Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura seemed like the perfect book for me since I am a big fan of any story about skating. While I did enjoy this concept, I had many issues with the book, including the immature main character and the lack of discussion around the sensitive topics presented. I didn’t hate this book, but it was not what I was expecting.Title: Every Reason We Shouldn't
Series: Every Reason We Shouldn't #1
Author: Sara Fujimura
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
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.
❃ 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. ❃
Review: Every Reason We Shouldn’t
❀ A Skating Story
This book tells the story of Olivia, a figure skater adjusting to life outside the rink and trying to save her family’s business. When speed skater Jonah Choi starts training at her family’s rink, Olivia finds herself falling for him. I love any book about skating, and it was nice to see two different types of skating (as well as roller derby) represented in the book. I also found it interesting how the story talks about being “washed up” at 15 and the difficulties that come with coming back to sports after taking a break. This adds some depth to the book and makes it more than just a romance.
❀ Main Character is Immature
One of my biggest issues with the book was the main character. I found Olivia to be selfish and immature, and she almost disregards the problems in everyone else’s life and sees her own as more important. I did like how passionate she is about skating and how she perseveres to get her dream back, but I couldn’t get past how whiny she is. Jonah is not as annoying as Olivia, but the two of them have this whole “we aren’t like everyone else” mentality, and the way they isolate themselves is a bit elitist and off-putting.
❀ Serious Topics aren’t Handled Well
Another aspect of the book that I didn’t love was the writing itself. While I did appreciate the discussion of more serious topics, I feel that there are a couple of topics that are not handled properly. For instance, there is a school lockdown scene that comes across as an excuse for Jonah to say “I love you” for the first time. It is an incredibly sensitive topic and clearly disturbing for Olivia, but it is never brought up again or truly unpacked. As well, the main characters’ unhealthy relationship with food is never really commented on, and this could be triggering to some readers. Along with these jarring moments, I also had issues with the way the characters speak. It comes across as though the author is trying way too hard to sound like a teenager with her excessive use of slang like, “extra” and “that’s the tea, sis.” I appreciate the effort to relate to a younger audience, but in this case, it went overboard.
❀ A Fantastic Premise, But a Bit Unsatisfying
Every Reason We Shouldn’t has a fantastic premise, but other than that, much of the book didn’t satisfy me. The main character is selfish, and sensitive topics are not handled as well they should be. In my eyes, I definitely don’t think this book needs a sequel.