Debut author Erin Hahn's You'd Be Mine is a YA romance that uses all the trappings of the genre to build an engrossing, moving story about addiction, emotional health and fame, with a whole lot of fun and romance thrown in.
Clay Coolidge is an 18-year-old pop-country sensation whose label, SunCoast Records, is sick of his bad boy "f*ckery." They've given him an ultimatum: convince Annie Mathers to join his tour or lose his contract. Annie is the child of country stars so giant, she "thought Willie Nelson was [her] actual grandpa until [she] was ten." Four years ago, she lost both parents to a "double-suicide" and has been "hiding out in Michigan" at her grandparents' home ever since. Now 17, Annie is slowly coming out of hiding, and SunCoast--the label that originally signed her mother, Cora--desperately wants "to have the pair."
Of course, Annie with the "smoky vocals" agrees to open for Clay with the "whiskey voice," and a relationship develops. But their time together isn't just a sexy, summer romp. (Though it is that, too!) Hahn's protagonists are complicated, whole individuals who realistically deal with the rapid maturing that comes with being famous at a very young age. Annie loves performing but is terrified of becoming her drug-ruined mother; she wants Clay but refuses to love someone who's so like her dad. Clay, too, is complex. Much of this novel centers on addiction, and Hahn's depiction of Clay's slow, painful acknowledgment of his alcoholism reads devastatingly true. You'd Be Mine perfectly balances the brutal with a lot of beautiful and shines with good humor, Southern sensibilities and a great love of music. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness