I am so excited to reveal the cover of Always the Almost by Edward Underhill today, a contemporary YA “romdram” that I truly loved and I know you will too when it releases from Wednesday Books on February 14, 2023! Here’s the story:
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition. But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other. Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is”—whatever that means.
Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does—and makes his stomach flutter. Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss…which is also definitely not in the plan. Why does Eric like him so much, anyway? It’s not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him…especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people—other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.
So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for…is himself?
Edward Underhill grew up in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where he could not walk to anything, which meant he had to make up his own adventures. He began writing (very bad) stories as a kid and wrote his first (also very bad) novel in his teens. He studied music composition in college at the Oberlin Conservatory, and got a masters in film scoring from NYU. After a few years of living in very tiny apartments in New York City, he moved to California, where by day he writes music (most frequently for cartoons) and by night he writes stories, which aren’t as bad as they used to be. He lives with his partner and a talkative black cat.
As a queer trans man, Edward is passionate about books where queer and trans teens can find themselves in the pages. His debut novel, Always the Almost, will release from Wednesday Books/Macmillan on February 14, 2023. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @edwardunderhill.