Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Didn't See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto is an empowering story about a gamer with a secret online identity. With a strong main character who isn’t afraid to voice her opinions, an online best friend who is closer to her in the real world than she thought, and an exploration of sexism both on and offline, this one has a lot to love. Fans of lighthearted books with a powerful message and fans of gaming will not want to miss this one.

Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. SutantoTitle: Didn't See That Coming
Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Also by this author: Dial A for Aunties
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: November 28,2023
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

A hilariously fresh and romantic send-up to You’ve Got Mail about a gamer girl with a secret identity and the online bestie she’s never met IRL until she unwittingly transfers to his school, from the bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties, The Obsession, and Well, That Was Unexpected.

Seventeen-year-old Kiki Siregar is a fabulous gamer girl with confidence to boot. She can’t help but be totally herself… except when she’s online.

Her secret? She plays anonymously as a guy to avoid harassment from other male players. Even her online best friend—a cinnamon roll of a teen boy who plays under the username Sourdawg—doesn’t know her true identity. Which is fine, because Kiki doesn’t know his real name either, and it’s not like they’re ever going to cross paths IRL.

Until she transfers to an elite private school for her senior year and discovers that Sourdawg goes there, too.

But who is he? How will he react when he finds out Kiki’s secret? And what happens when Kiki realizes she’s falling for her online BFF?

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

When her parents enrol her in a traditional, conservative high school, Kiki struggles to fit in, her confidence quickly earning her the label of troublemaker. After spending her days being bullied at school and dismissed by the administration, she turns to online games, where she plays using a boy’s name to avoid misogyny. When she realizes that her closest friend in the game is also a student at her new school, and one of the only people to defend her, Kiki must decide how to reveal her true identity without losing him as friend, all while confronting with her growing feelings for him.

❀ Engaging Main Character

Kiki is an engaging main character, and I loved her voice. I really felt for her as she is constantly called crazy simply for being herself, but I appreciated the way she doesn’t give into the bullying. She is unafraid to voice her opinions and stand up for herself even if it means getting sent to the principal’s office, and this confidence makes her easy to root for.

❀ Theme of Feminism

My favourite part about this book is the theme of feminism. As Kiki experiences sexism both in school and in her online gaming community, we see the ways this manifests both on and offline. I especially enjoyed seeing the ways Kiki is able to make a change in her school: by staying true to herself and not giving into the bullies, she empowers other women to speak up and creates a supportive community of friends. While the book touches on many heavy themes, it is still entertaining to read and contains many heart-warming moments to balance this out.

❀ Powerful and Uplifting

Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto is a powerful and uplifting story. I loved the main character’s strength, and the feminism is inspiring to read about. This is one that I’m sure will resonate with many readers.

About Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Jakarta and Singapore and sees both cities as her homes. She has a Masters degree from Oxford University, though she has yet to figure out a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. She is currently living back in Jakarta on the same street as her parents and about seven hundred meddlesome aunties. When she's not tearing out her hair over her latest WIP, she spends her time baking and playing FPS games. Oh, and also being a mom to her two kids.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ Canadian YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, & professional bibliophile.

6 thoughts on “Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

  1. Suzie B says:

    This sounds wonderful – I love that they have created a very strong female lead in what would I assume is a real boys club!

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