Work in Progress: Song of a Firebird

A shy sophomore’s quest to overcome anxiety and self-doubt, rise up against her bullies, and transform heartache into wisdom for the ultimate victory… love


The Playlist

Check out the soundtrack to Rose’s sophomore year. Each awesome 90s song corresponds to a chapter in the novel.


It’s the summer of 1995, and fluffy, freckled new girl Rose is an ugly duckling in search of her flock. When her mom, a former beauty queen, prods Rose to try out for cheerleading at her new school, she hopes to go a from late-blooming loser to cheerleader chick. Too bad the critical cheer captain and her bestie can spot an imposter. Their teasing is almost as bad as the skimpy uniforms. Worse, Rose accidentally falls for her bully’s boyfriend Zach, and he’s in her dreaded public speaking class. 

After years of dodging bullies and cowering in the shadow of her MILF mom, Rose’s self esteem is nonexistent. How will she stand tall before a teenage god like Zach when she can’t even stand up for herself? 

Enter Leo, Zach’s cocky best friend. He takes Rose under his wing and her fledgling ego gets a boost. But after a very public humiliation at the hands of her new “friends,” Rose loses her spark of confidence. Retreating into solitude, she spends the winter helping her dad restore an antique Firebird sports car to its former glory. The car isn’t the only transformation on the horizon.

Spring brings budding femininity, romance and a chance to finally prove her worth. How far will Rose go to win Zach’s affection and outshine her enemies? Will she risk her self-respect, friendship and even a shot at true love on her quest for acceptance?

Sometimes you have to face the music, and die a little inside, to become a better version of yourself.


Complete at 88,000 words, SONG OF A FIREBIRD is upper YA historical fiction with a romantic sub-plot about a bullied 90s teen who taps into her feminine power to transform her identity. Paying homage to classic teen films like Sixteen Candles, Mean Girls and Clueless, SONG OF A FIREBIRD is a celebration of 1990s pop culture and tropes with a diverse cast, cinematic plot and feminist sensibility. The body-positive novel explores timeless themes of girl bullying, mental health challenges and first love. Author Marie McKoy is currently seeking representation.