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This Time Will Be Different
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This Time Will Be Different
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A Kirkus Reviews Best BookFor fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon, critically acclaimed author Misa Sugiura delivers a richly crafted contemporary YA novel about family, community, and...
A Kirkus Reviews Best BookFor fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon, critically acclaimed author Misa Sugiura delivers a richly crafted contemporary YA novel about family, community, and...
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  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book

    For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon, critically acclaimed author Misa Sugiura delivers a richly crafted contemporary YA novel about family, community, and the importance of writing your own history.

    The author of the Asian Pacific American Award-winning It's Not Like It's a Secret is back with another smartly drawn coming-of-age novel that weaves riveting family drama, surprising humor, and delightful romance into a story that will draw you in from the very first page.

    Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn't even know where to start. She's never lived up to her mom's type A ambition, and she's perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family's flower shop.

    She doesn't buy into Hannah's romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

    Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ's grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ's family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Misa Sugiura's ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel, It's Not Like It's a Secret, was the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for YA Literature. Her second novel, This Time Will Be Different, was the HarperCollins Children's Books Lead Read. Misa lives under a giant oak tree in Silicon Valley with her husband, two sons, and three cats. Visit her online at www.misasugiura.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 15, 2019
    Sugiura's (It's Not like It's a Secret, 2017, etc.) sophomore novel deftly questions accountability for past injustices. Seventeen-year-old Japanese-American CJ Katsuyama lives with her single mother and free-spirited aunt in present-day Silicon Valley. Though pushed by her mother to aspire to greatness, CJ feels she only excels at arranging flowers at the family flower shop. CJ is intimately familiar with the history of the store, sold for a pittance to Robert McAllister, a white man, while her family was interned during World War II, purchased back at the market rate after 30 years, and now floundering while the McAllisters have prospered (CJ's high school is even named after them). A discovery about the McAllister patriarch leads CJ and other student activists to embark on a campaign that creates tension within their community and further complicates CJ's relationship with her mother, a partner at McAllister Venture Capital. Sugiura tackles an abundance of topics with finesse, including social and economic injustice, allyship, and feminism, simultaneously breaking down the Asian-American immigration narrative and the myth of the model minority. CJ lacks confidence and is flawed but grows, along with other characters, into self-realization in part through addressing prejudices. A majority of the cast members are people of color, and many characters are biracial; several are queer. Two nations who first lived in the area, the Miwok and Ohlone, are named in the text. Essential. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 13, 2019
    In Silicon Valley, Japanese-American CJ Katsuyama, 17, has yet to show an interest in or an aptitude for anything, except perhaps working at the family’s failing flower shop, Heart’s Desire, with her aunt Hannah, much to her overachieving venture capitalist mother Mimi’s chagrin. Mimi gives Hannah an ultimatum about the business—fix it or sell it to McAllister Venture Capital, a family that partially built its wealth by acquiring the property of Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during WWII. The family flower shop was one of those businesses, sold cheaply and bought back by CJ’s grandfather at the market rate decades later. In this tension, CJ finally finds her cause: save the family business, and make the McAllisters pay for their past transgressions. Sugiura (It’s Not Like It’s a Secret) deftly weaves historical fact into this coming-of-age narrative, which also explores a budding romance and CJ’s curiosity about her father’s identity, a secret her mother has never revealed. Through CJ, she also addresses how the myth of the model minority has impacted Asian-Americans but is careful to not judge success within the Asian-American community. Sugiura provides an entertaining and informative backdrop that allows CJ to explore her own sense of identity while giving readers a front seat to her process. Ages 13–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Feldman Literary Agency.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Her entire life, 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama has heard that "Katsuyamas never quit"-but here she is barely started, struggling to live up to her successful mother's ambitious plans to get her into the right college. Instead of prestigious internships, after-school sports, or any other idea her mother has presented, CJ develops a passion for working at the family's flower shop. The shop was lost when her family was forced into internment camps during World War II, but they painstakingly fought to get it back-and won. When CJ finds out the flower shop's future is again compromised, her entire world becomes uprooted. Will she be able to win the fight for her family's legacy? Set in present-day California, this is a gripping, emotionally charged story that presents an interesting window into a uniquely Japanese American experience that deserves attention. Although a work of fiction, the novel discusses the present influence of devastating American history and counters the idea that past experiences of injustice no longer affect the modern landscape. CJ, her mother, and her aunt grapple with what success looks like-should they "play the system" built through profiting unfairly off of others or continue to harbor what some may consider frivolous grudges? However, the story is not presented as a sterile case study-Sugiura's writing perfectly blends all these important themes and more as readers travel through very real emotions with a teen attempting to grow up. Despite family history or turmoil, she must still navigate the pitfalls of love, friendship, and life at school. The novel also discusses LGBT+ issues and discrimination, abortion, and other realistic teen struggles. VERDICT Recommended purchase for a variety of collections looking for contemporary voices that mirror real-life landscapes.-DeHanza Kwong, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Joy Osmanski delivers the sarcasm of 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama. Her demeanor thinly veils her pain at the lack of love she feels from her mother, a driven business executive. CJ believes she will always fail to meet her mother's expectations. On the other hand, Osmanski makes clear the love and support this teen has from her best friend, Em; her Aunt Hannah; and Owen a new friend. Just as distinctly, Osmanski voices CJ's lack of self-love, rigid thinking, and then, gradually, her emerging emotions of tenderness, compassion, and self-acceptance. The story involves a lot of issues--including abortion, historical injustice toward Japanese-Americans, white privilege, and LGBTQ identity. However, Osmanski conveys wit and authentic feelings that keep listeners from feeling the story is too problem driven. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
  • Booklist

    May 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Will CJ Katsuyama ever not be a disappointment to her driven, business exec mom? The sense of inadequacy weighs her down sometimes. And there's her best friend Emily, who seems to be falling for an alpha girl at school?why can't CJ just be happy for Em instead of bummed, unable to settle into her own relationship with the right guy? Readers will know that life is never that easy. CJ's emotional landscape is a nonstop roller coaster. Her inner thoughts crackle with an angst and self-doubt that teens will find engaging. A plot thread involving a past abortion further complicates CJ's psyche and clouds her emotional security, but when she gets involved in a campaign to right past wrongs?uncovering the legacy of some Japanese American families, including her own, during the internment period?CJ becomes passionate and driven in her own right. The plot can be crowded, for sure, but Sugiura's deep dive into mother-daughter relationships, the fragility of self-worth, and the gathering of courage resonates deeply.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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