Dating the It Guy
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
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Guest Post: A Formula for Popularity in High School

I had to take a minute and step back when I was asked to write a formula for popularity in high school and think about what popularity means to me. Years ago a friend and I went back to our high school’s homecoming game. I had only been back to one other game since graduating and it was surreal to see the same setting where it looked like nothing had changed. Even weirder was the fact so many of the same faces were there in the crowd. In fact, we ran into a girl who he had asked out and she broke up with him right before the dance, which completely blindsided him. 

He was laughing that of all the people he could have run into from his class, it would be someone he had an awkward history with. So as we approach her, he asked me to give her the illusion we were together and keep her guessing. We chatted with her a bit and he asked if she remembered me. I pretended not to notice the raised eyebrow and side eye she gave me as she said, “Oh, I remember her,” and didn’t proceed to ask me how I was or include me in the conversation. 

As we walked away, he said that back in high school she had told him about the breakup in front of his friends and he was shaking his head about how it made him feel back then. I said to him, “You felt insecure? I never thought of you that way. I always saw you as the guy everyone knew and liked from all the grades. You were super popular.” He was shocked to hear me refer to him that way, but to me he was the definition of popular as I knew it then: everyone knew him and everybody liked him. But he didn’t see himself that way.

Fast forward to when I went to my high school reunion and it made me realize that the people who were the most memorable to me were the ones who went out of their way to make people feel included or I had mostly favorable memories of back in high school. As the night went on, it was like lightbulbs going off in my head as I ran into people I hadn’t thought about in years. I hadn’t completely forgotten anyone, but it made me realize that what other people perceived as being popular didn’t equal as being memorable in my mind. The ones who I remembered who were always including everybody and never isolating themselves were the ones I thought of as being popular since to me popular meant being well liked.

I’m sure if I was fifteen again, I’m sure I might have moments where I would see popular a little differently, but if I had to give a recipe for popularity I’d say that the quote Carl W. Buehner, “They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel,” sums it up. You will always be memorable and popular if you make people feel good about themselves.

Author Bio: 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.