When the Vibe Is Right

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2023. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063018570.
Gr 9 Up–Tess Crawford wants nothing more than to be a renowned Carnival costumer and to one day take over her famous uncle’s masquerade band. In fact, it’s nearly all she can do to keep her mind focused on school and anything else that doesn’t have to do with Carnival. Things seem to be going according to plan when, overnight, the future of Grandeur is put into jeopardy and the band’s rivalry with a newer and more current band comes to a boiling point. Tess soon finds herself at the mercy of Brandon, her classmate and rival, who is a social media influencer. Brandon just might have what Grandeur needs to revive itself, if only he and Tess can get along. With the two forced to spend more time together in order to save her family’s band, Tess begins to wonder if there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Brandon.
VERDICT While Dass tells a familiar story of enemies who find they have more in common than they thought, she takes a fresh approach by setting the tale in Trinidad amidst the colors and energy of Carnival.

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