For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.
The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.
What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
Mills (Foolish Hearts) encapsulates small-town life in this eventful romance set in the fictional community of Acadia, Ill. Working at a supermarket, babysitting for the Conlins, meeting up with her tight-knit group of friends, and fulfilling her duty as president of the high school marching band's fundraising committee, narrator Sophie Kemper has her hands full the summer before senior year. Her main goal is to get the town's claim to fame, country star Megan Pleasant, to return home for a performance in order to raise funds for the band's upcoming trip. When Mr. Conlin's younger brother August moves in for an undetermined length of time, she becomes infatuated. August seems to enjoy spending time with her, but Sophie is confused by his sometimes hot, sometimes cold responses and his reluctance to talk about his past. Mysteries surrounding Megan Pleasant and August couple with sharp-witted dialogue to show that the town is more than meets the eye and that people in tiny communities are as complex as those in big cities. Ages 14 up.