cover image Love & Other Natural Disasters

Love & Other Natural Disasters

Misa Sugiura. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-299123-2

Sugiura (This Time Will Be Different) once again delivers an emotional story, this time from the perspective of a Japanese American teen from Illinois. Nozomi Nagai, 17, and her brother Max, 21, are spending part of the summer in San Francisco, working at the private museum their uncle Stephen curates and catching up with their grandmother, Baba. Nozomi is happy to leave the drama of her parents’ divorce behind, and a summer away is exactly what she needs to reinvent herself following the embarrassment of a pity kiss from the girl of her dreams. When Nozomi’s crush, Willow, asks her to fake a relationship to make Willow’s ex jealous, optimistic Nozomi thinks the arrangement might be an opportunity to win Willow’s affection. Things grow more complicated when it becomes clear both that Baba is starting to lose her memory and that Willow may not be the girl for Nozomi. Alongside swoony first kisses, Sugiura steeps this romance in cultural and generational specificity, exploring traditional Baba’s unwillingness to accept same-sex relationships and the heartbreak that poses for her family. Ages 13–up. [em]Agent: Leigh Feldman, Leigh Feldman Literary. (June) [/em]