This day changes everything A novel

Edward Underhill

Book - 2024

Queer teens Abby and Leo spend a life-changing day together lost in New York City.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult New Shelf YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Underhil Edward (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 15, 2024
LGBTQ+ fiction
Romance fiction
New York : Wednesday Books 2024.
Main Author
Edward Underhill (author)
First edition
Physical Description
280 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 13-18.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Does the universe have a say in who we meet or love? In a captivating all-in-one-day tale, that's exactly what two queer teenagers, Abby Akerman and Leo Brewer, are about to find out. When their respective marching bands are in New York City to play in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Abby and Leo meet and find they have little in common. Abby, who recently figured out she's queer, is on a mission to declare her love to her best friend, Kat. Leo is just trying to figure out how to keep his entire extended family from finding out he's trans. Though everything goes wrong at first, Leo and Abby embark on a scavenger hunt to find things Abby can use for her confession. Fans of the grumpy/sunshine trope will thoroughly enjoy the dynamic between Abby and Leo, which deepens, in alternating points of view, from mutual frustration to unexpected friendship and blossoms nicely into romance. The cast of supporting characters (Evan is a standout) is layered thoughtfully into the central story. As Abby learns to trust her judgment and recognize the power of her choices, Leo accepts himself more fully and trusts that other people will see him. Pick this up if you love books where the setting feels like a character, but stay for the absolute magic that is watching Abby and Leo fall in love with each other and with themselves.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

For clarinetist Abby Akerman, who plays in her Missouri high school marching band, learning that she'll be performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is the push she needs to accomplish her goal. In New York, "you can shout anything you want from the rooftops." So, while on the trip, Abby plans to tell her best friend Kat that she loves her, which will come as a surprise, since no one back home knows that Abby is gay--not even Kat. Grumpy drummer Leo Brewer's band is also performing, but he's much less excited, since being on national TV means that his extended Southern family will find out that he's transgender. When Abby and Leo end up on the same wrong subway train together, they embark on an adventure-filled outing that will change the way they see their lives--and themselves--forever. After a slow start, Underhill (Always the Almost) picks up the pace with the duo traversing Manhattan searching for souvenirs that Abby can give to Kat. Depictions of Abby and Leo's gradually developing friendship--as well as their interactions with the loyal supporting cast--cultivate a safe and affirming space in which two queer teens discover new perspectives. Abby and Leo read as white; Kat is of East Asian descent. Ages 13--up. Agent: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Feb.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up--Abby and Leo are about to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. From different states and different marching bands, the teens are on a collision course to an epic day together that will change their lives for the better. Abby, from a small Missouri town, thinks she might be queer and in love with her best friend, Kat; she's planning to make a grand gesture to Kat while in New York City. Leo, a trans boy, is terrified he will be outed to his extended family when he marches as his true self across their television sets in rural North Carolina. But before these big, life-changing events occur, the Universe throws a curveball, sending them in one direction while their bands head in another. What will the next 12 hours bring for Abby and Leo as they try to navigate the city to get back to where they are supposed to be? As the day goes on, they discover maybe they don't want to get back to reality, because this world with just the two of them is the first time either has felt seen and understood. Underhill is a heartfelt storyteller. New York City becomes a third protagonist in the story, with details of landmarks, smells, and sounds told with accuracy and a lovely turn of phrase. Underhill's writing style is on par with authors like Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. VERDICT A wonderful teen rom-com adventure reminiscent of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's "Dash & Lily" series and Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon.--Maria Ramusevic

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A pair of touristy queer teens turn getting lost in New York City into an entertaining rom-com adventure. Abby Akerman's playing clarinet in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with her Westvale, Missouri, high school marching band, but she's about to do something even bigger. Sure, Abby's nervous about it because she's not out, but she's got this plan. She's giving Kat Wu, her best friend and bandmate, their favorite romance novel--specifically, a "mint-condition, hardcover copy signed by the author"--and also telling Kat that she's in love with her. Drummer Leo Brewer's in New York, too; his Springfield, North Carolina, marching band is also performing at the parade, but Leo's stressed about it. While his parents, sister, and friends know he's trans, his extended family members don't. He'll be outed on national television! When Leo and Abby get separated from their respective sightseeing groups, they meet and agree to find their bandmates (and chaperones) together. But before they can do that, Abby loses the precious book. Seeing how upset she is, Leo suggests they turn this disaster into a scavenger hunt, finding mementos for Kat from the locations mentioned in the novel. With every frustrating, wrong direction they take on the subway, they connect further, each wanting to extend this chaotic day. The tropes of "ugh, you" and "aw, you" are present throughout Abby and Leo's endearingly wild ride through city landmarks. The lead characters read white. A lively, queer romance with flourishes of drama. (Romance. 13-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.