First-person narrator Julia is a graffiti artist and possibly some trust issues. Or maybe she's just trusted the wrong people. Before Julia gets expelled from school for painting over graffiti aimed at her bestie, Jordyn, she's interacted primarily with her moms (Ma and Mee) and Jordyn--who ratted her out to the principle. That's when Julia finds herself commuting to a private school on Long Island where she's the only Deaf kid. Amazingly, she finds ignorance and cruelty.
She also finds an art teacher, though, and a friend, who we only ever know as Yoga Pants. YP manages to learn some signs, but speaks ASL with an accent, as Julia describes YP's communications for their lack of facial expression.
Each chapter is headed with an emoji title, which I think is awesome, both for Julia as an artist and as a Deaf person. The author Whitney Gardner is not d/Deaf, but did her research. In an interview on the Disability in Kid Lit website, Garden discusses her decision to make Julia Indian-American and the child of a stable lesbian couple. She has Julia explain that she loves being Deaf, that it's part of who she is, the way I can't imagine any of my queer friends saying they wish they could be straight because it would make their lives easier.
She thanks lots of d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in her acknowledgments, and also her dogs.
To my two perfect pugs, especially Gouda, who doesn't know what a book is or how to read, but has had such an impact on my life, I must include his fuzzy face.
Also, I love a YA novel that isn't about romance. There is a guy she works with, but he's nothing. Julia's important relationships are with YP, her moms, and a little bit her interpreter (terp), Casey.
btw the author illustrated the book, so we get to see what Julia's art looks like, as well as that of her bomber.