"As sweet and satisfying as actual mochi... a tender love story wrapped up in food, fashion, and family. I gobbled it up." -- Maurene Goo, author of The Way You Make Me Feel
Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement.
She's obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi's entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi's estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.
When she arrives in Japan, she's met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival -- and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.
In I Love You So Mochi, author Sarah Kuhn has penned a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel that will make you squee at the cute, cringe at the awkward, and show that sometimes you have to lose yourself in something you love to find your Ultimate self.
Culver City High School senior Kimi Nakamura has her life mapped out. Next year, she will attend Liu Fine Arts Academy, her next step to becoming a "Great Asian American Artist," as her artist mother has always intended. But after feeling blocked from painting, Kimi secretly drops out of Advanced Fine Art and focuses her energy, instead, on designing and creating clothes. After her mom learns about the dropped class, a well-timed invitation to visit her estranged maternal grandparents in Kyoto over spring break is the reprieve Kimi needs to recalibrate her relationship with her mom and explore her true artistic passions. And sparks fly when "Kimi from America" meets "Akira. From Japan," who is dressed as an anthropomorphized mochi to sell his uncle's handcrafted treats. This novel offers a unique perspective of Japanese culture from the experiences of a fifth-generation Japanese-American protagonist. Kuhn (the Heroine Complex series), herself of Japanese ancestry, peppers the novel with Japanese phrases, foods, and cultural specifics. Readers of all backgrounds will connect with the universal themes and insights into teenage first love in this charming rom-com. Ages 12 up.