cover image When You Get the Chance

When You Get the Chance

Emma Lord. Wednesday, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-78334-9

Brimming with energy, rapid-fire banter, and affectionate theater references, this memorable Mamma Mia! retelling by Lord (Tweet Cute) explores the meaning of family. Passionate and focused, 16-year-old New Yorker Millie Price, a presumed-white vocalist and actor, has big Broadway dreams. When her single father, who has raised her since he was a Tolkien-loving 20-year-old, pushes back on her plan to attend a competitive musical theater program in Los Angeles for senior year, despite her landing a partial scholarship, she decides it’s time to seek out her birth mother, who left when she was a baby. With the help of her father’s early aughts LiveJournal, Millie determines that her mother could be one of three women and teams up with her geocache-obsessed best friend, Teddy, who reads as white, to locate them. As she begins to acknowledge internalized insecurities about her origins, personality, and identity, including her all-consuming “Millie Moods,” she competes for a summer internship against her longtime adversary and stage manager, Chinese American Oliver Yang, kicking off an amusing enemies-to-lovers romance. Lord thoughtfully pays homage to a recognizable conceit while skillfully modernizing it for today’s readers with knowing nods to social media and the stresses of contemporary adolescence. Ages 12–up. Agent: Janna Bonikowski, the Knight Agency. (Jan.)