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Summer in the City of Roses

Michelle Ruiz Keil


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Inspired by the Greek myth of Iphigenia and the Grimm fairy tale "Brother and Sister," Michelle Ruiz Keil's second novel follows two siblings torn apart and struggling to find each other in early '90s Portland.

All her life, seventeen-year-old Iph has protected her sensitive younger brother, Orr. But this summer, with their mother gone at an artist residency, their father decides it's time for fifteen-year-old Orr to toughen up at a wilderness boot camp. When he brings Iph to a work gala in downtown Portland and breaks the news, Orr has already been sent away. Furious at his betrayal, Iph storms off and gets lost in the maze of Old Town. Enter George, a queer Robin Hood who swoops in on a bicycle, bow and arrow at the ready, offering Iph a place to hide out while she figures out how to track down Orr.

Orr, in the meantime, has escaped the camp and fallen in with The Furies, an all-girl punk band, and moves into the coat closet of their ramshackle pink house. In their first summer apart, Iph and Orr must learn to navigate their respective new spaces of music, romance, and sex work activism—and find each other to try to stop a transformation that could fracture their family forever.

Told through a lens of magical realism and steeped in myth, Summer in the City of Roses is a dazzling tale about the pain and beauty of growing up.

Praise For Summer in the City of Roses

Praise for Summer in the City of Roses

“Michelle Ruiz Keil has crafted an absolute stunner of a novel full of myths and misfits. Summer in the City of Roses pulses with magic and music and is, at its core, a grand celebration of love in all its tricky and beautiful forms.”
—Samantha Mabry, author of All the Wind in the World and Tigers, Not Daughters

Summer in the City of Roses is riveting, singular, poetic, powerful, fierce, soft, heartbreaking, and heart-mending, as tender as velvet and sharp as the bloody antler underneath. Michelle Ruiz Keil is the Erin Morgenstern of YA.”
—Delilah Dawson, author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: PHASMA and coauthor of the Tales of Pell

“Michelle Ruiz Keil's writing sparkles with magic and imagination. Rich with references to such diverse subjects as Shakespeare, punk music, Greek mythology and Mexican culture, Summer in the City of Roses is a smart page-turner written with elegance and depth. Keep your eyes open. In this particular City of Roses, things aren't exactly as they seem—in surprising and wondrous ways.”
—Gigi Little, Powell's Books

Praise for All of Us with Wings

“Keil’s ambitious debut is jam-packed with twists and depth and froth and function . . . [This is] a book about embracing everything—people, lifestyles, beliefs, experiences—and, in so doing, finding your own distinct power.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Michelle Ruiz Keil crafts a fantastical ode to the Golden City’s postpunk era.”
—Entertainment Weekly 

“A spellbinding tale about finding magic in the mundane and hope in the unknown. Filled with dizzying danger and electrifying music, All of Us with Wings left me breathless.”
—Ruth Ozeki, Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning author of A Tale for the Time Being

“Keil is a new voice to keep an eye on.” 
—Zoraida Córdova, author of Labyrinth Lost  

“Michelle Ruiz Keil’s strange but original premise gives fresh perspective to the ways pain and rage can manifest themselves as toxic elements that threaten a person’s well-being and endanger those around them.”
NBC News

Soho Teen, 9781641291712, 336pp.

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

About the Author

Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx writer and tarot card reader with an affinity for the enchanted. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, All of Us With Wings, was called "a transcendent journey" by The New York Times. She is a 2020 Literary Lions honoree and the recipient of a 2020 Hedgebrook residency. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michelle has lived in Portland, Oregon, for many years. She curates the fairytale reading series All Kinds of Fur and lives with her family in a cottage where the forest meets the city.