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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second book in series is stellar, March 15, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Only Uni by Camy Tang is the second book in The Sushi Series. This book focuses on Trish, flighty, flirty, and newly driven to focus on God. Trish has made a multidtude of sins in her past, including sleeping with her creepy artist ex-boyfriend. But she's decided to change all of that. No more looking at men, time to preach the Gospel, and rely on God for strength. But, her new research partner, Spenser is too handsome to ignore, her attempts at volunteering at church seem to end up with blood being spilled, and it's hard to remember to keep your mind always on God. Tang writes with such zest! Her quartet of cousins are best friends, and the banter between them is never stilted or preachy, even when they talk about their faith. The dialogue sounds like she transcribed a group of real women. They call each other on their foibles and comfort when the going gets tough. Trish is a hard character to empathize with; her mind bounces from one thought to the next so quickly, that it could be hard for the reader to keep up, but Tang handles it with flair. Trish comes across as a real flesh and blood woman with deep regrets about her sexual past. Tang throws a shocker in near the end of the type that isn't normally seen in Christian fiction (good for her!). It's realistic and painful, but I look forward to watching Trish's character continue to grow in the next book. The first chapter for the next book, Single Sashimi, is included in the back. Don't read it unless you're a masochist like me; now I have to wait until August to see what happens next!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tang Does it Again!, March 21, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed Camy's first book, Sushi for One? but the character of Trish annoyed me. I found her flaky and shallow. So I wasn't sure if I'd like an entire book about her. Camy, why did I ever doubt you?

In Only Uni we get to meet the real Trish Sakai in all her wonderful, flawed glory. What I love about this book is how real Trish is. She's made mistakes - lots of them - but she longs to live the way God wants her to. We go along for the ride as she struggles to work her way into God's good graces, until she finally realizes that His grace was there for her all along.

There's a lot of stuff going on in Only Uni, but Camy keeps the pace moving with loads of humor and some real heart-tuggers. Toward the last third of the book, she turned down a road I wasn't expecting, then she did it again before the end. It's part of what makes Only Uni such wonderful, authentic read.

Since this is the second book in the series, the obvious question is: Do I have to read Sushi for One? first? No, but it will be a lot more fun for you if you do!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No, August 13, 2010
By 
fredtownward "The Analytical Mind; Have Brain... (Mocksville, North Carolina, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Despite loving Sushi for One?, I had my doubts about this book. In the first book of the Sushi Series, Trish Sakai, the heroine of this one, is portrayed as something of a jerk, the reason agnostic Aiden Young refuses to even consider dating Christian women (at least until force of nature book one heroine, Lex Sakai, unintentionally demolishes all of his defenses). But Trish was also the only cousin Lex told about her rape and the rock Lex leaned upon to get her through that. In this book we really get to know Trish Sakai, and it turns out she's really not such a bad person; she's just a girl who cain't say no, either to fattening food or to men, or at least to one man, her Svengali of an ex-boyfriend Kazuo Kawakami.

But this time Trish is determined to turn her life around and devote herself to God and enlists the help of her three cousins, the only other Christians in her large extended family. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time she's asked them to help her pick up the pieces after she's messed up so they are more than a little skeptical, especially when they hear the rather rigid if Biblically based rules she's set for herself. But Trish really, really means it this time.

The trouble is that events seem to be conspiring against her. Trish catches her father kissing another woman, which causes her mother to have a (nonfatal) heart attack when Trish tells her about it; she loses her apartment due to an accidental arsonist of a roommate; the miracle replacement housing she finds turns out to be something that would send Bob Vila running and screaming like a little girl; her attempts to volunteer at church end in disasters of Biblical proportions (Think I'm exaggerating? Read about Pet Day at Sunday School if you dare!); she's still attracted to the creepy Kazuo that Grandmother, the (justly) feared matriarch of the clan is pressuring her to go back to for business reasons and also attracted to her often infuriating colleague at work who also happens to be a volunteer at the very same church Trish is attending; and the consequences of her past mistakes are about to catch up with her.

Like the first book, this novel shouldn't be funny at all, but like the similarly cascading disaster of a movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this novel is relentlessly, uproariously funny; when things got the most stressful or moving for Trish, they also got the most hilarious.

Of course it is obvious early on how this is all going to turn out, though not to the protagonists, but the fun comes in how Camy Tang gets us there. She kept me guessing 'til the end.

Now that I am well and truly hooked, I look forward to reading Single Sashimi and Weddings and Wasabi.

Note: Ms. Tang is also the author of an Asian-American Christian suspense romance novel series: Deadly Intent, Formula for Danger, and Stalker in the Shadows).

Note: Ms. Tang is also the author of the start of another Asian-American Christian suspense romance novel series: Protection for Hire.

