The Last Love Song

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Pub Date 09 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 23 Apr 2024

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Description

A queer YA Mamma Mia! with a dash of Maureen Johnson, The Last Love Song celebrates the music of an uncertain heart—perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, Laura Taylor Namey, and Emma Lord.

After high school graduation, Mia Peters faces a summer full of painful goodbyes. Songwriting is her only solace. Everyone she knows is moving on, including Britt, her biggest supporter … and kind-of-sort-of girlfriend. Britt keeps pushing Mia to go bigger and do better than their small town, but Mia can’t imagine a life beyond Sunset Cove. Besides, she refuses to follow in the footsteps of her late mother—country music star Tori Rose—who abandoned her family to pursue her dream, leaving Mia and her two grandmothers alone.

Desperate for a sign of what might lie ahead, Mia finds the opposite—a mysterious letter from the past, addressed to her in her mother’s handwriting. It turns out to be the first of many. One by one they lead Mia on a wild scavenger hunt through a Sunset Cove she never knew, buried under the memorializing that has frozen her mother in time. Each new discovery brings Mia closer to the real Tori Rose, but with the clock ticking on Britt’s departure, Mia knows she is running out of time.

With the summer winding down, Mia must decide if she is ready to face the present, confront her feelings, and forge the destiny she truly wants. A dazzlingly soulful debut, The Last Love Song is perfect for anyone who’s ever tried to decode the clues in the lead-up to a new Taylor Swift album.

A queer YA Mamma Mia! with a dash of Maureen Johnson, The Last Love Song celebrates the music of an uncertain heart—perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, Laura Taylor Namey, and Emma Lord.

After high...


A Note From the Publisher

Kalie Halford is a bi writer with a passion for YA books, especially those featuring messy queer kids who make mistakes, learn to love, and grow alongside each other. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, playing around on Canva, or being a dog mom. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family and two puppies.

Kalie Halford is a bi writer with a passion for YA books, especially those featuring messy queer kids who make mistakes, learn to love, and grow alongside each other. When she’s not writing, she can...


Advance Praise

“Drenched in summer and music, The Last Love Song is a sparkling debut that feels like racing alongside Daisy Jones’s daughter as she unravels the mystery of her infamous mother.”

Nina Moreno, author of Don’t Date


“The Last Love Song contains so many of the things I look for in a great read—a tender queer romance, a large cast of lovable characters, and deeply felt messages on living with grief while following your dreams. The beautiful prose in this book brings every melody to life, creating a moving portrait of love in all its forms. Sentimental and poetic, I found it impossible not to tear up at the touching mother-daughter relationship that drives this story.”

Bridget Morrissey, author of That Summer Feeling

“Drenched in summer and music, The Last Love Song is a sparkling debut that feels like racing alongside Daisy Jones’s daughter as she unravels the mystery of her infamous mother.”

Nina Moreno, author...


Marketing Plan


  • National features and reviews 
  • YA campaign
  • LGBTQ media and influencer outreach
  • Digital advertising campaign
  • Social media campaign
  • Bookseller and library show marketing




  • National features and reviews 
  • YA campaign
  • LGBTQ media and influencer outreach
  • Digital advertising campaign
  • Social media campaign
  • Bookseller and library show marketing




Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9798212191319
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
PAGES 236

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
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Average rating from 77 members


Featured Reviews

I absolutely adored this book!! Mia Peters is the daughter of the late, great country singer Tori Rose. Before her mom passed, she left her a trail of letters and clues to tell her more about her past and what she went through. Mia has a lot of unanswered questions like how her mom died, who her dad actually is, and what her mom regretted at the end. At the same time, Mia is trying to navigate her relationship with Britt who is about to leave on her own music journey. It was such a sweet book and I loved every second of it. My favorite parts were Tori's POV, I just loved her story. This was a phenomenal debut and I can't wait to see more from Kalie Holford in the future!

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Atmospheric and full of feeling, The Last Love Song is a debut bursting with heart. Perfect for anyone who thought Daisy Jones and the Six should’ve been just a little bit gayer.

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This book touched me in ways I can't possibly begin to describe so all I can really say is: wow. What a debut!

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In her emotionally layered and lyrically narrated debut, Holford tells a moving story of a girl on the brink of leaving the comfort of her small town and the world she knows, but only once she works through some long-held fears. When her mother leaves her a posthumous scavenger hunt that uncovers bits and pieces of her life as a country music star, Mia learns that regrets are complicated, lives can be and/both rather than either/or, and love is worth taking a few risks for. Holford beautifully captures a pivotal time of life, and teen readers especially will relate to Mia's struggles to sort out her own wants and dreams, searching for someone to provide answers she can only provide herself. Mia's loving family, community, and best friend/girlfriend lend care and support throughout her journey, giving the novel an overall warmth, even when Mia is most at sea with her choices. The scavenger hunt adds a compelling mystery as we wait with Mia to find out answers to some of her biggest questions, and to see how all the pieces fit together to create the foundation she needs to reach for her dreams. With a joyful teen romance, a thoughtfully woven dual-timeline narrative, and emotionally charged interiority, Holford taps into the year of Daisy Jones and Taylor Swift, adding a powerful songbook entry of her own.

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I've been waiting for this book for so long (I saw an art print at a local book store here, and I've been obsessed ever since) and I finally got a copy last week 🥲 please this book was so good, it's the perfect coming of age story.

The mystery surrounding the MC's mom's death, and the parallel narration by the MC and her mom as she (the MC) follows a history treasure hunt left by her late mother was written so well 😭 I was running through the last few chapters, trying to get to the ending, everything was setup so perfectly.

Also, the sapphic best friends to lovers going on alongside was SO GOOD, I loved them both so much. I don't want to spoil anything, but when they get together get together at the end, it was pure perfection. Like the entire book led to it. 😭.

TWs - death of parent, absent parent, grief and anxiety on page

-- ty to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy!

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This is such a wonderful debut from Kalie Holford. Two timelines and two POV's see a daughter reconnect with her mother over letters and a hunt for the truth of who her father was and how her mother died. I loved how the chapters were a playlist of the two MC's songs and how the chapters included song lyrics. With strong Mama Mia vibes here, this book is begging to be made into a musical!

Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an advanced copy.

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We all have a song that sweeps us away once the first second plays, right? Songs that have us aching and smiling to ourselves all at the same time, that we could recognise everywhere because of the feeling in our chests it unlocks. Songs that, no matter how often you've heard them or how long it's been, always hit as hard, right?

That's what this book feels like for me.

THE LAST LOVE SONG is instantly an absolute favorite. This story, told through gorgeous prose, is full of hope, dreams, grief, and music. It made me laugh and scream and cry and, overall, it found its way into my heart. I can honestly not recommend it enough!

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