book review – every reason we shouldn’t by sara fujimura

i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own.

this blog post is part of the every reason we shouldn’t blog tour hosted by the fantastic flying book club. thank you so much for the opportunity ❤

Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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.

every reason we shouldn’t is an adorable novel about ice skating, love, dreams and family. if i were to rate this book solely in terms of enjoyment, i would have given it a higher rating. i liked the story, but i felt that some parts could be changed to make it even better.

i have never participated in sports competitively, and have only done a little bit of figure skating for fun when i was younger, so olivia’s story and perspective are both pretty new to me – her parents are former olympians, she’s an aspiring olympic figure skater, her boyfriend speed skates competitively, and her family runs an ice rink. reading this book gave me a glimpse into the lives of professional athletes (especially skaters, whose olympic performances i’ve always enjoyed watching) and how devoted they are to their training – olivia and jonah both have incredibly strong work ethic, and i really admired how they spend hours and hours practising, rewatching their own videos, and gritting their teeth through excruciating muscle pain, just so they can get better at skating. as much as i liked their dedication, though, there were some parts that really bothered me. at school, olivia and jonah act obnoxious and stuck-up, and whenever their friends ask them about “normal” things out of concern, they simply dismiss it, always saying something along the lines of “oh, you wouldn’t understand” and “we’re not like other people”. this annoyed me to no end!

as for the food, the characters in this novel all seem to have a habit of gifting sweets and desserts to each other, and that is honestly the sweetest thing ever (both literally and figuratively). i especially liked the parts where brandon brings treats to the lunch table to cheer his friends up, and that reminded me of how some of my own friends would sometimes bring homemade cookies for everyone. jonah and olivia also gift each other desserts from their own culture, which is so heartwarming and wholesome! However, there are, again, some parts that can definitely be handled better. olivia and jonah both seem to have some issues with food which are left unaddressed in the book. olivia throws away the cookies her friend makes for her, just because she is trying to fit into the skating costume she used to wear, and jonah often complains about “simple carbs” and refuses almost everything that has carbs in it. i don’t know if it’s a skater or athlete thing, but to me this seemed unhealthy and problematic.

to sum up, every reason we shouldn’t definitely has its flaws, but it’s a cute, fun book with a lot of potential and great ideas (i.e. i have very mixed feelings), which i hope will be further explored in its sequel.

Sara Fujimura is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her self-published young adult novels include Tanabata Wish and Breathe. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.


win one of three copies of every reason we shouldn’t by sara fujimura (US ONLY). the giveaway starts on 27th may 2020 and ends on 10th june 2020. enter here.

have you read every reason we shouldn’t? what are your thoughts? let me know in the comments below ❤


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