Award-winning author Laekan Zea Kemp’s heart-wrenching novel-in-verse follows two teens who must come together to heal the pain from their pasts, perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nicola Yoon.
Danna Mendoza Villarreal’s grandfather is slowly losing himself as his memories fade, and Danna’s not sure her plan to help him remember through the foods he once reviewed will be enough to bring him back. Especially when her own love of food makes her complicated relationship with her mother even more difficult.
Raúl Santos has been lost ever since his mother was wrongly incarcerated two years ago. Playing guitar for the elderly has been his only escape, to help them remember and him forget. But when his mom unexpectedly comes back into his life, what is he supposed to do when she isn’t the same person who left?
When Danna and Raúl meet, sparks fly immediately and they embark on a mission to heal her grandfather ... and themselves. Because healing is something best done together—even if it doesn’t always look the way we want it to.
About the Author
Laekan Zea Kemp is the Pura Belpré Honor author of Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet, Heartbreak Symphony, and Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. She lives in Austin, Texas. Laekan invites you to visit her at laekanzeakemp.com or follow her on Twitter @LaekanZeaKemp.
"This is an earnest, stirring novel about staying open to hope and love despite the tremendous potential for, and certainty of, loss. Emotionally resonant and deeply moving." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"As always, Kemp writes authentic, visceral characters. Though the novel is tinged with hints of loss, there is at its very core an undeniable joy."—Booklist
"By employing layered characterizations and dual perspectives rendered in lyrical prose, Kemp skillfully examines themes of anti-fat bias, generational trauma, and the prison-industrial complex, while simultaneously cultivating a tender love story." —Publishers Weekly
“Kemp employs striking food metaphors and similes to create a warm image of young love as well as a poignant perspective on the experience of caring for a loved one with dementia…. Fans of Acevedo’s The Poet X will appreciate this novel’s similar style and themes, which also touch on religion, body image, and Latine identity.”—Horn Book