Note: For full disclosure I won this book from the author rather than purchasing it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Sushi series, February 1, 2009
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Only Uni is one of the best books I read in 2008 and definitely my favorite title in the Sushi series. In Sushi for One, Trish Sakai did not seem like a very pleasant character but in Only Uni, readers see the real Trish. She is a flawed but ultimately likeable character. The temptations that she deals with and the way she struggles to do the right thing really moved me. It is rare that I find a character in a Christian fiction novel that touches me (I even teared up a little in the end!). The message of grace and forgiveness is so strong in this book and it is wonderful watching Trish grow as a person and grow in her faith, falling in love with God and with a guy who is worthy of her. I enjoyed reading the conclusion of her story in the final book, Single Sashimi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Uni Rocks!, March 18, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
OK, Camy. You've made me mad! You see, I'm the one who never cries. Never. I don't cry at sad movies. "You've Got Mail" didn't faze me. Neither did "Sleepless in Seattle." But girl, ONLY UNI made me cry. And not just sniffles. We're talking I-gotta-have-a-box-of-tissues! I can't believe you got to me, but you did - in a good way.

ONLY UNI continues the story of the remaining four female unmarried cousins in a large, close-knit family. This time, the main character is Trish - the flirty, popular, people-pleaser cousin. Trish finds herself in trouble no matter where she turns. It's not enough that she's wrestling with her faith and the dating scene, but her strictly-traditional grandmother keeps badgering her to get married and give her grandchildren. What's a girl to do?

You may have guessed from the title that the main characters in this series are Asian. But the issues they are dealing with are the same for any young woman today. Camy sprinkles bits of Asiana throughout the book, but don't worry, she writes in such as way that you won't get lost if you aren't familiar with the culture.

In fact, a woman of any age would enjoy this book because we've all dealt with temptation, sin, asking for forgiveness from our gracious Lord and then trying to forgive ourselves. And if you're involved in your church, you'll recognize yourself in some of the situations that Trish faces.

Your emotions will really get a workout, though. I laughed out loud as she ran the gamut of ministries trying to find her place in her church. And I cried when ... um, sorry. I can't tell you any more with out spoiling it. But I know you'll like it.

Camy, reading this was a cleansing experience for me and I truly enjoyed it. Your writing blew me away. Can't wait to read your next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Sophomore Sushi Sequel, March 16, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Trish Sakai is trying to turn over a new chapter in her life when it comes to relationships with guys. This means following rules from 1st and 2nd Corinthians which will guarantee that she won't end up in another disastrous relationship that she had with artist Kazuo. Unfortunately for Trish, life doesn't always go as planned. She doesn't foresee her budding relationship with her coworker Spenser or her grandmother trying to get Trish and Kazuo back together. Then there's trying to teach Sunday School, fixing up a moldy apartment and repairing her relationship with her cousins. Why are things so hard even when she's trying to do everything right?

Ever since I heard there was an Asian Christian chick lit author releasing books, I knew I was going to be a fan. After reading Sushi for One I was hooked and couldn't wait for the sequel to come out. As soon as I got Uni in the mail, I tore into it like I was let loose at a Chinese buffet. I enjoyed this book even more than Sushi. I think that the story flowed much more smoothly in this book and that the characters were easier to follow and likable as well. I could also relate more to Trish and the situations she was going through. I loved the scenes during the worship services when Trish finally allows herself to be free and throw her hands up to praise God. I felt exactly the same way she did when I was at Passion earlier this year so it was great to see someone else feeling the same way I did. I also thought it was hilarious at how focused Trish was on her worshiping that she didn't notice that she had given Blondie the black eye (who I thought totally deserved it). Another scene that stood out most to me was Matthew and the hamster. Bleh ! I don't want to spoil the story but if you are squeamish about rodents and children who put inedible objects in their mouth, read with caution!!! While Grandma is still uber-annoying in this book, she's not as irritating with Trish as she was with Lex. Trish actually stood up to her on several occasions. Kazuo really freaked me out by the way he kept trying to control Trish. It's scary because there are lots of girls who fall prey to guys who are like that and what was worse was how Grandma kept trying to make Trish stay with him. I did like Spenser very much and loved the bantering that went on between the two of them. As in the first novel, there are serious issues mixed in with all the hilarity which will make the reader think and want to support Trish throughout the book. I really love Camy's writing and I enjoyed seeing all the Asian culture blended in throughout the story. This is a stellar second novel and it makes me really want to read the next book in the series. One of the best chick lit novels of the year and is very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God's grace, sushi-style!, March 4, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Trish, next in line to inherit her family's title of "oldest single female cousin" now that Lex (from Sushi for One? (The Sushi Series, Book 1)) has a boyfriend, wants to take control of her life. Her wild, flirtatious behavior has left her unfulfilled and alienated her cousins and best friends, but most devasting of all has created a chasm between her and the Lord. Her desire for a turning point hits an all-time high when she discovers that her father's having an affair, her mother has a heart attack, and her control-freak Grandma keeps throwing Kazuo, her too-tempting (not to mention non-Christian) ex-boyfriend in her path. More than anything, Trish wants to feel pure before God again, but she doesn't know how He and her long-suffering cousins can possibly accept that her desire for change is real and genuine after witnessing so many failures. To prove her resolve, she creates three rules to follow from First and Second Corinthians - 1) no more looking at guys as potential date material, especially non-Christians, 2) witness to others about Christ, and 3) persevere and rely on God. However, her three simple rules turn out to be not so simple after all when Kazuo, bolstered by her grandmother's support, becomes temptingly considerate and attentive and handsome work colleague Spenser proves to be an irritatingly attractive distraction. With two temptingly handsome guys with vastly different motives pursuing her, can Trish ever hope to stick to her rules and transform her life?

