cover image Didn’t See That Coming

Didn’t See That Coming

Jesse Q. Sutanto. Delacorte, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-59343-401-7; $12.99 paper ISBN 978-0-593-43404-8

A confident, charismatic protagonist headlines this dynamic story of hidden and mistaken identity, inspired by the rom-com You’ve Got Mail, by Sutanto (Well, That Was Unexpected). To avoid harassment based on her gender, 17-year-old Kiki Siregar, who lives in Jakarta, plays her favorite virtual game, Warfront Heroes, using the handle DudeBro10, and has persuaded fellow players that she is a boy—including her in-game best friend, whom she only knows as Sourdawg. But as she and Sourdawg grow closer, the lie eats away at her. Kiki’s real life is soon upended when she transfers from Mingyang High to ultra-conservative Xingfa School, where the social dynamics differ significantly from what she’s accustomed to; classmates patronize her for her outspoken personality and school administrators do nothing to curb escalating bullying. On top of that, she learns that Sourdawg attends the same school—and might just be the schoolmate she dislikes most. Sparkling humor, vivacious storytelling, and occasionally theatrical scenarios inject levity into this perceptive romp with weighty themes. Most characters are Chinese Indonesian. Ages 12–up. Agent: Katelyn Detweiler, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Nov.)