Thursday, October 1, 2020

Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura

Hello friends! Today we're going to be talking about a book that I read for the Kindle Clear Out Readathon. The challenge was to read an eArc and I had a copy of Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura that I received from Netgalley.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Summary

Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying… and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?

Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura is a charming multicultural romance perfect for the many fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell.

My Thoughts

Every Reason We Should was the contemporary YA novel that I really needed right now. Did I have anything in common with the main characters? Not really. Olivia is a former skater who works at her parents ice skating rink. Jonah is a speed skater training for the olympics. But even thought I didn't have anything in common with them, I just found them incredibly relatable.

A big part of this novel is the fact that Olivia and Jonah were raised in the skating world. Olivia grew up skating and performing in competitions with her skating partner and friend, Stuart (aka Egg). Jonah grew up speed skating and being constantly drilled by his father, who watches each and every practice like a hawk.

But throughout this story, both Olivia and Jonah learn that the world is much bigger than they think. They learn that leaving their "Skating Bubbles" isn't so bad. It made me laugh when Jonah's mother insisted on throwing him a sixteenth birthday party, even though he didn't want it. She's like "Let me do something normal for you!" until he finally gives in. 

Some elements to this story that I really enjoyed:
  • Roller derby! Olivia's friend and coworker Mack is a very amusing addition to this story. She's still figuring out her life as a young single mother but she cracks me up. I love how sweet she is to Midori, Olivia's Mom (and also Mack's boss).
  • Interesting side characters. Not only is Olivia's friend Mack amazing, but her parents are very fascinating as well. They are former olympians taking life day by day. Olivia's mom teaches skating at the rink while her dad is on tour, performing in an ice show.
  • Skating. Honestly, I love to watch skating. It's my favorite thing to watch in the Olympics. I also really enjoy skating movies. Ice Princess, anyone?

As a side note, I found the acknowledgements really touching. I am a white woman with a passion for reading & enjoying contemporary YA fiction.  And I loved this book. But a big reason why Sara Fujimura crafted this book the way she did is because her children are biracial, and she wants to create stories where Asian and biracial characters are the leads, and not just the side characters.

And that's awesome! I immediately looked up Sara on Goodreads after I finished this book so that I could see what else she has written. Which led me to her website. Check out her list entitled Biracial Asian Teens in YA for more diverse reads!

Until next time,
Marian

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