Johnson has another hit on her hands

Johnson has another hit on her hands

Danielle Shumar, staff writer

Rise to the Sun is another fantastic book written by local Indiana author, Leah Johnson.


Johnson, a former Spotlight editor,  is also the author of another bestselling novel, You Should See Me in a Crown. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun, takes place at a music festival and follows two main characters, Olivia and Toni.


Olivia has just experienced a breakup and is using a weekend at the music festival with her best friend, Imani, to help take her mind off of things. On the other hand, Toni is about to start her first year of college and is having second thoughts. She is trying to decide if she wants to attend college to make her mother happy or make her own dreams come true and follow in her father’s footsteps as a musician.

Every summer, she attends the music festival that changed her dad’s life, but this year is different. Toni meets Olivia at the beginning of the festival, and the two girls immediately find that they must work together to get what they both want.


Throughout the festival, Olivia and Toni are brought closer together through music and the festival’s unique atmosphere.


Once again, Johnson proves that she can write a compelling and joyful story while balancing more serious topics. This story is relatable and fun to read, while at the same time focusing on important life issues.


Going into this novel, I was intrigued by the setting, and I was not disappointed. I thought setting the novel solely at the music festival over the course of one weekend gave the story a unique structure.


Johnson did a great job of providing an extremely descriptive setting while also not taking anything away from the characters and their development. Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the use of a dual perspective. Because the story was told from alternating points of view between Olivia and Toni, it allowed me to feel more connected to both girls, and it also provided more in-depth descriptions of their lives.

Rise to the Sun is a novel that focuses on relationships and how two people can be united so quickly. The setting definitely takes you away, and it’s a book that becomes increasingly difficult to put down. It’s an emotional and powerful story, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something quick and interesting to read.