Every Time You Hear That Song

Viking. Apr. 2024. 320p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780593623398.
Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old Darren Purchase, an aspiring reporter living in rural Mayberry, AR, dreams of escaping her hometown, like her favorite country music legend and hometown hero, Decklee Cassel. Darren connects with the stories of Decklee and her songwriting partner Mickenlee Hooper, who mysteriously disappeared at the height of their fame in the 1980s. When Decklee dies, leaving her long-awaited time capsule empty with only a clue as to where to find the contents, Darren sees it as a way to not only learn more about Decklee and Mickenlee but to finally escape Mayberry. She enlists her gas station coworker Kendall Wilkinson, a boy she has known most of her life, to drive her throughout the South in search of Decklee’s new music and her way out. Written in alternating chapters of present-day Darren on her road trip with Kendall and Decklee’s story starting in the 1960s to her death, Voris’s queer coming-of-age narrative is expertly woven. From the stories of Decklee’s life in the music industry to Darren’s search for her truth, this novel speaks to home, family, and love across generations. Darren is bisexual and Decklee is a lesbian.
VERDICT A vivid queer romance whose characters and plot will captivate readers. A strong purchase.

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