This Time Will Be Different

By: Misa Sugiura

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know how to get started. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

But when her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII—a rift threatens to splinter her family, friends, and their entire Northern California community. And for the first time, CJ feels like she’s found something she wants to fight for.

Misa Sugiura’s first novel, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, earned the Asian Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, and her second novel brings readers a new and thoughtfully rendered story about community and personal history, family and identity, and the ways we bridge the gaps between them. 



Author’s note. Index of flowers and their meanings.

ISBN: 9780062473448

JLG Release: Sep 2019


Sensitive Areas: Abortion, Marijuana, Mild sexual themes, Racism, Strong language
Topics: Japanese internment during World War II , Racism , Florists , Dating and relationships , Japanese Americans

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

Her entire life, 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama has heard that “Katsuyamas never quit”—but here she is barely started, struggling to live up to her successful mother’s ambitious plans to get her into the right college. Instead of prestigious internships, after-school sports, or any other idea her mother has presented, CJ develops a passion for wo Her entire life, 17-year-old CJ Katsuyama has heard that “Katsuyamas never quit”—but here she is barely started, struggling to live up to her successful mother’s ambitious plans to get her into the right college. Instead of prestigious internships, after-school sports, or any other idea her mother has presented, CJ develops a passion for working at the family’s flower shop. The shop was lost when her family was forced into internment camps during World War II, but they painstakingly fought to get it back—and won. When CJ finds out the flower shop’s future is again compromised, her entire world becomes uprooted. Will she be able to win the fight for her family’s legacy? Set in present-day California, this is a gripping, emotionally charged story that presents an interesting window into a uniquely Japanese American experience that deserves attention. Although a work of fiction, the novel discusses the present influence of devastating American history and counters the idea that past experiences of injustice no longer affect the modern landscape. CJ, her mother, and her aunt grapple with what success looks like—should they “play the system” built through profiting unfairly off of others or continue to harbor what some may consider frivolous grudges? However, the story is not presented as a sterile case study—Sugiura’s writing perfectly blends all these important themes and more as readers travel through very real emotions with a teen attempting to grow up. Despite family history or turmoil, she must still navigate the pitfalls of love, friendship, and life at school. The novel also discusses LGBT+ issues and discrimination, abortion, and other realistic teen struggles. Recommended purchase for a variety of collections looking for contemporary voices that mirror real-life landscapes.

Horn Book

When thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II, they had few options for managing the property and businesses they left behind. The Katsuyama family owned a flower shop, Heart’s Desire, that they were forced to sell for a fraction of its cost, and subsequently spent years earning the money to buy it back. C When thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II, they had few options for managing the property and businesses they left behind. The Katsuyama family owned a flower shop, Heart’s Desire, that they were forced to sell for a fraction of its cost, and subsequently spent years earning the money to buy it back. Contemporary teen CJ Katsuyama, who works in the family shop, has grown up hearing the story of how her grandparents never gave up on their dreams. Unambitious, CJ must nevertheless decide whether to help fight for the shop after learning it might be sold to a huge corporation. This dilemma leads to bigger fights about what to do with problematic names for buildings (her school is named for the wealthy family who profited from the Katsuyamas’ internment) and what it means to erase or whitewash the histories of non-white Americans. The narrative incorporates “brief history” timelines of the Katsuyama family and CJ’s romantic past, and as CJ begins to lead the fights to both rename her school and save the shop, the story takes on difficult questions— about how to truly center voices of color in organizing efforts and how to support people who are only beginning to learn to fight for justice. The story can occasionally feel a bit overcrowded and clumsy in its integration of all these issues, but when it hews closely to CJ’s perspective, it paints an engaging picture of a girl facing the past—both her family’s and her own—in service of her future. An author’s note and “index of flowers and their meanings” are appended.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062473448

First Release

September 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

[Fic]

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

400

Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Harper Teen

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Abortion, Marijuana, Mild sexual themes, Racism, Strong language

Topics

Japanese internment during World War II, Racism, Florists, Dating and relationships, Japanese Americans,

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