Manuscript title: JUST SING
Author: René Gilley
Age group: YA
Genre: Contemporary (with romantic elements)
Word count: 69,000
Sixteen-year-old Lily has always dreamt of two things: singing professionally and being the first person in her family to attend college. Two years into a four-year plan, she’s on track for acceptance into Berkeley’s prestigious music program. That is, until the school board holds an emergency budget meeting and cuts their award winning vocal program. Lily now has the summer before her junior year to formulate a new plan—or she can kiss her dreams of getting into Berkeley good-bye.
To get back on track, Lily needs to find a high school that has a solid vocal program. With the help of her fired vocal teacher, she finds a few options, both of them at pricey boarding schools. Unfortunately, the last thing her struggling family can swing is thousands of dollars for tuition. Lily must choose between winning a scholarship and entering a cheesy Hollywood vocal competition for prize money.
When Lily finds her family is on the verge of losing their generations-old ranch, suddenly singing careers, boarding school, and embarrassing herself all seem irrelevant. All that matters is saving her family’s home—the key to which might just be her talent to sing.