From the author of THE NOH FAMILY, a second standalone YA novel that follows a Korean American teen as she navigates the treacherous world of nepo babies and cultural appropriation that is the Los Angeles music scene. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi, Maurene Goo, and Emiko Jean.
Riley Jo is a teenager who knows what she wants. Born and raised in Bentonville, Arkansas, this Korean American girl has her sights set on being a musician. So when her parents are surprisingly cool about her attending the prestigious Los Angeles–based arts-focused boarding school her senior year of high school, she jumps at the chance. This is her moment to make her indie rock dreams a reality!
Things at Carlmont Academy start out strong: She joins a band, and they set out to make plans to perform at the annual spring concert—with a chance to land a record contract. Another student, Xander, decides his school project will be a documentary about the band leading up to their first show. But not everything goes how Riley Jo imagined. She is soon sidelined when her other bandmates feel she is "too Asian" to be their lead singer, and they choose her classmate Bodhi Collins for the role instead.
Bodhi is rock music royalty, with a dad who is a famous music exec. And he's got the "all-American rock star look." Her classmates suggest she try making K-pop, but her heart is in indie rock. Riley Jo decides to take matters into her own hands and writes an original song to showcase her talent. But Bodhi takes the credit . . . and given his connections, the band lets him.
Xander captures all of this in his film, which he leaks in order to show the truth behind the band. Riley Jo decides to sign up for the spring concert and perform on her own . . . but will she finally be able to take center stage?