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Young Adult Fiction Contemporary

Racing Hearts

by (author) Melinda Di Lorenzo

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2023
Contemporary, Death & Dying, Track & Field
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
12 to 18
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


To honor the death of her best friend, teen Sienna signs up to do a triathlon and finds a connection with an unexpected training partner in this body-positive romance exploring first love, grief, perseverance and trusting in yourself.

Five months ago, Sienna Shoring lost her best friend, Stacey, to suicide. Now Sienna's back at school, struggling—and failing—to find her new place in the social hierarchy. Awkward and alone, Sienna is still dealing with her grief. When a package arrives for the “Try It Triathlon,” which Stacey signed them up for as a joke, it’s like receiving a message from the grave. Sienna has no experience with running or biking. And she doesn’t even own a swimsuit. But she decides to take on the challenge in honor of her best friend, despite being a “fat girl.” And when mysterious jock Blake Romano approaches her unexpectedly and offers to train with her, she can hardly say no. He seems to understand her in a way no one else does. But Blake has a secret that might just break Sienna’s heart, even as he’s winning it.

About the author

Melinda Di Lorenzo has been writing professionally for more than a decade and is the author of Counting Scars and Racing Hearts in the Orca Soundings line. In 2013 she won Harlequin's annual So You Think You Can Write contest, which came with a publishing contract and launched her successfully into the romance world. With a BA in English from Simon Fraser University and a passion for classic love stories that feature strong (albeit sometimes problematic) female leads battling social constraints, such as Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, Melinda infuses her books with flawed characters in real, relatable situations. Bullied as a teen, Melinda sought refuge in books. She now wants to bring that refuge to others, and she draws on her experience as the parent of three teens to craft stories that reflect modern struggles without turning those struggles into stereotypes. She also supports young writers and makes an annual creative writing scholarship donation to École Salish Secondary. Melinda lives in Surrey, British Columbia.

Melinda Di Lorenzo's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A fast-paced story…[with] a lot of great messages regarding body positivity…an ‘ultra-readable page-turner. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“With an immersive narrative that is effortless and simple, this is guaranteed to become a favorite for reluctant readers with an interest in romance.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Di Lorenzo walks an excellent line of showing that Sienna’s experience of bullying is real, but that other students are capable of respect and kindness. Readers watch as Sienna breaks down the walls she has built up around herself and opens herself to romance and new friendships. This refreshing sports story does not focus on Sienna trying to change or shrink her body; she wants to complete the triathlon in memory of her friend, and out of spite for her bullies...A quick hi-lo love story for readers who know sports are for people of all sizes.”

School Library Journal

Other titles by Melinda Di Lorenzo