One Song

A. J. Betts

One Song
Pan Macmillan Australia
25 July 2023

One Song

A. J. Betts

Aspiring singer-songwriter Eva has one last chance to enter Triple J Unearthed High and break into the music industry.

But after three failed attempts, she needs some help.

Cue the band: perfectionist Eva, charismatic Cooper, easy-going Ant and moody Ruby. Plus fly-on-the-wall Mim, who's filming them for her school Media project.

Five people who have nothing in common but music. One emotionally and creatively charged weekend.

Can they record the most important song of their lives?


Eva Sidebottom, a 17-year-old musician, wants more than anything to win the Triple J Unearthed High competition before she finishes high school. She’s entered plenty of times before, but this weekend is her very last chance. She assembles a motley band: along with her friend Cooper, who she has kissed a few times and still has a crush on, there’s a snarly girl who doesn’t seem to like her very much, and a drummer who’s in two other bands. They are meeting in Cooper’s granny flat at the back of his house to record and lay down their potentially award-winning song, which will rocket them to stardom – or so they hope. Fly-on-the-wall documentarian Mim films the recording and interviews each of the band members, capturing their chaotic process on video. When the snarly guitarist, Ruby, declares the song is ‘shit’ early on in the evening, the wheels start to fall off from there.

Set over one chaotic weekend, this is a funny and insightful story about rock-god ambitions, misdirected romantic inclinations, and genuine teenage angst. It captures the desperate need to achieve something before you finish high school, along with some truly memorable moments, including a laugh-out-loud episode with a dog stealing a used menstrual pad and racing around the garden with it.

Completely different from the author’s two previous dystopian novels, Hive and Rogue, this is a fresh, funny, and contemporary novel that will be adored by readers aged 14+.

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