Book Review: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!!!

No, I did not plan this but what a happy great coincidence!

Her life’s mirror and my life’s bane.

Genre: Young Adult/LGBT

Bet you weren’t expecting to see me reviewing a romance novel were you. A COMING OF AGE ROMANCE AT THAT.


And yet, here I am.


This has been on my TBR for quite some time and I’m so happy I finally got to it because it was such a delight to read! It really stirred up some emotions for me since it’s touching up on some real life experiences I’m hitting as of late and I’m tired of fleeing from them and this is also a LGBT novel that features girls of different races which I ADORE. Telling you right now, this book is a must read.

So, what is It’s Not Like It’s a Secret About? Come closer, my children. Gather around.

Sana Kiyohara and her family have just moved from Wisconsin to sunny California. She’s the daughter of Japanese parents and is quickly embraced by the fellow Asian students at her class which is a change from all the white friends  and “not so casual “ racism she endured in her old hometown. Sana settles down into her new home and quickly realizes that while these changes are good they are also confusing. She has a crush…A big one, on fellow student Jamie who also happens to be a girl. And if her questioning her own sexuality isn’t enough for her hormones Sana is dealing with the possibility that her beloved father might be having an affair.
Can Sana come out to her mother AND tell her that husband is cheating?
What in the Sweet Valley High???

This book *chef’s kiss*
Sana is awesome. Point blank period. She’s a character who has her faults and we groan as she goes through the motions and makes her mistakes because oh…OH, honey, she will make them. She’s 16 for gods sake. But she’ll learn and she’ll grow. I made so many at that age. I threw a full Snapple at one of my besties sigh. Not my finest moment.

Wrangling with your sexuality and your feelings for somebody at that age is so tough. At any age honestly. It’s hard to express yourself because the fear of rejection is so hard and so real. Especially when you are LGBT. I loved how Misa Sugiura conveyed so much of the Japanese culture in this book through language and instances. It was really nice to see POC lesbian characters. Jamie herself is Mexican American 🙂 so it was perfect all around.

I feel that all of the other characters were great especially the teens. Goth Caleb…I loved him since he was introduced as Goth Caleb.
It is not often you see this especially in the Young Adult genre but she wrote it beautifully.

I feel she especially wrote the racism very well too because it happens far too often whether it is intentional or not casual or not.

Love is beautiful. Love is not easy.

Love can be roses and as soft as petals.

And it can be barbed wire and a dull rusty nail.
I’ve experienced both instances.

I’ve been loved unconditionally and I’ve been cheated on.
The world still turns unfortunately.
It’s just life. This book took me back to me and my high school crush who I’ll always love no matter how often he annoys and pisses me off. Life.

This is a great coming to age young adult romance. It reminds me of when I came out to my mother. I was around the same age of 16 🙂 and yes, she was very loving and supportive and I was beyond happy. I’ll definitely be checking out more of the author’s work and I hope you check out this book!

The sun slides across the sky, the moon waxes and wanes, and I endure. I survive.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

  1. THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. I need it! I’m really into reading YAs about grappling with two cultures. It’s confusing, hard and often unkind. When you added in the family drama and exploring her sexuality I was sold! I can’t wait to try this! Awesome review Amanda – you always manage to make me laugh at least once reading them 😂 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait a minute… this doesn’t have a haunted house in it, does it? Just kidding ❤ Ugh I'm so glad that you ended up liking this book and that it held a special place in your heart with some of your own experiences, Amanda ❤ I can't wait to read this one and I think you're the second one that's made me want to read this one sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOOOL I KNOW. i was like you know…maybe the constant horror and thrillers is why you’re having these awful nightmares and this has BEEN on my kindle forever and i’m so happy i took the dive!!! i think you’d definitely enjoy 😀

      Like

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