Fall 2021, HarperCollins, TBD pp
Dumplin’ meets Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, CANDIDLY CLINE is a heartfelt MG Contemporary about one girl’s attempt to find her voice through all the changes, challenges, and heart-thumping crushes that come her way.
Thirteen-year-old Cline Louise Alden is convinced that she was born to be a musician. So when she finds out about a Young Singer-Songwriter workshop in the nearby city of Lexington, she knows it’s her destiny. Cline does whatever it takes to get to the workshop, even fibbing to her waitressing mama, who regularly reminds Cline that “music doesn’t pay the bills.” But her new classmates seem far more talented and trained than self-taught Cline, including her rock ’n’ roll-loving, cool-as-anything songwriting partner Sylvie Sharpe. Meanwhile, Cline’s best friend Hollie has been distancing herself more and more, opting to hang with her church friends instead of Cline. And when Cline awkwardly turns down a boy’s invitation to the middle school dance, she knows deep down she’d rather dance with—and maybe even kiss—a girl. And maybe not just any girl: Sylvie.
As Cline works harder than ever toward the workshop’s big final project, she finds her life complicated by her grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s, the web of lies she’s been telling Mama, and her growing crush. And when Cline’s mother finds out about the workshop, jeopardizing all Cline’s musical dreams and Sylvie’s too, Cline is left to try the truth of Emmylou Harris’ words: “You don’t get nothin’ unless you take the breaks.”