Rise to the Sun (Hardcover)
July/August 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“Leah Johnson is back with another stunning, emotion-filled story of love, self-discovery, and meaning. Set over a three-day music festival, the narrative splits between two compelling and relatable young girls who are trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.”
— Miranda McGowan, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.
Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.
When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for. Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.
Packed with irresistible romance and irrepressible heart, bestselling author Leah Johnson delivers a stunning and cinematic story about grief, love, and the remarkable power of music to heal and connect us all.
Praise for Leah Johnson:
"Leah Johnson is a star; her writing is joyful, funny, and heartfelt. I can't wait to read every single book she writes." -- Jasmine Guillory, bestselling author of The Proposal
Praise for Rise to the Sun:
"Rise to the Sun is a sweet, funny, and effervescent gem of a book." -- Nicola Yoon, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Sun is Also a Star and Everything, Everything
* "Johnson's strengths are on full display in snappy dialogue that sings, heart-stopping romance, and realistically flawed Black teen characters learning from their mistakes, one by one . . . Johnson pens a love letter to the healing power of music, enduring friendship, summertime love stories, and hard-won resilience." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Rise to the Sun is a novel that will show Black girls just how brightly they can shine, and that love, like music, is a True Thing." -- Ashley Woodfolk, author of The Beauty that Remains and When You Were Everything
"Leah Johnson seamlessly harmonizes fear with hope, tragedy with healing, and betrayal wtih redemption. This book is an anthem for every queer Black teen who's ever been told they're underserving of their happy ending." -- Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running with Lions
"A solid sophomore novel celebrating love that begs for a soundtrack." -- Kirkus Reviews
Praise for You Should See Me in a Crown:
A Reese's Book Club YA Pick
A Stonewall Honor Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Well-Read Black Girl June Book Club YA Book Pick
* "Pitch perfect romcom...The queer prom romance you didn't know you needed." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Johnson's pacing is perfect as the story unwinds at dizzying speed...Readers will fall in love with this refreshing book that celebrates the beauty of individuality." -- School Library Journal
"Johnson puts a fresh spin on this novel with an unlikely romance, heartwarming friendships, and the tension of being Black, poor, and queer in a small town. A feel-good title for sure." -- Booklist
"Filled with humor, heart, and swoon-worthy romance." -- Kristina Forest, author of I Wanna Be Where You Are
"A love story worthy of a crown." -- Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best
"With characters I adore and a romance that brought tears to my eyes, You Should See Me in a Crown absolutely stole my heart." -- Kacen Callender, author of This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After
"You know when a book is like the ideal friend? You Should See Me in a Crown is that kind of book. Juicy, sharp, romantic, big-hearted, real. I loved it." -- Anna Godbersen, author of the New York Times bestselling Luxe series
"You Should See Me in a Crown is a powerful, absolutely relatable story that reminds Black, queer girls they have the power to do anything they want." -- Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure
"With a refreshing voice and an unforgettable main character, Leah Johnson has written a stunning debut. Liz Lighty is smart and hilarious." -- Sabina Khan, author of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali