d keep her cell phone in there between classes and some snacks. And because she’s like me, her locker would probably have empty Pepsi cans in it and photos pasted inside like I did. I used to have pics of celebrity guys I liked and Calvin Klein ads when I was her age.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

My Mother Was Never a Kid by Francine Pascal about a girl who bumps her head and goes back in time and winds up hanging out with her mom who is even more of a wild child than she ever thought of being. It’s funny and the kind of book you can’t put down. I’ve reread it several times. I met the author years ago at a writing conference in New York and I fangirled big time. I almost started to cry in front of her.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I always wanted to be a writer of some sort. I wanted to write a book series like the ones I loved, but I also had an interest in screenwriting and journalism. For a long time I wanted to create my own TV show, too.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?
I want to be invisible so I can go wherever I want and observe people. I could slip in so many places and witness so much stuff that way.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I’m reading 100 Days to Brave and one of the new Nancy Drew Diaries books. I unwind best with mysteries since I’m focused on figuring out who did it instead of letting my mind wander.

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

Music City on CMT. I watched it for the first time this fall and it reminded me a bit of what Andrew and Cecily are going through being in the music world. Plus, it’s so much like the show Laguna Beach which I used to be obsessed with. I’m not sure I’d want to be on Laguna Beach though because that show was a little too much like my own high school. I remember talking to a guy who was a year above me and he said he couldn’t watch that show because it was so much like our old school!

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

The Simpsons was a favorite and I liked soap operas a lot. I was always into those adult cartoons and I still am. The Simpsons still cracks me up.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

I would use it to start building my dream library! Then stock it with all my favorite books that went out of print years ago that aren’t easy to find in used bookstores.

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

As a teenager I had a lot of crushes on football and basketball players like Daryl Johnston, Grant Hill, Troy Aikman, Jalen Rose, Toni Kukoc, and Deion Sanders. I used to like watching interviews with these guys and I didn’t start liking any of them until I saw them in an interview or on TV, so personality was always what got me to notice them first. My childhood crush was George Michael and I still liked him in my teen years, too.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I would say sociology, my literature classes and journalism, too. If you asked high school me back then she would say I liked being in were the ones my friends were in that we could have fun in and pass notes.


Our review:

A quintessential contemporary young adult, this novel encapsulates all the real moments in time that our teens live through. I think, as adults, we forget sometimes how everything was the end of the world. How small things affected us as teens in big ways. And the big things? They flattened us.

Author Krysten Lindsay Hager really nails it on the head here. True, most teen girls aren’t dating a famous boy or looking forward to potentially being famous themselves, but that aside, our heroine goes through all the things a typical teen does: romantic angst, friendship issues, etc. I ached for her, especially when things with her BFF got rocky. Your friends are everything at that age, the ones you confide all your hopes, dreams, worries and misdeeds to. So, to have one treat you the way Lila does? It’s heartbreaking.

I really did feel for Cecily. She’s trying to do all the right things. She’s a good kid. She actually likes her folks, does her best in school, doesn’t really misbehave. She’s trying to do everything right and the world just keeps pulling the rug out from under her. While the drama was a bit overwhelming at times, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t actually happen that way IRL. It just means that there were times I had to step back from the book and take a breather before returning to see if Cecily got her HEA.

If you’re looking for a really real young adult book, you should grab a copy of this (or the first book in the series). They’re well written, realistic and solid stories for the generation. 4 Stars.


Cecily feels like she has it all: great best friends, the beginnings of a career as a model/actress, and she’s dating her favorite singer, Andrew Holiday. Then Cecily’s best friend Lila begins to ditch her every time Lila’s boyfriend calls. Cecily feels lost, but she and Andrew begin connecting more and she’s never been in a relationship where she felt so understood. Andrew even begins to confide in her about his anxiety. Soon Cecily experiences her own anxiety on a magazine photo shoot, but she manages to impress the magazine staff. Just when it seems like all her dreams are coming true, everything comes crashing down when a photo of Andrew with another girl appears online. He swears nothing happened, but Cecily is crushed. She feels like she’s lost two of the people closest to her.

Was her perfect relationship real or was she in over her head?

Read an Excerpt

“Good luck at the photo shoot tomorrow,” he said. “You’ll be great.”

I stared out the window on the ride back to the hotel taking in all the sites. As I walked into the hotel I felt a new air of confidence. Instead of just reading about someone going out with a pop star to some fabulous rooftop hotel restaurant and being in the big city, I was living it. This was my life and not some YA book heroine’s. Tomorrow I was off on a modeling shoot. I was living a dream and proving how I was ready for a big life. This was my destiny. I could do this.


My alarm went off and at the same time an alarm went off in my brain saying, no, I could not do this. What was I thinking? Me, model? That’s where people take photos of you for the sole purpose of other people looking at them, which encouraged judgement and evil comments. People don’t just keep those comments to themselves anymore. Oh no, they grab their phone or laptop or whatever device helps them spew out unhelpful and cruel comments on people’s appearances online for all the world to see.

My stomach felt like spewing all over the nice hotel sheets I was wrapped in. Why did I ever think I was up for this? Those strangers online would destroy me within seconds. Girls like Harlow who were born with an undeniable beauty could do stuff like this and even then, I had seen strangers criticize her online when she posted selfies.

Being anxious always made all my senses go nuts. I ate two slices of toast and then my stomach did a weird flipping thing. Oh no, not today. Looking over at the clock I realized it was almost time for us to leave. Come on, stomach. You’re fine. Just relax and…nope, time to hit the bathroom. Why can’t I just be a big girl and go to this stupid shoot which most girls would kill to do without my stomach freaking out?

About the Author:
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, Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist. Landry in Like is a Literary Classics Gold Medal recipient.

Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.

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Book One:

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