It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura
Published May 9nd 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.
When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.
Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Thank you, HarperCollins and Edelweiss, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was actually really excited for this book cause it seemed so cute. Needless to say, I did enjoy reading it and liked how the romance blossomed. This was just the cute gay YA romance I needed.
Gaman (我慢) is a Japanese term which is generally translated as “perseverance”, “patience”, tolerance, or “self-denial”.
Sana Kiyohara is sixteen year-old Japanese lesbian who just moved to California for her dad’s job. Her mom is a lowkey tiger mom, or a mom who likes pushing her kids to strive to be successful. She moves into a new school and starts to develop feelings for a girl named Jamie. In her school most of the population is made up of minorities, and she blends right in. She finally finds a group of friends who are also Asian and understand exactly what she goes through. While all of this is going on, she suspects of her father having an affair. She attempts to bring it up to her mom a few times, but her mom only keeps repeating her philosophy of Gaman.
I liked the writing style of the book. A few poems are scattered throughout the story, and do play a significant role to Sana as a chatacter, and to the plot as well. I like how this book tackled a lot of things in terms of racial stereotypes: from how by default Asians are supposed to be the smart ones, to how law enforcement goes a bit harder on Hispanics just because. It tackles racial issues though it didn’t dig as deep as I wanted it to.
Overall it was a pretty cute read that gives us a glimpse into Japanese culture, as well as their perception of others. Go check this out if you want a light LGBT contemporary read 💕