Dana—poor, white, and from a troubled home—knows she has no real prospects for a life outside of her small Georgia town.
Dana doesn’t mind living in the shadow of her best friend, Olivia, also white. Olivia is the special one, and Dana happily plays the role of supporter and caregiver, talking Olivia out of stage fright and monitoring her eating. When Dana accompanies Olivia to try out for Guy Monroe’s new girl group, neither takes it seriously when the white pop mogul himself asks Dana to perform. Both are shocked when they are each offered a place in the four-piece ensemble. When the girls of Daisy Chain move in together in Orlando, tensions quickly mount. Dana, untrained, struggles to keep up with the others, who have been performing since childhood. She tries to avoid the undeniable chemistry igniting between her and Olivia’s crush, a member of Guy’s boy-band project. Set in the late 1990s, the narrative is well-paced, with authentic dialogue among the racially diverse supporting characters and all-white leads. Dana’s honest, self-aware, past-tense narration recounts her navigation of her changing friendship with Olivia, the harsh realities of the music business, and a romance as hot as the midsummer Orlando sun, ultimately finding her own path to success.
A compelling portrait of the intimacies of close girl friendships and young love. (Historical fiction. 14-17)