From Joya Goffney of Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry, comes a stirring YA coming-of-age, best friends-to-lovers romance about a girl named Nikki who plans to run away from small-town Texas, but ultimately finds that her oldest friend, Mal, just might be the one who's been there for her all along. Filled with heart and humor, this novel captures complex family drama, friendship, and love. For fans of I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest and Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan.
Nikki can't wait to leave Texas and follow her dreams of a music career . . . After a painful betrayal by her sister and a heated argument with their mother, Nikki is kicked out and finds herself homeless. She decides to go to California to pursue her singing career. When her best friend, Malachai, discovers her plan to flee Texas, he begs her to spend the remainder of spring break with him. He believes that over the course of a week, he can convince her to stay in Texas, or to at least graduate high school. But their plans are interrupted when Nikki's little sister Vae goes missing.
Nikki is forced to work alongside her difficult mother as they set off in search of Vae, with Malachai's support. Will Nikki find a reason to stay in Texas, or will this spring break be the last time she sees them? Through her emotional journey, Nikki ultimately finds the love she's always been missing and discovers the power of her own voice.
Joya Goffney grew up in New Waverly, a small town in East Texas. In high school, she challenged herself with to-do lists full of risk-taking items like "hug a random boy" and "eat a cricket," which inspired her debut novel, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. With a passion for Black social psychology, she moved out of the countryside to attend the University of Texas in Austin, where she still resides.
- Publisher: HarperTeen (July 11, 2023)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- ISBN-10: 0063254743
- ISBN-13: 9780063254749
- Reading age: 13 - 17 years
- Grade level: 8 - 9
- Item Weight: 14.8 ounces
- Dimensions: 6.02 x 1.17 x 8.57 inches