This Day Changes ­Everything

Wednesday Bks. Feb. 2024. 288p. Tr $20. ISBN 9781250835222.
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.

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