***This week's behind the scenes was done by request from readers and their parents.
Last time we read chapters 17-20 of Best Friends…Forever and you can find the previous sessions here: www.krystenlindsay.com/reading-guide.html
Landry is having a rough day in chapter 17 and it keeps getting worse: some of her closest friends are mad at her, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and then she finds out some other friends are hanging out without her. She tells her mom that things are fine, but then spills everything to her dad and asks for advice.
Why do you think she shares everything with her dad, but not her mom? Do you ever find you have an adult in your life that you can share things with easier? Write about that person and why they’re easier to talk to when you have a problem or just need to talk. Maybe write them a thank you note for always being there for you!
Landry’s dad tells her how he was judged when he decided to go to medical school and shares how he handled it and gives her some advice. What do you think of his advice to her?
In Chapter 18, Landry calls both Ashanti and Peyton to try and explain and make things right. She also learns that her father was right that India was acting out of jealousy and she clears the air with Devon, too. Sometimes it can be scary to take a big step and try to clear up a big misunderstanding. You never know how people will react.
Have you ever had to contact someone to apologize or try to explain something? How did it go? Have you ever had someone come to you to apologize or explain something that you misunderstood? How did you treat them?
In chapter 19 we see Ericka making Landry feel uncomfortable and bad about herself all while pretending to care about her. Write about your thoughts on this scene. Have you ever been in a position like this? What would you have said to Ericka if you were Landry?
Next, Landry is approached in the cafeteria by Halle and Maggie who are suddenly interested in hearing all the gossip about her breakup with Vladi. Landry is very uncomfortable and wonders about their motives. Have you ever been in a situation like this? How do you think Landry should have handled it? Later, Kyle makes a comment to her in the hallway and Thalia stands up for her.
Write out your thoughts on what Kyle says to Landry. Then write how you feel about his intimidation of Thalia afterward. Have you witnessed or experienced anything like that? Did you tell anyone what was going on?
Landry has a talk about true friendship with India and learns where she was coming from with her jealousy. Things were not as they seemed. Did you think about why India was acting the way she was toward Landry? And what do you make of how Ericka is acting?
In chapter 20, Landry goes to a movie with friends and sees Ashanti there with Halle and feels replaced. She says suddenly she doesn’t care what Vladi is doing because she misses her other best friend. Have you ever had a misunderstanding with a friend that hurt?
Behind the scenes: I recently had some parents write about how their 6th and 7th graders are going through friendship issues right now as school is starting back up, so I decided to do this week’s “Behind the Scenes” to reflect what they were dealing with right now.
Friendship misunderstandings have happened to me over the years and it does feel like your whole world is ending. It can be so awkward going to school and having to face people when you feel like your world is falling down around you. I remember sitting in class and try to focus on the teacher’s voice while I could hear people whispering around me. It was the worst! But I came out of that knowing how to be a better friend and how to tell who was a real friend who could be counted on.
For so long, when anything happened, I would always be on the defensive and always walked on eggshells to not upset anyone and never stopping to say anything to the Erickas of the world—and I have known a LOT of Erickas over the years. I still run across them now and then. I’m not sure if I felt like I deserved to be treated that way, but I took it for so long. And if I got the courage to stand up for myself, then it was like they had to make me pay for my little bit of self-confidence.
I remember sitting on a field trip and feeling miserable and wondering why I was suddenly this person’s target. Now I can look back and see they were just insecure and trying to make a place for themselves. I wish back then I could have seen that these people weren’t real friends and kept my distance instead of trying to change myself so they’d like me. I can’t tell you how many times I thought if I just did this or that, then it would all be okay and I’d fit in or be accepted. I wasn’t being true to myself and it would result in me being willing to pretend to like things I didn’t like.
It comes up a lot at middle grade and young adult writing events when a speaker will ask if anyone in the group liked high school and I’m usually one of the only authors that will raise their hand and everyone asks, “How can you write for teens if you liked high school?” They point out usually people who hated those years write those kinds of books. And I respond, “Compared to grade school and middle school it was sooo much better!” And people laugh, but that’s the truth. All the mean girl antics I went through in my grade school and middle school years made me stronger and by the time I got to high school I had a better idea of who I was and what I was looking for in a friend. I went in determined to be myself and not conform to what other people wanted from me.
So right now, if you’re where I was and thinking, oh if only I did this or looked like that, then they’d like me… Please don’t. Please realize you are created the way you are to stand out and to share who you are with the world. Realize these people don’t see your worth and go find someone who does. You don’t need to make a big deal out of it or tell anyone off, you can just be polite, but distant. Take the high road. You will never please anyone you have to change for.
***Just a little additional fact: my sister was the inspiration for Mr. Albright’s college friends lying to him about applying. She had the same thing happen when she was applying to business school. Her friends tried to talk her out of it and said they weren’t applying. She decided to do it anyway and found out they lied and had already put in their applications. I felt it was important to put this in the story to show you should always follow your purpose in life.
Read chapters 21-23 for next time.
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.