Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Books I've Read: Every Reason We Shouldn't
I really enjoyed this one. I'm not usually a huge fan of sports books, but I used to love figure skating so this instantly appealed to me.
Olivia's parents were gold medal Olympians, and until recently, Olivia was following in their footsteps. But a disastrous performance at a competition has ended her career as a skater and now she's trying out life as a 'normal' teen. But her normal isn't actually all that normal. Her parents own a skating rink and it's struggling. Olivia's dad has gone out on tour to try and make some money, leaving Olivia and her mother, who is suffering from a back injury, to run the rink. But Olivia's mother's back injury is getting worse and some days she can barely make it to the rink, let alone teach her classes.
Much of the responsibility for running the rink falls to Mack, Olivia's new best friend and a recent single parent dealing with the way having a baby changes all your life-plans. She's also a roller-derby fan, desperate to get good enough to join the team.
When the Choi family comes to town, things start looking up for the rink. Jonah Choi is a speed skater with Olympic potential and his family will spare no expense to get him that gold. Olivia and Jonah recognize something in each other and are soon finding ways to hang out together both on and off the ice. Their relationship is sweet and based very much on their mutual understanding of the competitive skating world.
The characters in this story were interesting and well drawn and their world felt very real. Olivia's self-sufficiency in the face of her parents' absence was heartbreakingly realistic. And the skating world in which both Jonah and Olivia are a part of felt authentic.
So I'd recommend this one to anyone who is looking for a book that realistically portrays what it's like to be a high-performancce athlete and anyone who is looking for a sweet, young romance.
Thanks to Netgalley for letting me read this one in advance.
But don't just listen to me. Here's the blurb:
Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries, and all the feels.
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.