I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min
Published by Flatiron Books on July 26, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Performing Arts / Music, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Format: ARC, eBook
Lio Min’s Beating Heart Baby is an “achingly romantic” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love letter to internet friendships, anime, and indie rock
When artistic and sensitive Santi arrives at his new high school, everyone in the wildly talented marching band welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except for the prickly, proud musical prodigy Suwa, who doesn’t think Santi has what it takes to be in the band.
But Santi and Suwa share painful pasts, and when they open up to each other, a tentative friendship begins. And soon, that friendship turns into something more. . . .
Will their fresh start rip at the seams as Suwa seeks out a solo spotlight, and both boys come to terms with what it'll take, and what they'll have to let go, to realize their dreams?
Honestly I kind of wish this book were like, a hundred pages longer. Not just because I wanted more, but also because I wanted this book to just be drawn out a little longer. I wanted to kind of wallow in a lot more moments, but I guess that’s what rereading is for. This young adult queer romance reminded me a lot of Nina LaCour’s young adult works, especially We Are Okay, except not as sad? Or kind of like a music-related Anne-Marie McLemore book? (Self-Made Boys, you’re not included in this readalike round-up). I really liked this. It’s better than the “just okay” YA romances I’ve been reading; it’s queer, it’s here, and it can be in your hands now. Four and a half stars, rounding down for Netgalley/Goodreads.