This is How I Roll: A Wish Novel

This is How I Roll: A Wish Novel
Age Range
Release Date
January 03, 2023
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Susannah Mikami dreams of becoming a famous sushi chef like her dad. And this summer, she plans to learn everything about his traditional kitchen. Only he refuses to teach her, and won’t tell her why. Is it because he doesn’t want her to embarrass him in front of the documentary crew filming at his restaurant? Or worse, because she’s a girl? Either way, Sana decides he’s not the only one who can keep secrets.

So when she meets Koji, a cute boy who wants to help her cook up some trouble in the kitchen -- and film online tutorials to show the world her mad skills -- Sana is all in. But sneaking around means lying to her parents, something Sana’s never done before. Can she take the heat, or will she get out of the kitchen for good?

Editor review

1 review
Cooking and romance
Overall rating
Writing Style
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Sana (Susanna) Mikami moves from the city with her parents when her father's sushi restaurant starts to become very popular. Piper Bay, where her uncle and cousin Charli live, is okay, and Sana is not overly concerned about making friends. Her mother isn't working long hours for a big hotel any more. For the summer, Sana is hanging out with Charli, who loves crafts as much as Sana likes to cook. Sana's dad, however, doesn't seem thrilled that she wants to take after him, and after a disastrous experience in the kitchen, seems determined to keep her from being in the kitchen with him. He's especially busy, since he is being filmed for a documentary. When Sana pops by the restaurant, she meets Koji Yamada, a boy working for the landscaping business that keeps up the restaurant's yard. Charli says that Koji is bad news, and that he was expelled after hitting a friend of hers, but Sana thinks he is cute and nice. He takes her home to meet his mother, and she and Sana start to cook together. Koji's older sister makes a comment about Mikami Sushi, saying that the restaurant was why her mother lost her job, because Sana's father's place made the other business close. Sana doesn't want to stop her cooking lessons with Koji's mother, so keeps her identity secret. This is a little harder, since Koji has made a couple of cooking videos with Sana making kawaii sushi in the shape of penguins and other animals. Even though he has the videos set to private and only shows Sana's hands, she's concerned that her parents will find out and make her stop cooking. Charli gets into an arts summer camp at the last minute, so Sana has more time to spend with Koji. This is great, but his best friend Harley feels threatened. Sana's mother is busy renovating their rental home, and her father works long hours at the restaurant, so Sana has plenty of time to spend cooking and hanging out with Koji. When Harley tells Koji about Sana's identity, will she be able to keep up with these fun summer activities?
Good Points
This was a delightful, light romance with lots of cooking. There aren't enough novels that delve into what tweens do in the summer, and Piper Bay was a fun setting for Sana's exploits. There's just enough tension with her parents, there's a lot of food that is described, and there's even a little bit of social media exploration. Sana also has friends in the city who text message her, which seems a very realistic way of dealing with friends after a move; it's so much easier that writing letters! Koji is a nice guy, but Charli imbues him with just a tiny bit of bad boy reputation that he doesn't really merit. Like this author's Sweet and Sour, this combined family drama, friend drama, and romance and served it all up in a great Bento box of a story. I love the cover as well.

Some people won't be happy that Sana lies to her parents, but since she's lying about hanging out with a boy's mother, it seems pretty innocuous to me. This is absolutely on point with how tweens interact with their parents. Sana is very concerned about safety, but she just doesn't want to let her parents in on what she is doing quite yet.

The WISH novels are super popular in my library, and I would have loved these when I was in middle school. I went through a candy making phase in middle school; I think adults forget how much fun cooking is when you don't have to do it every night! I'll be looking forward to more light romances like Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai and Keep it Together, Keiko Carter from Florence!
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