This One’s For You is an enthralling, emotional YA romance

This One's For You by Kate Sweeney. Image courtesy Penguin Young Readers
This One's For You by Kate Sweeney. Image courtesy Penguin Young Readers /

Kate Sweeney’s latest book is titled This One’s For You and follows two former best friends, Sydney and Caspian, as they take a road trip following a band across the county.

Syd and Cas used to be the closest friends but as they grew older, they grew apart. Sydney is an outcast, a weirdo, and nothing but herself. Cas likes to fit in, fade into a group, and not be seen as an outsider. It’s easy to see why they didn’t stay friends.

But when Sydney finds out one of Cas’s biggest secrets, it leads to a road trip that neither of them could have expected. Cas’s mom used to be in a band called the Darlas but she died when he was just an infant.

Now his father refuses to talk about her or her music. Cas was fine not knowing much until he finds a post announcing the Darla reunion tour. Cas doesn’t know what he’ll find but he feels like he has to go. He has to see at least one show. And he impulsively invites his former friend Syd.

This One’s For You is a must-read emotional YA romance

While on the road, they rediscover why they were friends and also come to understand why that relationship couldn’t last.  They also both avoid the truth when it’s hard and especially when it comes to the truth about each other. But despite these tough points, they also find out that their friendship could be so much more.

I love a quiet, emotional book. They are my favorite kind of story. And in This One’s For You, Kate Sweeney gives us a perfectly quiet, complex, and emotional teen story. It’s truly brilliant how she gets across what these two are not saying to each other.

The book also goes back and forth between Syd and Cas’s points of view and it’s just the right format for a story where, for much of it, we are only following these two complicated people.

This book is also a love letter to music and those who cannot live without it. Cas has a passion for playing music on his mother’s guitar and Syd is the queen of sound and you feel their passion in each and every page. Despite their uncertain futures and their parents’ expectations, they ultimately follow where the music takes them.

Beyond Syd and Cas, The Darlas is another important part of this story. They are the parents that Syd and Cas don’t feel they have at home. They are the connection to Cas’s mom. And they are people who understand both Cas and Syd’s passions for music.

This One’s For You is beautiful, heartbreaking, difficult, and emotional, and if you love YA romances, quiet books, or character-driven stories, you need to read this book.

This One’s For You by Kate Sweeney is available now in ebook, hardcover, and audiobook formats.

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