Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for December 18th, 2023

Krysten Lindsay Hager: Social Media, YA Fiction, and Celebrity Culture (Excerpt)
Monday, December 18th, 2023

When I started writing my young adult contemporary Cecily Taylor Series, my plan was to take a high school girl and have all of her dreams come true and let her see the reality of it all; that means I’d show what it’s really like to date her favorite singer/songwriter and what it’s like to be a well-known actress/model. Sure, she experiences the euphoria, but there’s also the fact every little thing is scrutinized by strangers on the internet. Dealing with mean and deeply personal remarks in the comments section becomes a reality for Cecily in In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. However, I wasn’t prepared for the flood of messages I got when I posted an excerpt from the book where Cecily reads the comments about herself after being in Andrew Holiday’s music video.

Here’s the excerpt from In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety:

It felt real, but can you date your teen idol? Is it even smart to? And why hadn’t he messaged me yet? I’m sure the plane had Wi-Fi. Other guys texted nonstop to the point of being annoying, yet my phone was silent.

“Maybe. It was just nice to see someone being authentic,” I said.

“It would have been awful if he was fake—can you imagine?” she asked. “Honestly, when you said he was just like how he comes across in interviews—I did jumpy claps. Not gonna lie, it made me look like a toddler who just saw ice cream.”

“Yeah, he seems like the real deal, don’t you think?”

“Mm-hmm,” she said distractedly as she tried to find a place to park. “Must be nice to have a hot pop star text you. Do you think he will contact you again?”

If he doesn’t, then I’ll die and probably never leave my room again. “I hope he does. I’d be seriously bummed if I—” Get phone dumped, get blocked online, see he’s dating someone else. “Don’t hear from him again.”

“Does anyone else know he was the reason Zach got so mad at you when he walked in on Andrew trying to kiss you at the video premiere?”

“No, Zach didn’t tell anyone. I feel like it’d be weird if I told people that’s what happened. Like they wouldn’t believe me and think I was making it up to get attention,” I said.

“Yeah, I already heard a few people saying stuff.”

My stomach dropped. “Like what?”

“Huh? Oh…nothing major.” She gripped the steering wheel. “It’s impossible to find a spot on the street on a weekend.”

I pressed her again, and she shrugged.

“There’s a couple comments on his social media pages.”

Pulling out my phone, I went to the video’s link online and the first comment that came up was:

NoOneAndrewFan: Why did they pick HER out of all the girls in the world?

CaliGirlTwo: They couldn’t find any better than that chick?

Holidate008: She’s like if the word “plain,” was a person.

MusicIsLife: I think the point is that she’s not supposed to be hot, you guys

Holidate008: I think she’s supposed to be the opposite of that other girl in the video.

CaliGirlTwo: Obviously Andrew has a jealous girlfriend and told him to find blah girls to be in his video.

SleepAllDayz: I bet Andrew’s managers don’t want his fans to be jealous of any of the girls they cast in his videos. Mission accomplished.

Meghynn: Seriously, I’ve seen cuter girls walking down my street and I live out in the sticks.

KellyKellz: I bet the other actress said they couldn’t cast another hot girl.

Meghynn: Andrew obviously didn’t do the casting for this one.

Holidateforever: Wow! Seems like no one has anything nice to say, all you guys want to do is trash people. if you don’t like what Andrew’s doing in his video… then bye!

TeenaRoger: Guys, Andrew would hate all these negative vibes! If you don’t have anything good to say about his work then don’t follow his page, don’t listen to his music, and DON’T bother commenting.

Holidateforever: I think she’s pretty. Jealousy isn’t cute, you guys.

“Oh crap. I didn’t even think to look at the comments before now. I guess it was so surreal to think I was actually in a music video that it didn’t even occur to me to go on and see what people were saying,” I said as my face burned with embarrassment. “Has everyone at school seen these?”

“Don’t worry about it. People suck and if it makes you feel any better, a lot of people at school aren’t even talking about it because they don’t want you to get all stuck up,” she said.

That was supposed to make me feel better?

“I was barely in the video. Why is everyone attacking me for a five second spot?” I asked trying to keep myself from crying.

“It sucks. I wish Andrew was here and he could just wrap you in a blanket and make you a cup of tea,” Lila said.

I laughed despite the fact I was trying not to throw up on myself. “Yup, like the perfect boyfriend.”


Right after that excerpt was posted on a book tour, my messages went crazy with people sharing their own experiences of dealing with mean comments online. Everyone from teens to adults to people in the public eye shared how this scene made them feel. However, I also had people who hadn’t experienced it, but had a family member who was hoping to become well-known or famous (either with singing, acting, modeling, and podcasting or as an influencer, etc.), and this scene made them rethink everything.

The scary thing about this scene for me is the fact it was inspired by a real comment I saw on posted under a singer’s video. It stood out to me as the person didn’t think the actress in the video was attractive enough to be “worthy” of being in the music video of this particular pop star. It struck me that this person was putting this comment out on a very public site for everyone to see and that there was a chance the actress herself could see it. I know some people have thick skin and don’t let things like that bother them, but there’s also something to be said about the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

It also made me think about other people reading the comment and if they’d look at the actress and compare themselves, and then walk away feeling self-conscious about their own appearances. Social media can be fun and informative, but it can also be toxic and it would help us all if we were more mindful about what we posted and read online.

I would love to know your thoughts on toxic social media comments. Please leave them below. I will leave you with this Bernard Meltzer quote: “Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.”

Pick up a copy of the book here. It’s free in Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon US:
Amazon CAN:
Amazon UK:

About the Author

Krysten Lindsay Hager is a bestselling author of young adult, middle grade, and contemporary romance. Krysten writes because she loves bringing people swoony moments & hope-filled happily ever afters. Her books are known for making you feel all the feels.