The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana, graduate, MFA in Creative Writing Program at The New School.

HarperCollins, 2018

From the publisher: Susannah Hayes has never been in the spotlight, but she dreams of following her father, a former rock star, onto the stage. As senior year begins, she’s more interested in composing impressive chord patterns than college essays, certain that if she writes the perfect song, her father might finally look up from the past long enough to see her. But when he dies unexpectedly, her dreams—and her reality—shatter.

While Susannah struggles with grief, her mother uproots them to a new city. There, Susannah realizes she can reinvent herself however she wants: a confident singer-songwriter, member of a hip band, embraced by an effortlessly cool best friend. But Susannah is not the only one keeping secrets, and soon, harsh revelations threaten to unravel her life once again.

Set against the scintillating landscape of Southern California, The Midnights is an evocative coming-of-age debut about loss, creativity, and finding your voice while you’re still finding yourself.