We all know that one person who never seems to get rained on. No matter how chaotic the outside world gets, you can always count on them to stay in control and keep it all together. All while remaining impeccably well-dressed.
Winston Chu’s life may be falling apart following his visit to Mr. Pang’s Whimsies, but you won’t find any raindrops falling on the head of his classmate and crush, Dani Kim. She has her own thing going on, after all. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from her on how to stay dry when it feels like the sky is falling.
Cello, Is It Me You’re Looking for?
When it comes to music, don’t mistake Dani’s age for inexperience. Not only has she been playing the cello since she was 4 years old, but as a tween she has already performed in front of thousands of people as part of a symphony.
And now that she’s moved to San Francisco from Austin, Texas, you can bet that she’ll waste no time looking for new opportunities to perform. The only issue would be if an overeager classmate volunteered to perform a duet with her in the big upcoming San Francisco’s Got Talent competition . . . and he totally lied about his musical talent.
Hey, is this book called Winston Chu vs. the Whimsies or Winston Chu vs. His Big Mouth?
Dress to Impress
How many middle schoolers do you know who hand out their own business card? Needless to say, Dani takes a lot of pride in how she presents herself and seems way more put-together than most adults, let alone other kids her own age.
She’s also the type of person who centers her outfits around a specific theme. Whether it’s an all-red ensemble to commemorate Valentine’s Day or a blue dress to signify “beach vacation,” you can always count on Dani to go all out with her daily looks.
It’s a far cry from Winston’s Star Wars T-shirts and grass-stained soccer jersey. But Dani isn’t one to judge. She’s more concerned with what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside. Even if what’s on the inside is just as messy . . .
Wetness Protection Program
Dani’s signature accessory is a tiny pink cocktail umbrella, which she wears behind her ear. According to her, the umbrella is an anti-rain charm, and she’s been using it ever since her last cello was ruined in a Texas storm.
The mysterious umbrella does seem to have some magical properties, seeing as how she’s never been rained on ever since. But she isn’t too concerned about its mystical origins. All she cares about is that the thing comes in handy, especially with all the freak thunderstorms that have been occurring lately (ever since Winston walked into Mr. Pang’s Whimsies).
Even Dani’s aunt—who gifted her the umbrella in the first place–isn’t sure where it came from. All she knows is that the person who sold it to her claimed it would “make every day sunny.” Guess you can trust a sales gimmick every once in a while.
You Winston, You Lose Some
Nobody said that impressing the well-dressed cello prodigy in your homeroom was going to be easy. Especially when her aunt has it out for you.
And you’re still processing the loss of your dad while dealing with loads of family drama at home.
And you’re facing off against mystical whimsies causing havoc across the city. Including a broom and dustpan literally sweeping away your most cherished possessions in front of your eyes.
Clearly, Winston Chu has his back against the wall in many ways. But as long as he learns how to be honest with Dani and consider her feelings before his own, he may just be able to win her respect in the end.
As for him learning how to appreciate the non-linear, non-harmonious, impressionistic, classical improv music she plays? That may be asking too much. Not that we can necessarily blame him.
Want to learn more about Dani? Be sure to pick up Winston Chu vs. the Whimsies by Stacey Lee, on sale 2/7!