Beating Heart Baby (Flatiron Books)
Lio Min’s Beating Heart Baby is an “achingly romantic” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love letter to internet friendships, anime, and indie rock
When artistic and sensitive Santi arrives at his new high school, everyone in the wildly talented marching band welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except for the prickly, proud musical prodigy Suwa, who doesn’t think Santi has what it takes to be in the band.
But Santi and Suwa share painful pasts, and when they open up to each other, a tentative friendship begins. And soon, that friendship turns into something more. . . .
Will their fresh start rip at the seams as Suwa seeks out a solo spotlight, and both boys come to terms with what it'll take, and what they'll have to let go, to realize their dreams?
Lio Min has listened to, played and performed, and written about music for most of their life. Their debut novel Beating Heart Baby is about boys, bands, and Los Angeles. They've profiled and interviewed acts including Japanese Breakfast, Rina Sawayama, MUNA, Caroline Polachek, Christine and the Queens, Raveena, Tei Shi, Speedy Ortiz, and Mitski.
Praise for Beating Heart Baby -
"A luminous homage to music, art, and the power of found family. . . This achingly romantic novel features racially diverse and variously queer characters, each of whom is given ample space to develop. Min’s personal-feeling prose epitomizes the current age, in which lifelong bonds are forged through computer screens and group chats, emphasizing connection in its myriad forms." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A lyrical, rhythmic, and promising debut, this queer romance is a hit." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Blistering, deeply emo, and shimmering with the messiness of intimacy, Beating Heart Baby is a dizzying, occasionally infuriating, gleefully sexy, and utterly heartfelt exploration of identity, culture, and finding home within your art and in yourself. Brimming with music, profoundly specific internet, and the magic of cooked food with chosen family, Lio Min’s debut is as much a salve as it is nourishment." —Mary H. K. Choi, author of Yolk
"A stunning heartbreak of a novel that will mean so much to so many. I couldn’t put it down—following the always tender and often romantic journeys of these beautiful boys. A story about how love can shape you and open up the entire world. Lio Min is a superstar to watch." —Maurene Goo, author of Somewhere Only We Know
"You know that feeling, when you hear your favorite song for the first time? Lio Min has captured it in electrifying prose. Beating Heart Baby reached deep inside me and healed wounds I always assumed I’d be carrying forever." —Adib Khorram, author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay
"Beating Heart Baby creates the eclectic, stylish world of every teen weirdo’s dreams. Readers will connect to the struggle and yearning of young queer love while finding warmth and acceptance within its diverse and compassionate cast." —Jen Wang, author of The Prince and the Dressmaker
"A beautiful story about finding family, messy first loves, and the power of music. Beating Heart Baby will break your heart in the best way." —Emiko Jean, author of Tokyo Ever After
“An altogether wildly moving story of finding yourself while chasing down dreams, Beating Heart Baby reads like the best kind of love song and leaves you wanting to hit repeat, with chapter after chapter positively humming in your head. And the beating heart of this beautiful novel? A story of love and forgiveness like no other.” —Eric Smith, author of Don't Read the Comments
“A vivid and vital gift to queer teens everywhere.” —Peyton Thomas, author of Both Sides Now
“Beating Heart Baby combines an anime-addled queer coming-of-age with a luxurious, sensual love story. You won’t know whether to swoon or seethe with jealousy that you weren’t this cool in high school.” —Meredith Russo, author of If I Was Your Girl