This Is Me Trying

Racquel Marie

Feiwel & Friends, 2024

Agent: Thao Le

Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, This is Me Trying is a profound and tender YA contemporary novel exploring grief, love, and guilt from author Racquel Marie.

Growing up, Bryce, Beatriz, and Santiago were inseparable. But when Santiago moved away before high school, their friendship crumbled. Three years later, Bryce is gone, Beatriz is known as the dead boy’s girlfriend, and Santiago is back.

The last thing Beatriz wants is to reunite with Santiago, who left all her messages unanswered while she drowned alone in grief over Bryce’s death by suicide. Even if she wasn’t angry, Santiago’s attempts to make amends are jeopardizing her plan to keep the world at arm’s length?equal parts protection and punishment?and she swore to never let anyone try that again.

Santiago is surprised to find the once happy-go-lucky Bea is now the gothic town loner, though he’s unsurprised she wants nothing to do with him. But he can’t fix what he broke between them while still hiding what led him to cut her off in the first place, and it’s harder to run from his past when he isn’t states away anymore.

Inevitably drawn back together by circumstance and history, Beatriz and Santiago navigate grief, love, mental illness, forgiveness, and what it means to try to build a future after unfathomable loss.


"An instant coming-of-age classic. In addition to introducing a memorable cast of characters who transcend the pages they live within, this novel explores grief with a tenderness, humor, and nuance that made me feel achingly young again." —Aaron H. Aceves, author of This Is Why They Hate Us

"Grabbed me from the very first page and didn't let go once, and I never want it to. This book does a beautiful job of taking care of the reader while not shying away from the incredibly raw and real topics of grief, mental health, and healing. Many grief books will break your heart. This one will piece it back together." —National Book Award finalist Sonora Reyes

“An honest, heartfelt story of characters who do exactly as the title suggests: try. These characters try, in the most hopeful sense of the word – to be good friends, to treat each other with kindness, to cope as best they can with unimaginable loss . . . a sincere and tender story of an ensemble cast who must learn to live a world without their dear friend and brother, and who tiptoe their way towards their own new joyful beginnings.” —Julia Drake, author of The Last True Poets of the Sea

“A powerful exploration of grief's arbitrary cruelty, enduring destruction, and bittersweet intimacies. Racquel Marie delivers complex characters and never shies away from their big emotions and terrible, beautiful humanity.” —Jen St. Jude, author of If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come

"Marie blends prosaic high school concerns over college, dances, and relationships with wrenching depictions of adolescents struggling to cope with a traumatic loss to deliver a tender portrayal of reconnecting after grief." —Publishers Weekly