Rise to the sun
Book - 2021
Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival. Toni is reeling in the wake of the loss of her roadie father and desperate to figure out where her life will go from here -- so she's heading back to the festival that taught her to love music in a last ditch effort to rediscover her passion. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again), and is beginning to believe that someone like her may never find "the one" -- but the Farmland Music and Arts... Festival is a chance to at least find a place where she fits. When the two collide, it feels like kismet. But when something goes wrong and the festival is sent into a panic, Toni and Olivia find that they need each other, and the music, more than they ever imagined.
In her sophomore novel, Johnson (You Should See Me in a Crown, 2020) delivers another nuanced contemporary love story. Olivia and Toni both see a weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival as a chance to escape their daily lives. As their past traumas threaten to sabotage their experience, the girls must lean into their friends, each other, and their blossoming romance to make the most of the festival. Johnson brings sweltering summer energy to the page, perfectly capturing the muddy, breathless, and manic nature of festivals. The careful balance of festival vibes and internal conflict builds up the realism, which helps to ground the instalove of a romance that blooms over a single weekend. Readers who enjoy a more casual courtship will appreciate the light-handed approach, and character challenges such as anxiety will mirror many readers' experiences. Johnson also pays close attention to how Blackness specifically informs her characters' highs, lows, and everything in between as well as their responses to life events. Grades 9-11. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Johnson's (You Should See Me in a Crown) sophomore work sees chronically heartbroken 16-year-old Olivia Brooks fleeing Indiana to Georgia's Farmland Music and Arts Festival to outrun the painful betrayal of her latest ex-boyfriend. Prone to falling in love at the drop of a hat, Olivia promises her ride-or-die bestie that this festival weekend will be crush-free—but then she meets 17-year-old Toni Foster. Toni, a Farmland regular since childhood, is returning for the first time since the untimely death of her tour manager father eight months prior. A week from reluctantly starting her freshman year at Indiana University, Toni has come to Farmland to find her real purpose and rediscover the music she lost when her dad died, but what she finds is Olivia. Johnson's strengths are on full display in snappy dialogue that sings, heart-stopping romance, and realistically flawed Black teen characters learning from their mistakes, one by one. Underlying these strengths are the looming specters of revenge porn and fatal gun violence. Here, Johnson pens a love letter to the healing power of music, enduring friendship, summertime love stories, and hard-won resilience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Landis, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.
An encounter at a music festival brings together two strangers--Toni, who is grieving the loss of her roadie father, and Olivia, a hopeless romantic--changing both of their lives forever.Review by Publisher Summary 2
An encounter at a music festival brings together two strangers—Toni, who is grieving the loss of her roadie father, and Olivia, a hopeless romantic—changing both of their lives forever. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 3
Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.
Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.
When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for. Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.
Packed with irresistible romance and irrepressible heart, bestselling author Leah Johnson delivers a stunning and cinematic story about grief, love, and the remarkable power of music to heal and connect us all.