Dawn Salcedo is spending her senior year completing her passion project, a documentary about queer love starring her best friends, Georgia and Edie, and other queer students at their school. When her entry makes it to the final round of the student category of the Austin Film Festival, Dawn has the chance to win a life-changing college scholarship that would allow her to pursue her dream of becoming a filmmaker, using her savings to pay for a caregiver for her sick father. Dawn, who is Latine and trans, also wants a relationship with a boy that is “normal and good and sweet.” Korean American Georgia adores her single mother, but their closeness is strained when her mom begins dating a man who has a disturbing side. Edie, who is Black, is trying to be the perfect daughter and hides from her religious parents the fact that she’s dating someone who’s nonbinary. The third-person narrative primarily focuses on Dawn, but Georgia’s and Edie’s stories unfold with complexity as well. Unfortunately, the novel feels too short for readers to fully get to know and become invested in the characters. This debut sincerely explores feelings that will resonate with readers, but many of the serious themes threaded through it would have benefitted greatly from more extensive and deeper treatment.

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