Clap When You Land meets On the Come Up in this heart-gripping story about navigating first love and overcoming grief through the power of music.
Aarón Medrano has been haunted by the onstage persona of his favorite DJ ever since his mother passed away. He seems to know all of Aarón’s deepest fears, like that his brain doesn’t work the way it should and that’s why his brother and father seem to be pushing him away. He thinks his ticket out is a scholarship to the prestigious Acadia School of Music. That is, if he can avoid blowing his audition.
Mia Villanueva has a haunting of her own and it’s the only family heirloom her parents left her: doubt. It’s the reason she can’t overcome her stage fright or believe that her music is worth making. Even though her trumpet teacher tells her she has a gift, she’s not sure if she’ll ever figure out how to use it or if she’s even deserving of it in the first place.
When Aarón and Mia cross paths, Aarón sees a chance to get close to the girl he’s had a crush on for years and to finally feel connected to someone since losing his mother. Mia sees a chance to hold herself accountable by making them both face their fears, and hopefully make their dreams come true. But soon they’ll realize there’s something much scarier than getting up on stage—falling in love with a broken heart.
Laekan Zea Kemp is the author of Pura Belpré Honor book Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. She lives in Austin, Texas
—Jonny Garza Villa, author of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun
"A heartwarming, soul-searing coming-of-age journey."
—Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, author of How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe
* "This story will be resounding in readers’ hearts long after they’ve turned the last page. With the lyricism of Benjamin Alire Sa´enz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s works, this novel is recommended for all collections."—SLJ, starred review
* “Kemp’s latest novel is a multilayered symphony in itself, keeping the reader’s emotions heightened from the first sentence until the finale, during which readers will be left breathless in wonder. Kemp effortlessly creates beautifully flawed characters who are impossible to forget.”—Booklist, starred review
"A powerfully emotional story about two teens pursuing their dreams in a difficult world."—BCCB
"A lyrical standalone about pursuing one’s dreams despite impossible odds."—Publishers Weekly
"A story of surviving grief with the help of community."—Kirkus Reviews
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