I absolutely loved Lex's story in Sushi for One?, and couldn't imagine how Camy could possibly top that novel with a sequel - especially one that focused on cousin Trish, who I found to be rather self-centered and unlikable. However, Tang reveals that underneath Trish's bravado and occasionally flaky exterior is a heart full of hurt and confusion - having gone so far and given away so many pieces of herself, Trish doubts if she can ever be redeemed. Only Uni takes the strengths of its predecessor - the family dymanic, the snappy dialogue, the yummy food *wink*, and a sensitively handled spiritual thread - and deftly tackles the issue of a "backsliding" believer's journey into grace. Trish's desperate search for redemption and change, while liberally peppered with humorous episodes, is one of the most moving portrayals of God's grace that I've ever read. Tang's characters are so real they practically leap living and breathing from the page. Their emotions are so real you'll want to cry with them when they hurt, laugh out loud at their nutty escapades, and rejoice with their successes. Camy is one of the funniest authors I've ever read, but she balances humor like few can with healthy doses of real issues and emotional depth. I can't wait to read the prickly Venus's story in Single Sashimi (Sushi Series), releasing in September. Bravo to Camy for delivering another winner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could it be better than Sushi For One?, February 9, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
I enjoyed Sushi For One so much that I put it on my Top 7 Most Entertaining Books of 2007 list - and it deserved to be there. Then came Only Uni... hello - I loved this book! Even more than Sushi! First and foremost, it is about Trish (who is the cousin I didn't really love in Sushi) and she is so real and vulnerable that it almost hurts. You just want to cheer her on when she makes good decisions and groan in pain when she makes bad ones. One of the best chick lit books I have read - hands down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, May 11, 2008
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
This book was hard to put down. Considering that I do not read "chick lit" I think that is a ringing endorsement. Despite me being a middle aged married woman with children, it was easy to root for the heroine, Trish, in all her trials and triumphs. Tang manages to mix up the story line enough that you can never really anticipate what she is going to throw at you but when she does, it is all too real a possibility. Looking forward to her next book due in September.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Twists, February 28, 2009
This review is from: Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) (Paperback)
Only Uni is book two in a three book series. The first was Sushi for One, which I reviewed last year. The books are about four Asian Christian cousins who live in California. They are the only Christians in their extended family and good friends too. Their grandmother wants them all married with children and applies not-so-subtle pressure to make that happen.

Trish is the main character of this book. She is a biologist (Camy's previous career)and has just broken up with a man her grandmother hoped she'd marry. He wasn't Christian and was moody and possessive (sounds like a poster child for an abusive husband, who just hasn't hit yet). After "sleeping" with him after breaking up with him, she decides its time to get serious about her faith. She reads Corinthians and makes up three rules for herself. She is going to only date Christians and quit looking for a man, tell others about Christ and will persevere in hardship by relying on God (who she figures then will bless her with a good man). Unfortunately, her ex doesn't go away and, with Grandma's help, comes close to stalking her. Also, she has a hunky co-worker who shows interest in her.

This book is very much Christian. It is by reading the Bible that Trish comes up with these rules. She gets very involved at church. Her friends are there and she gets involved in many ministries. She is basically trying to earn her way back into God's grace; she feels like a fallen woman. There are a couple of somewhat surprising twists but the book has a pretty happy ending.

Something I found interesting is how Trish's fornication is dealt with. Despite what I've found to be a common Evangelical belief that one sin is no worse than the other, Trish realizes that fornication is NOT the same as telling a while lie or thinking impure thoughts about her boyfriend. Even before the consequences of her fornication are clear, she realizes the wall it placed between her and God. Catholics call that mortal sin and require that it be confessed, in private, to a priest--yes God can forgive without confession if there is a reason, but the normal way to deal with mortal sin--sin that is serious, that we know is serious when we commit it and which we freely choose to do anyway--is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation a/k/a confession. That is for our sake, not His. We know we are forgiven, we hear the words "I absolve you...", and we are given a penance to do AFTER we are forgiven, again for our sake, not His.

Is this a book you would enjoy? Maybe. I liked Trish and the hunky guy with whom she worked. I didn't like her ex (and I'm pretty sure that's what Tang intended). I liked the story of the two guys in her life--one she knew was bad for her but to whom she remained attracted and one she didn't want to let in because she wasn't looking for a relationship (but still wanted one). However one of the main threads in the story is how her sin effects her spiritual life and so the spiritual aspects of the book are front and center. If that bothers you; this isn't your book. If that is a plus, I think you'll think this one is a winner.
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Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2)
Only Uni (The Sushi Series, Book 2) by Camy Tang (Paperback - February 24, 2008)
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