Dumplin' meets Daisy Jones & the Six in this split-POV love song to country idols, romantic road trips, and queer love.
They say never meet your idols. But nothing about digging up their deepest secrets.
Seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase has been a lifelong fan of country music legend Decklee Cassel, who’s as famous for her classic hits as she is for her partnership with songwriter Mickenlee Hooper. The same Mickenlee who mysteriously backed out of the limelight at the height of their careers, never to be heard from again. Now Decklee’s televised funeral marks the unveiling of her long-awaited time capsule. But when it’s revealed to be empty, a trail of scavenger-hunt clues unfolds, leading to a whopping cash prize for whoever finds the real capsule. Darren knows there’s a story there—and she’s going to be the one to break it. Even if it means a spontaneous road trip with her coworker Kendall.
Flashback to 1963, when a young runaway Decklee has her sights set on fame and glory. As she claws her way to the top over the years that follow, it’s Mickenlee’s lyrics that help rocket her to stardom. But as their relationship evolves beyond the professional, it threatens everything Decklee has worked for. What else will she sacrifice to hold on to her dreams?
Told in alternating perspectives, Every Time You Hear That Song is a queer coming-of-age story celebrating country music, complicated women, and living authentically. There’s more to Decklee’s story than Darren ever could have guessed, but the real story she has to tell is her own.
A bisexual teen reporter uncovers the unsung love story of a closeted woman from her small town's past in this layered exploration of ambition, partnership, and journalistic ethics told via evocatively rendered dual POVs. Neither pursuing journalism nor coming out seem possible for Darren Purchase—at least, not if she stays in Mayberry, Ark. When she learns that her favorite musician—late "country-pop icon" Decklee Cassel—left behind a treasure hunt leading to an unreleased album secretly cowritten with her estranged songwriting partner, Mickenlee Hooper, and a $3 million prize, Darren jumps at the chance to snag financial independence. Embarking on a road trip with a classmate she knows "in the same shallow, superficial way I know everyone in Mayberry," Darren hunts for the album—and the scoop behind Decklee and Mickenlee's relationship. But revelations about her idol and her traveling companion force Darren to reconsider her goals and what leaving Mayberry might really cost. Through alternating past and present first-person narratives following morally ambiguous "wildfire girl" Decklee and ingenuous Darren respectively, Voris (Made of Stars) teases out tension between a longing for privacy and a desire to live and love out loud in this messy, complicated search for community. Protagonists read as white. Ages 12–up.