Kid’s Book Review: Rise to the Sun

Kid’s Book Review: Rise to the Sun

About the Book and Author

From bestselling American writer Leah Johnson this YA novel is described by the publishers, Scholastic, as  a “joyous, Black girl rom-com about finding love and being true to yourself”.

At one life-changing music festival are two girls:
Toni is grieving the loss of her roadie father and needing to figure out where her life will go from here – and she’s desperate to get back to loving music. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again) and is beginning to feel like she’ll always be a square peg in a round hole – but the Farmland Music and Arts Festival is a chance to find a place where she fits.
The two girls collide and it feels like something like kismet when a bond begins to form. But when something goes wrong and the festival is sent into a panic, Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other (and music) more than they ever imagined…

Rise to the Sun cover
Leah Johnson author

Leah Johnson is a writer, editor and eternal Midwesterner, currently moonlighting as a New Yorker! When she’s not writing, you can usually find her on Twitter, ranting about pop culture and politics. You Should See Me in a Crown was her first novel and Rise to the Sun is her second.

Book Review

Fun loving and freewheeling this book was enjoyable, although it also tackles some big issues in teenage lives

This book was easy to read and fun! I found Olivia relatable, making reading from her perspective interesting and funny. It was amazing to get the different perspectives because it meant you got the different reactions to big decisions, which ultimately, made me feel slightly frustrated as characters didn’t have the same feelings or get the wrong impression, however this only made the book exciting as you can root for your favourite character in their own adventure.

I also enjoyed how the book was inclusive, the main couple being Olivia and Toni, and it is full of bisexual representation. The setting, farmland music festival, is definitely somewhere I would love to go which made imagining the scenery all the more fun. Fun loving and freewheeling this book was enjoyable, although it also tackles some big issues in teenage lives, which I felt it did it brilliantly and would recommend it for teens.


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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Ruby
  • Age: 14 years
  • Likes: tennis, musicals and ice-cream
  • Dislikes: clowns and maths
  • Favourite Book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Favourite Song: Softly by Clairo
  • Favourite Film: Cinderella - live action version