cover image The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9901-9

While attending a music festival in the desert has never been 18-year-old Darcy Milligan’s idea of fun, she decides it’s high-time to do something out of character for once, especially since she’s preparing to leave California for college in Connecticut. Then the bus home breaks down, leaving her stranded and alone; her phone is dead, she has no money, and an alternate bus won’t arrive until the next morning—the same day as her flight to Connecticut. Cue the movie-style rescue from super cute festival-goer Russell, whom Darcy immediately crushes on. Darcy’s first-person narration is personable, but internal monologues detailing her hopeless romantic ideals and featuring myriad romance movie references sometimes slows the pace of this ticking-clock love story by Matson (The Firefly Summer). Things pick up when Darcy and Russell run afoul of local authorities and Russell reveals secrets surrounding his complicated—and famous—family. As the serendipitous duo bond over their hopes and fears and personal challenges, it’s impossible not to be invested in their growing connection. Darcy and Russell read as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emily Van Beek, Folio Literary. (May)