A quick note: I often rate contemporaries lower than other books I read since I don’t connect with them as much. If you love contemporaries, add a star for a more accurate rating!
There were a lot of good things about This Time Will Be Different. There was also just a lot.
It was tough to get a sense of what Misa Suguira was saying was most important in this book, what she was trying to say. Our main character is CJ, who is finally figuring out what she has passion for, since her whole life she thought she just isn’t good enough. Her mom is a high octane businesswoman, who also wants her daughter to succeed on her own, without any support. Not my parenting style, so I really felt for CJ in this area. Her mom really is the reason that she doesn’t feel like she is good enough for any area in her life.
CJ loves her aunt’s flower shop, which this book is not too subtle about how much money it is losing, and CJ, since she thinks she has finally found what she is good at, will do pretty much anything to make sure it stays afloat, no matter what anyone says.
That is a pretty common thread through this book, CJ just doing whatever she wants without listening to other perspectives and reasons. She doesn’t ask any questions, just assumes the worst and then makes a plan not based on anything except her internal dialogue.
In the end, CJ really did stop to listen to her mother’s perspective and that was the shining moment in this book, I gave it a whole nother star. The whole book she was so focused on what she wanted, showing up her mom, and making her dreams came true, so the one time she just slowed down to listen was the one point in this book where I felt like it was making a poignant point.
For me, this book had one too many things going on. I haven’t even talked about the focus on the horrible history of Japanese Internment camps (which if I was choosing should have been the main focus), her social justice club at school (and her indecision after starting it about whether she will actually be a part of it), and a lot of other loud voices in this book. It was hard to see what was important for me as the reader, or for our main character CJ, because it seemed like the author wanted to make everything important.
But, to end on a positive note, CJ felt like a genuine character with clear motivations, and just like all of us, she has a lot going on. I also liked the feel of the whole book being a consistent bittersweet, and a lot of the scenes and thoughts CJ had were memorable and thought-provoking.
Other July 2019 Reads:
July 2019 Wrap-up
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Past & Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson
This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura
The Similars by Rebecca Hanover
Last Things by Jacqueline West
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire
Books Read During the Reading Rush:
Let’s be friends!
The Reading Rush Reviews
The Disasters by M.K. England
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia
Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige