Sarina Bowen, author
Never ask a question unless you're sure you want the truth. Seventeen-year-old a cappella singer Rachel meets her rock star father for the first time after tragedy strikes. Can they become a family, or is seventeen years too long to wait? And can Rachel get past long-standing issues to embrace the blue-eyed classmate who loves her?
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Kress has just lost her mother to cancer. Music has always been her “drug of choice,” and though she has never met her famous musician father, Freddy Ricks, she has followed his career through social media. Now she’s about to meet him face-to-face. Amid confusion, anger, and curiosity, Rachel allows her father into her life, which changes everything. Whisking Rachel from Florida to California, Freddy eases into fatherhood, helping Rachel prepare for her senior year transfer to Claiborne Prep in New Hampshire. The move is a blow to her loyal best friend, Haze, but Rachel finds solace in emails and phone calls from fellow rising senior Jake Willis, her Claiborne peer liaison. Further complications arise, however, when Rachel discovers she has extended family through Freddy. Self-professed “good girl” Rachel must continually adjust and rely on her maturity to guide her, especially her self-awareness and focus on forgiveness. Bowen touches on themes such as drug use, emotional and sexual abuse, and the negative effects of fame, but this romantic story is more an ode to optimism and the power and beauty of music. Ages 14–up. (Self-published.)