Booksmart meets Never Have I Ever in this Latinx road trip adventure—a big-hearted, voice-driven YA about two sisters who couldn’t be more different, but become begrudging partners on their school’s cross-country college trip—from debut author Angela Velez. Perfect for fans of Lilliam Rivera, Jenny Han, and Sandhya Menon.
Overachiever Luz “Lulu” Zavala has straight As, perfect attendance, and a solid ten-year plan. First up: nail her interview for a dream internship at Stanford, the last stop on her school’s cross-country college road trip. The only flaw in her plan is Clara, her oldest sister, who went off to college and sparked a massive fight with their overprotective Peruvian mom, who is now convinced that out-of-state-college will destroy their family. If Lulu can’t fix whatever went wrong between them, the whole trip—and her future—will be a waste.
Middle sister Milagro wants nothing to do with college or a nerdy class field trip. Then a spot opens up on the trip just as her own spring break plans (Operation Don’t Die a Virgin) are thwarted, and she hops on the bus with her glittery lipsticks, more concerned about getting back at her ex than she is about schools or any family drama. But the trip opens her eyes about possibilities she’d never imagined for herself. Maybe she is more than the boy-crazy girl everyone seems to think she is.
On a journey from Baltimore all the way to San Francisco, Lulu and Milagro will become begrudging partners as they unpack weighty family expectations, uncover Clara’s secrets, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood.
Angela Velez grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, under the watchful eye of her Peruvian immigrant parents. She earned her bachelor of arts from Columbia University and her master of fine arts from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her piles of books, three plastic flamingos, and one wobbly disco ball. Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.angelavelez.com.
“A funny, heartfelt story filled with unique and unforgettable characters, the strength of sisterhood and family, first love, and a love for STEM and the arts, this young adult novel will have readers laughing out loud while also thinking about their own future. Highly recommended for young adult collections.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“This novel digs deep into the twists and turns of sisterhood, and the girls’ voices are delightfully distinct and humorous…. Readers will feel like these deeply real, funny, and ambitious sisters are their own close friends.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Alternating chapters fully develop Lulu’s and Milagro’s distinct personalities; they have different interests and priorities, but their admiration and love for each other is clear….Details from their lives as a family of Peruvian American women add depth to this story of sisterhood and self-discovery.” — Horn Book Magazine
“This coming-of-age story explores the topic of post-high-school plans and the pressure some teens may feel to fit a mold or live up to certain expectations that have been set for them. Readers who are first-generation kids of immigrants will especially find Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity relatable.” — ALA Booklist
"There's SO MUCH HEART in these pages. This outstanding debut is hard-hitting and hilarious. I'm so hyped for more Angela Velez stories." — Adam Silvera, #1 New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at the End
"Angela Velez weaves humor and heartbreak gifting us an irresistible, funny and propulsive novel about sisters. Lulu & Milagro's Search for Clarity offers up a fresh take on the road-trip novel. It's a brilliant exploration of girlhood and the challenges young women face when torn between personal dreams and ties to family." — Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
"In a truly hilarious and heartwarming debut, author Angela Velez breaks out with a story of sisterly love, family secrets, and the roles forced on us at a young age. Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity is a laugh-out-loud, college road trip novel full of Catholic school hijinks. You’ll fall in love and root for Lulu and Milagro!" — Lilliam Rivera, Pura Belpré Honor-Winning Author of Never Look Back
“Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity is a tribute to girls everywhere as they figure out who they are and who they hope to be. Sharp, funny, and full of heart, it perfectly captures the heartbreak and joy of sisterhood, first crushes, familial expectations, and growing up.” — Crystal Maldonado, author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
“Lulu & Milagro’s Search for Clarity is a delightful journey of sisterhood, self-love, and chasing your dreams—even if they go in directions you never expected. I was cheering on the Zavala sisters every step of the way.” — Natalia Sylvester, author of Running