For Lee and her boyfriend, Vincent, their Artists in Love podcast has been a way to examine love stories. So it's fitting that they dedicate their final episode of the podcast—on the eve of their breakup, as Vincent prepares to leave their home in Memphis for a high-profile internship and Howard University—to their own romance. But while Lee is brokenhearted to see their romance come to an end, she's also not without conflict; despite her love for Vincent, she's been hooking up with Claire, the barista at the coffee shop where she works as a sound engineer. And when their podcast ends, she's ready to start another—one that explores her parents' failing marriage. With the help of old friend Max and new friend Risa, Lee digs into her parents' history and her own, coming to terms with her own whiteness, her own queerness, and her complicated love for Memphis itself. Printz Honor Book author McCoy (I, Claudia, 2018) offers a nuanced coming-of-age story about a complex heroine with her heart on her sleeve. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.Review by PW Annex Reviews
Printz Honoree McCoy (I, Claudia) braids multiple plotlines in this Memphis-set novel about relationships and social norms. Lee Swann, white and quietly bisexual, has been planning her post–high school future with her boyfriend and podcast-producing partner Vincent, who's biracial (Black/white). Then they break up on air, during their podcast about artists in love. Now what? Lee's artist parents are also splitting up, and old family friend Sage, who is white and nonbinary, has just come for a visit with their queer son Max, who's half Filipino. A skilled sound engineer, Lee starts reimaging her life by investigating the past as a podcast, aided and abetted by Max. Would Lee's parents be together if not for her? Is love possible? Lee and Max compare notes on intersectionality and life experience, while Lee interviews her parents, their friends, and gets input from Vincent and new friend Risa, to whom Lee is increasingly attracted. Alongside details of various relationships' workings, McCoy conveys Lee's ruminations about love, loss, history, and white/straight privilege. It's rare in YA fiction that parents' emotional lives are given the importance they actually have in many teens' lives, and this book offers a well-drawn corrective while keeping Lee at the forefront. Ages 12–up. Agent: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.
After her boyfriend publicly breaks up with her and her parents announce they are separating, Lee enlists her friends to produce a podcast called “Objects of Destruction,” in which they investigate if love actually exists at all. 25,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 2
In the city of Memphis, eighteen-year-old Lee and her boyfriend Vincent make a popular podcast on artists in love, but Lee learns that stories of happily-ever-after love do not always mirror real life.Review by Publisher Summary 3
“Beautifully messy and real.” —Amy Spalding, bestselling author of We Used to Be FriendsPerfect for fans of What If It’s Us and Mary H. K. Choi, this stunning coming-of-age novel from Printz Honor author Mary McCoy follows a Memphis teen whose quest to uncover the secrets of love reveals new truths about herself.For the past two years, Lee has been laser-focused on two things: her job as a sound tech at a local coffee shop and her podcast Artists in Love, which she cohosts with her boyfriend Vincent.Until he breaks up with her on the air right after graduation.When their unexpected split, the loss of her job, and her parent’s announcement that they’re separating coincide, Lee’s plans, her art, and her life are thrown into turmoil. Searching for a new purpose, Lee recruits her old friend Max and new friend Risa to produce a podcast called Objects of Destruction, where they investigate whether love actually exists at all.But the deeper they get into the love stories around them, the more Lee realizes that she’s the one who’s been holding love at arm’s length. And when she starts to fall for Risa, she finds she’ll have to be more honest with herself and the people in her life to create a new love story of her own.Funny, romantic, and heartfelt, this is a story about secrets, lies, friendship, found family, an expired passport, a hidden VHS tape, fried pickles, the weird and wild city of Memphis, and, most of all, love.