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by AJ Betts

ONE SONG by AJ Betts

'I loved it on many levels. It's inspired. And thrilling. And poignant. And tonally perfect. The reader is completely immersed in the hours that unfold. An exquisite meditation on the messiness, the joy, the frustration, the pain of friendship, first love and creativity.' – Publishing Director

'The manuscript is such a delight, hitting all the right notes. The writing is beautiful, filled with insight and humour.' – Editor

'An absolute joy. The premise is any music-loving high-school student's dream, and the characters were endearing and relatable - hard to pick a favourite. There's so much humour and wit and empathy, and great plot twists that I didn't see coming. The writing is so, so beautiful.' – Copy Editor

'I found it hilarious and laughed a lot, especially at Eva’s internal monologue. The hyperbole is spot on. The complications that kept arising towards the end of the story gave me goosebumps. The pace was frantic and I raced madly to the end. The five characters all have such distinct personalities, from Mim’s eagerness and strength, to Ruby’s toughness and vulnerability, to Ant’s lightness, to Cooper’s frustrating charm, to Eva’s self-doubt and determination.’ – Production Assistant


I am thrilled to share A.J. Betts’ newest YA novel with you! One Song is AJ’s sixth novel and a return to realism after her speculative fiction duology Hive & Rogue. You might also remember her earlier novel Zac & Mia (Text Publishing 2013) which sold in 10 territories and was made into an Emmy-award-winning TV series (Hulu/Netflix).

One Song was scooped up by Pan Macmillan Australia and will publish in September 2023.

Synopsis for One Song

Sometimes a Song Presses Pause on the World.

Write and record a new song in a weekend: what could possibly go wrong? On a Friday evening, 17-year-old Eva and three other band members meet in Cooper’s granny flat for their final rehearsal. They’re scheduled to record the song they’ll enter into 2022’s Triple J Unearthed High competition, which will hopefully change their lives completely.

But things don’t go to plan. After Ruby lambasts the song, Eva forbids them from leaving and demands a weekend lock-in during which they’ll collaboratively write, rehearse, and record a new song, uploading it in time for the Sunday afternoon deadline.

Set in one location over 45 hours, One Song is part Breakfast Club, part fly-on-the-wall documentary, and part coming-of-age story. It features an unlikely band of teenagers—Eva, Cooper, Ruby, and Ant—as well as Mim, who’s recording the event for her school media project. The novel delves into ideas of aspiration and hope, creativity, relationships, mental health, courage, passion, and unrequited love.

One Song is told in 28 chapters and in six parts to resemble a song structure: Intro, Verse, Pre-chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Outro.

A note on AJ Betts’ international publishers: Her novel Zac & Mia was published by Text Publishing (2013) and sold in 10 territories:

Germany: Fischer KJB (Eva Kutter editor)

NL: Blossom Books

Turkey: Pena Yayinlari

Spain: Salamandra

Brazil: Novo Conceito

Poland: Wydawnictwo

Italy: Salani

US: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Canada: Harper Collins

Russia: Livebook/Gayatri