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This Time Will Be Different Paperback – June 9, 2020
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★ “A gripping, emotionally charged story that presents a window into a uniquely Japanese American experience.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
★“With intelligent dialogue surrounding diversity, representation and responsible social action, This Time Will Be Different is a timely, smart novel that readers of contemporary teen fiction will likely devour.” (Shelf Awareness (starred review))
★ “Sugiura deftly weaves historical fact into this coming-of-age narrative, providing an entertaining and informative backdrop that allows CJ to explore her own sense of identity while giving readers a front seat to her process.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Fresh, vibrant, affecting and powerful.” (New York Times Book Review )
“One of the most authentic, steadfastly real teen characters I’ve read in recent memory. CJ deals with racism, familial strife, and finding herself with a charm and grace I couldn’t get enough of. Her pitch-perfect voice leaped off the page and stayed with me. Highly, highly recommend.” (Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi)
“At turns delightfully humorous and wonderfully insightful. The cultural nuances were perfect, and I found myself utterly transported. I can’t wait to read what Sugiura writes next.” (Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath & the Dawn)
“Insightful. Intricate. Honest. With richly drawn characters that feel utterly real, Misa Sugiura reminds us that the past is always present, but that we hold the power to shape our future, if we’re brave enough to face it.” (Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Hate & Other Filters and Internment)
“An engaging picture of a girl facing the past—both her family’s and her own—in service of her future.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“Refreshingly complex. An astute look at privilege, power, and history in sometimes unexpected forms.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
About the Author
Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, was the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for YA Literature. Her second novel, This Time Will be Different, is the HarperCollins Children's Books Lead Read for Summer 2019. Misa lives under a giant oak tree in Silicon Valley with her husband, two sons, two cats, and a graybanded king snake. Visit her online at www.misasugiura.com.
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While first generation American stories are dominating shelves, Misa Sugiura breaks away from the pack with a coming of age story that recognizes the experience of fourth and fifth-generation Japanese Americans and the legacy of the Internment.
CJ Katsuyama leads a cast of compelling, complex characters. She’s working in her family’s flower shop with her auntie Hannah. Her mom, Mimi, works for McAllister Venture Capital, the very same McAllisters who took advantage of the Internment and cheated the Katsuyamas out of the flower shop for a fraction of its value. When she discovers the McAllisters transgressions go even further, she finds a cause worth fighting for. CJ’s struggle with balancing her own desires and her mother’s expectations is super relatable, particularly from an Asian American perspective.
THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT is jam-packed thematically, but I never felt overwhelmed. It provides food for thought about racism and the model minority myth, social justice and also the complexity of being young and LGBTQ+ in today’s society. Sure to resonate with a wide range of readers, it’s an important book I’ll be recommending to anyone who’ll listen. Thanks to Misa Sugiura, I’ll be thinking about letting go versus forgetting for a long time to come.
One thing's for sure, there's a generation of us who only had Claudia Kishi as a reflection of ourselves in kidlit. THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT made teenage me feel seen and filled a big whole in my heart.
Thanks HarperTeen for the free ARC via Edelweiss.
This novel has frank discussions about teenage drinking, sex, pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, and topics like racism and implicit bias. While some of the elements (for me, the flower meanings) seemed overdone, the quality of the relationships and CJ's capacity for frank self-examination (maybe with a bit of help from her friends or perhaps a kick from them) are quite well written.
This book is a very solid summer read for teens and young adults. I will definitely look forward to reading Sugiura's next book.
I received a Digital Review Copy along with a paper review copy from Harper Teen in exchange for an honest review.