August 20, 2016

Blog Hop : True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Series: Landry's True Colors
Genre: Younger YA/Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: June 17, 2014
Number of pages: 222
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 impresses 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 Books in the Series

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. 

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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