Monday, December 4, 2017

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager


Dating the It Guy

enre:  Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: March 21, 2017
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.


Author pic

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten 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 debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
I always wanted to be an author and/or create my own TV show. I was obsessed with books and liked creating my own stories.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do they inspire your own writing?
I love F. Scott Fitzgerald, May Sarton, Judy Blume, Kim Wright, Cathy Hopkins, Sylvia Plath, and Francine Pascal. Reading Judy Blume and Francine Pascal’s Victoria books as a kid made me want to be a YA writer.
3. How did you become involved with writing for Clean Reads?
I was in a group for freelance writers (I got my start as a journalist) and I became familiar with the publisher through the group.
4. What inspired the idea for Dating the It Guy?
I was watching a TV show about JFK Jr. on TV when I started wondering what it’d be like to date someone like that back in high school. From there I started getting ideas about what the Brendon character would be like and what we might not know about the challenges of being that guy. Then I started thinking about the situation from the girlfriend/main character’s point of view. I filled a journal up with notes and ideas for dialogue that first week.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading Dating the It Guy?
I saw this comment in a review from YA and Wine that said, “…I felt like this book had a great underlying message about the importance of self love.” And that’s exactly what I wanted readers to come away with from reading Dating the It Guy. All my work is about learning to love who you are and appreciating your own uniqueness.
6. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about this project?
I am working on a series now called The Cecily Taylor Series about a teen who ends up getting cast in her favorite singer’s music video and they find they really have a deep connection. Book one, Can Dreams Come True? Book one will be out early 2018 and I’m working on book two right now.
7. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
I was a journalist, but now I just do creative non-fiction and humor essays along with my novel writing.


Author’s Top 10 Places to Go on Holiday
New York City, NY
Angra, Portugal
Holland, Michigan
Mackinac Island
Lexington, Kentucky
Detroit, Michigan
Chicago, Illinois
Grand Haven, Michigan
Columbus, Ohio
Terceira Island, Azores


1. The story was inspired by watching a bio of JFK Jr. However, it was a video of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s ex-boyfriend doing kind of a shy, humble thing that had me thinking about Brendon’s mannerisms. There’s a wink to that in the story where Emme says there’s an ad that’s been in a locker for years of a male underwear model.
2. The high school Emme attends is actually based on my own. Even the bathroom she hides out in is the bathroom that was across the hall from my journalism class. And yes, I hid out there myself on occasion.
3. The book actually started out as a short story I wrote in a college creative writing class. My prof said the story had a J.D. Salinger feel to it (Franny and Zooey, which I hadn’t read at the time), so I always thought I’d end up expanding the story into a novel.
4. That college creative writing class was the basis for the high school course Emme takes. The Rory character came about from all the sarcastic comments my friends would make during class. I was picturing a modern-day version of Edie Segwick as I was writing the Rory character.
5. The bookstore Emme and Brendon visit in Detroit is actually John K. King Books. I was obsessed with this place when I lived in Michigan and I would visit to the downtown and Ferndale locations whenever I had a research paper. It’s a huge building that used to be a factory and now it’s full of books!
6. I never say what political party Senator Agretti belongs to and it’s interesting as I hear people assuming different things.
7. The Sweetie Gals singing group Brendon and Emme talk about is based on the Spice Girls. That whole bit about Brendon being a fan came from an interview I did years ago with a hockey player named Mike Knuble who said he had their album when I asked if he had anything on his ipod he was embarrassed of and he said he had a Spice Girls album.
8. I actually turned in the first few chapters of the story as my grad school final for a children’s literature class. My prof loved it and gave me great feedback, so I had a great foundation to work from.
9. I named Margaux after Margaux Hemingway. I had been reading about her and how she put on a very confident front, but there was an insecure, almost little girl side to her. I blended this with characteristics of some incredibly self-assured girls I knew to create a character who has an overconfidence to her that is masking something.
10. My own experiences with a family member with dementia inspired where the scenes with Emme and her grandpa—likewise the info about the living will. I figured if I had to go through something so difficult a few times over then maybe I could use it to help someone else.


I took a drink of water, and it dribbled down my chin. Lovely—I was sure all the girls at the country club drooled openly. Brendon walked over to my side of the court and asked if he could have some of my water because he had finished his sports drink. I never share drinks since I saw a story on the news about how meningitis was spread through stuff like that, but I handed him the bottle. I was surprised he’d want to drink after me, but maybe he was a step away from dehydrating, and it was between sharing my spit or death.
“Wanna quit?” he asked. I nodded and went to change. There was only one other girl in the locker room as I washed up and pulled my hair up. I went out to meet Brendon, and he asked if I wanted to get some frozen yogurt. I started to answer when the girl in the locker room came out behind me.
“Hey, stranger. Haven’t seen you around lately,” she said, putting her hand on Brendon’s arm.
“Hey, Cassie,” he said.
“What have you been up to?” she asked.
I’ve seen dogs chase the mail carrier with more dignity. Brendon shrugged and said he had been busy. He introduced me, and her eyes darted over to me just long enough to size me up. I hated girls who acted like having another female in the room was competition.
“Well, give me a call sometime,” she said, walking away.
What was her problem? She didn’t know whether or not we were dating. It was like it didn’t matter if I was his girlfriend or not because I wasn’t “good enough.”

I absolutely loved this fabulous book!!
I laughed and I cried bc so many things that Emme went through reminded me of my teenage and Junior years of school.
Although a YA I still enjoyed it. I haven't read a YA in years!! 
There's not too much that I didn't like except the parts where it made me cry.
I never did date anyone until my senior year. I guess once you give your heart to someone you don't forget them. The guy I dated reminded me of Brendon.
To my idea, guys have it harder than the girls. 
The only person I didn't like was Lauren and her snooty ways. She just thought that she was better than the others.
I received this book for free. I was not required to leave a review


Giveaway Bundle

Giveaway bundle includes: A Dating the It Guy journal, bookmarks, and makeup bag.
Enter the giveaway HERE.




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