After failing her audition at an elite music school, Ruby falls for Oscar, her father’s musical genius protégé.
A disastrous audition at the prestigious Amberley School of Music would be heartbreaking for anyone with their heart set on a musical career. But for Ruby Chertok, what does the future hold if not a career as a classical pianist, a birthright from her loving, accomplished, but imperfect parents? Her father is on the faculty of Amberley and is in charge of the upcoming season at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Enter Oscar Bell, a charming prodigy and YouTube sensation from Maryland who’s spending the summer studying with Ruby’s father. Oscar is African-American. Ruby and her family and friends are white—aside from her seven black friends, so few she can quickly count and list them, Oscar notes with good humor. Race matters in the course of their budding romance, but Oscar’s rising star and Ruby’s uncertain future factor in far more. Ruby struggles to figure out the next stage of her life while Oscar wants to avoid ugly assumptions about his interest in his mentor’s daughter. Ruby and Oscar’s sweet and intense romance sparkles. Readers will root for them not just as a couple, but as individuals trying their best to understand their gifts and passions while facing pressures from the adult world.
A smart, funny, engrossing romance with a social conscience. (Fiction. 13-18)