Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

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Stars Given: 3/5

Review: I have been wanting to read this novel for some time. The premise, title, and cover caught my interest instantly. I love young adult novels, as they make me laugh, cry, and tap into the emotions from my youth. I feel like this novel had so much potential that it just did not meet. The novel follows an introverted character, Hadley, who is bullied a lot by her peers. I think that Hadley’s character was very realistic, and I was rotting for her to make the right decisions and befriend the right people. She had a lot of the thoughts that I had as a teen about fitting in, and being accepted, and making friends. All of the characters were really well portrayed which I enjoyed. High school is definitely a hard time for teens. It’s when we were finding ourselves, and I think that Hager does a good job of showing this to her readers.

What kept me from giving the novel 4, or even 5 stars, is that it seemed like the entire novel was written in a monotone voice. There was not much dialogue, which in my opinion makes a book excited and helps a reader connect to the characters. A lot of the novel is from Hadley’s internal thought and it’s like the book was being told to me as a recounting, rather than having me experience certain things through action and dialogue. The second thing that kept me from giving me the novel more stars is that there wasn’t much excitement. There was nothing to keep me reading. The ending just seemed to happen. I didn’t feel connected to the characters, and when the novel ended, I was indifferent. I wasn’t happy that it was over (as I was waiting for something big to happen), but I also didn’t want to keep reading. I hope the next novel has more dialogue and less internal thought. I would not be opposed to reading more from this author in the future.