Clap When You Land meets On the Come Up in this heart-gripping story about navigating first love and overcoming grief through the power of music.
Aarón Medrano has been haunted by the onstage persona of his favorite DJ ever since his mother passed away. He seems to know all of Aarón’s deepest fears, like that his brain doesn’t work the way it should and that’s why his brother and father seem to be pushing him away. He thinks his ticket out is a scholarship to the prestigious Acadia School of Music. That is, if he can avoid blowing his audition.
Mia Villanueva has a haunting of her own and it’s the only family heirloom her parents left her: doubt. It’s the reason she can’t overcome her stage fright or believe that her music is worth making. Even though her trumpet teacher tells her she has a gift, she’s not sure if she’ll ever figure out how to use it or if she’s even deserving of it in the first place.
When Aarón and Mia cross paths, Aarón sees a chance to get close to the girl he’s had a crush on for years and to finally feel connected to someone since losing his mother. Mia sees a chance to hold herself accountable by making them both face their fears, and hopefully make their dreams come true. But soon they’ll realize there’s something much scarier than getting up on stage—falling in love with a broken heart.
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.
From NOVL Nation
“Is there anything better than reading a book and finding the words to describe things you feel so deeply but haven’t ever been able to articulate? Heartbreak Symphony made me want to underline whole pages. This book puts in words so many things I thought I was alone in feeling.”
– Megan, @emdashmegan
“Heartbreak Symphony is a beautiful homage to the power of music to make us brave, soothe our heart, and bring back memories. The family relationships in this book are tender, painful, and stunning all at once.”
– Lili, Utopia State of Mind
“I think Heartbreak Symphony is the most perfect name for this book. It was a beautiful melodic heartbreak that tore me up, but made me feel whole at the same.”
– Mellie, @milesofpages
“Heartbreak Symphony by Leakan Zea Kemp was one of those heart-gripping, gut-wrenching reads… Ohmigoodness – the feels! I knew I was reading an emotionally charged book, but to hear Aarón and Mia speak their thoughts and feelings made my heart soar. This is such an important story and one that should not be missed!”
– Katie, @niftyreads
“This is a really compelling and heartfelt read. Both Mia and Aaron are struggling with their grief and also struggles with anxiety/depression… Their relationship was really fantastic, and some of their conversations/scenes were heartfelt and lovely.”
– Olivia, onemused
On the blog
The March NOVLbox: Curated by Laekan Zea Kemp
Choose an ABBA Hit, Get a Book Rec
Art as Healing in YA
Laekan Zea Kemp’s Heartbreak Symphony Playlist
Make a Cup of Tea, Get a Cozy Read to Snuggle Up With
Activism Through Art in YA
Choose a K-Drama You Loved, Get a Book You’ll Love Just as Much!
Cover Reveal: Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp