Synopsis from Edelweiss:
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.
About: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret is a fiction novel written by Misa Sugiura. It will be published on 5/9/17 by Harper Teen, 400 pages. The genres are GLBT, Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, and Romance. This book is intended for readers ages 13 and up, grades 8 and up. According to Harper Collins’ website, the company is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, originally founded by two bothers, James and John Harper in New York City in 1817 and currently has publishing operations in 18 countries. Please see below for more information about the author.
My Experience: I started reading It’s Not Like It’s a Secret on 3/31/17 and finished it on 4/3/17. This book is a great read! It’s fast paced, easy to read, and relatable. It has diversity like The Upside of Unrequited and light hearted like To All the Boys I Have Loved Before. I like the humor & diversity in this book. This book also have the feels of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by having foreign languages in the mix. This quote below, it is exactly my perception.
“I am teaching you to see the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be” 13%
In this book, readers will follow Sana Kiyohara, a Japanese American 16 years old high school student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (yay! I used to live there! And yup I know about Wisconsin Dells & Lake Michigan :-)) being the only Asian girl who couldn’t fit in to the Midwestern Famer’s Daughter. She feels secluded not only by her looks but also by her strict parents. Then her family relocated to California where everywhere she goes, majority of the people are minority (Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc). She finally has friends who understands her because other Asian parents are strict too. Through discovering where she can fit in, she’s also discovering herself. In the meantime, she also accidentally found out a secret and hesitated whether she should come forward or keep it hidden. Her mom always taught her to “gaman” which means to endure when face with difficulties. This book also introduces stereotypes, racisms, and poetry.
“you start off sharp and broken, and then over time you become smooth and beautiful and like, your own piece.” 21%
This book is very relatable to many Asian readers but also a good reminders to the general population. The stereotypes labels about people are ongoing and this book just brought it out in the open for discussions. I like learning about Japanese cultures in this book and how alike they are to other Asians. This book is packed with a lot of happenings. There is no dull moment. I’m not good with poetry and the poems in this book are explained and I like that. I like Sana and all that she’s exposed to. I highly recommend the read to everyone!
Pro: friendship, humor, diversity, acceptance, stereotypes, fast paced, page turner, poetry, relatable
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. She grew up in Northfield, Illinois (which is less rural than it sounds) and went to college on the East Coast. She lived in Japan for three years before moving to Silicon Valley and becoming a high school English teacher. During her years in the classroom, she met the many wonderful Asian, Latino, and LGBTQ students who inspired her to write It’s Not Like It’s a Secret. Misa lives under a giant oak tree with her husband, two sons, two cats, and a gray-banded king snake. (Info obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information about Harper Collins
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Misa Sugiura, publisher Harper Teen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.