I am thrilled to be hosting a spotlight and review of Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min!
Check out my review below!
About the Book
Title: Beating Heart Baby
Author: Lio Min
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Rep: LGBT, Queer, Transgender
Publishing date: July 26, 2022
A tender best friends to enemies to lovers story with AAPI leads, celebrating first love, second chances, indie rock, and transitions of all kinds
Santi has only had his heart broken one time, and it was all his fault. When he accidentally leaked his internet best friend Memo’s song, and it became an overnight hit, Memo disappeared—leaving their song’s cult fame, and Santi, behind.
Three years later, Santi arrives in Los Angeles with a mission: get over the ghost of Memo. Thankfully, his new school and its wildly-talented Sunshower marching band welcome him with open arms. All except for his section leader, the prickly, proud, musical prodigy Suwa. After a disastrous first encounter, Suwa makes Santi’s life a living hell. But when Santi realizes Suwa is trans, then Suwa realizes Santi takes his identity in stride, both boys begin to let their guards down. Santi learns Suwa’s surliness masks a painful, still-raw history of his own, and as they open up to each other, their friendship quickly takes on the red-hot blush of a mutual crush.
Just as Santi is feeling settled in this new life, with a growing found family and a head-over-heels relationship with Suwa, he begins to put together the pieces of an impossible truth—that Memo and Suwa might just be one and the same. But their fragile fresh start threatens to rip apart at the seams again when Suwa is offered the chance to step into the spotlight he’s owed, but has always denied himself. Now, as each of them faces the future, Santi and Suwa must finally reckon with their dreams, their pasts, and the boy who always seems to appear right at the wrong time.
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Thank you to the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This book was so good! I enjoyed the emotional journey Min takes us on throughout this book. Santi and Suwa just get each other and it isn’t until later that Santi realizes there’s a reason the connection they have is so strong.
This story was so relatable in many ways. At this point, and especially in the book community, we’ve built friendships over various social media platforms. The relationship between Santi and Suwa felt genuine and realistic. The shared love of music really shown through and the support among the group of friends was beautiful. I enjoyed seeing them all together on the pages. They really stood by each other and helped each other through the hard times.
The representation in this book was well done, the story compelling, and the pacing was exactly what I look for in YA contemporary. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a refreshing and relevant YA story about found family, friendship, first love, and heartbreak.
Min is a Californian writer: a fiction author, essayist, novelist, zine maker, and anime enthusiast.
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