In a twenty-four-hour span, Rafael Alvarez led North Amistad High School’s Mariachi Alma de la Frontera to their eleventh consecutive first-place win in the Mariachi Extravaganza de Nacional; met, made out with, and almost hooked up with one of the cutest guys he’s ever met; and lost his abuelo after a heart-breaking battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Now eight months later, Rafie’s (mostly) fine and ready for one final win. What he didn’t plan for is his family moving to San Antonio before his senior year, forcing him to leave behind his group. Another hitch in his plan: The Selena Quintanilla-Perez Academy’s Mariachi Todos Colores already has a lead vocalist, Rey Chavez—the boy Rafie made out with—who now stands between him winning and being the great Mariachi Rafie's abuelo always believed him to be. Despite their newfound rivalry, Rafie can’t squash his feelings for Rey, showing in moments like their afternoon cleaning brass instruments as punishment; or during vocal training classes when Rafie can’t stop thinking about that December night; or—worst of all—during their duet when Rafie can’t deny how good they sound.
But with residual grief over his abuelo’s death, his old crew pointing out his change, and his new friends challenging what Mariachi should be, Rafie struggles to decide who he’d want to disappoint less: the people he’s known his entire life or the one just starting to get to know the real him.