By Vichet Chum
A searing, joyful YA debut about a queer Cambodian American teen’s journey to find her voice and step into her legacy, perfect for fans of Ibi Zoboi and Elizabeth Acevedo.
Soma Kear’s verses have gone viral. Trouble is, she didn’t exactly think her slam poetry video through. All she knew was that her rhymes were urgent. On fire. An expression of where she was, and that place…was a hot mess.
Following her Ba’s deportation back to Cambodia, everything’s changed. Her Ma is away trying to help Ba adjust to his new life, and her older sister has taken charge with a new authoritarian tone. Meanwhile, Soma’s trending video pushes her to ask if it’s time to level up. With her school’s spoken word contest looming, Soma must decide: Is she brave enough to put herself out there? To publicly reveal her fears of Ba not returning? To admit that things may never be the same?
With every line she spits, Soma searches for a way to make sense of the world around her. The answers are at the mic.
From debut author Vichet Chum comes a celebration of Khmer identity, queerness, and embracing the complicated histories that shape who we are and want to be.