Featured Review: This Time Will Be Different (Misa Sugiura)

36220348._SX318_

About This Book:

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.

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*

 

THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT is an engaging YA contemporary with strong underlying messages about racism and social activism. With a romantic comedy premise and feel, this book is surprisingly educational, teaching about racism, white saviors, the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, model minorities, as well as mechanisms for enacting change (e.g. petitions, protests). 

CJ Katsuyama is seventeen years old and feels like she has failed at pretty much everything in her past. Her mother is a lawyer who works at a venture capitalist firm- owned by the billionaire family (McAllisters) who bought her family's business from her great-grandfather for pennies on the dollar during the internment and then insisted on selling it back after the war at current market value- a difficult feat for someone who had been interned. She has never known her father, who was someone her mother had hooked up with but did not keep in touch with. When her mother found out she was pregnant, she made a conscious decision to keep the baby, CJ. 

CJ also lives with Hannah, her aunt and her mother's much younger sister, who often feels like an older sister rather than an aunt. CJ has recently started working as an apprentice at the family business, which is selling flowers, learning from her aunt who believes in the magic of flowers. CJ actually enjoys it and is starting to get better at it, when she learns that the business may be going under- potentially to be bought by the McAllisters again.

She is also getting to know Owen, the boy who is also working at the flower shop with her and big-time history nerd. At the same time, some drama with her BFF Emily is potentially happening with Emily's ex-girlfriend Brynn who did something terrible when they dated in middle school- and CJ has not forgotten.

As CJ balances her social life, she also knows that she wants to save the family business and get some justice against the McAllisters, starting her on a larger quest of social justice.

What I loved: First of all, most of the main characters are people of color and many are on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, and they get a lot of presence in the story. On top of that, the book has asides throughout that cover important topics from CJ's ancestry and her own history as well as from larger history (e.g. internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, problems/history of model minorities) that really add an important educational element to the book. They are interwoven so well that it adds to the story quite a bit. It's a strong book with strong characters, and I absolutely loved reading it. With social justice themes and some romance and comedy, this was an engaging and incredible story that will make you wonder about the magic of flowers.

Final verdict: I highly recommend for readers of all ages who are looking for a strong and engaging story- romantic comedy, social activism, or just engrossing YA contemporary. You won't be disappointed in this amazing story. Fans of INTERNMENT, MOXIE, Maurene Gao, and Sandhya Menon will love this new book, and I would love to read more from this talented author.

As a final note, I would add warnings for teenage pregnancy, drug/alcohol use (marijuana), abortion, racism/sexism, and homophobia.

 

 

*Find More Info On This Book HERE!*

 

 

Featured Review: Girl Gone Viral (Arvin Ahmadi)
Featured Review: Shock Of Fate (D.L. Armillei)

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Imber (Book One of The Thanatos Trilogy)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The locks are failing. The...
Awesome Dog 5000 (#1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Marty, Ralph, and Skyler might make the ultimate secret combo...
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Althea Gibson was the quickest, tallest, most fearless athlete in...
The Big Game
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Danny Owens is dedicating his seventh-grade season to his Super...
Race to the Sun
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect...
Suffragette: The Battle for Equality
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Imprisonment, hunger strikes, suffrajitsu — the decades-long fight for women’s...
Catherine's War
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that...
Dangerous Alliance
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older...
Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twins Stacy and Gina Cavallaro are on rival little league...
The Fountains of Silence
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco...
Dinosnores (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Honk SHOOOOOO! Honk SHOOOOOO! . . .” ...
Good Day, Good Night
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Now in a sturdy board book format, perfect for little...
TBH, This May Be TMI (TBH, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Told entirely in text messages, the second book in this...
Creep
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The haunting tale of a family that moves into...
Girl at Heart
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher,...
The Last of the Firedrakes
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
She never felt like she belonged…until magic pulled her...

Latest Member Reviews

Roll With It
 
5.0
"Ellie and her mother live in Nashville; her father left when she was young and has another family. Ellie loves..."
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
 
4.0
"Zoe lives in Boston with her mother and stepfather. Her best friend, Trevor, lives next door, but as summer starts,..."
Race to the Sun
 
5.0
"Nizhoni Begay struggles a bit. She manages to embarrass herself on the basketball court, watches out for her younger brother..."
That's What Friends Do
 
4.0
"Sammie and David have been good friends ever since the girls in her class started avoiding Sammie because she didn't..."
Catherine's War
 
5.0
"Catherine is living at the Sèvres Children's Home since both of her parents were taken. It has a progessive school,..."
Speed Demon
 
5.0
"Tim has recently moved to town and is starting ninth grade at Hilton Prep. During gym class one day, his..."
Dangerous Alliance
 
3.7
"Lady Victoria 'Vicky' Aston has a good life. Her older sister is married to a charming Viscount; her family estate..."
Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
 
4.0
"Gina and Stacy are twins who play for rival baseball teams. This flows off the field into intense and sometimes..."
Dinosnores (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
"DINOSNORES is another absolutely charming and delightfully ridiculous board book from Sandra Boynton. Here, the dinosaurs get ready for bed,..."
Good Day, Good Night
 
4.0
"GOOD DAY, GOOD NIGHT follows a bunny on his journey from sun-up to sunset, as he travels around town, plays..."
TBH, This May Be TMI (TBH, #2)
 
4.0
"TBH, THIS MAY BE TMI is the second in a contemporary middle grade series, though it can easily function as..."
I've Loved You Since Forever
 
5.0
"This gorgeous board book celebrates the parent-child bond in an absolutely stunning way. I'VE LOVED YOU SINCE FOREVER suggests that..."
My Baby Loves Christmas
 
5.0
"Babies and toddlers will love the colorful celebration of Christmas in this delightful board book. MY BABY LOVES CHRISTMAS is..."
Riverland
 
4.0
"RIVERLAND is a riveting and complex middle grade magical realism novel. Eleanor and her sister, Mike (nickname, everyone except their..."
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
"THE TOTALLY SICK SICK-DAY ACTIVITY BOOK is exactly what the title describes. There are crossword puzzles, places to doodle, word..."
Animazes
 
5.0
"ANIMAZES shows the migration patterns of fourteen different creatures. It shows that there are several different paths these creatures can..."
Christmas Cheer for The Grouchy Ladybug
 
3.5
"CHRISTMAS CHEER FOR THE GROUCHY LADYBUG talks about everything exciting Christmas has to offer. There's snowflakes, fires, bells, presents, stockings,..."
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Hearing!
 
4.7
"BABY LOVES THE FIVE SENSES: HEARING teaches everything you need to know about how hearing, the ears, and sound all..."
 
5.0
"In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki is disgusted when he finds out that his pen-pal Charlie is a girl. Still, they..."
Under the Snow
 
5.0
"When you see snow, you think of how pretty it is or how cold it is. UNDER THE SNOW opens..."