#BookReview : Every Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't #1) by Sara Fujimura

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction, Teen, Cultural
Rating : 3.5 / 5



Warning
: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries,and all the feels.

Fifteen year old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying... and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby,figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?



I recently watched a show with Ice sports as backdrop so I was very interested to read this book. When I started reading Every reason We shouldn't , It took me about one third of the book to get hooked to the story. It was not because the story wasn't interesting. I did love all the practice sessions and the match scenes. They are written beautifully and very engaging for any reader to follow through the routine even if you have no idea of the terms of the sports. I liked to read the story of teenagers who are practicing their asses off to reach their goals and it is not a rosy picture at all. I appreciated that the author kept so many sequences and plot close to real for these kids - the expectations , the difference in normal life, the pain and the disappointments are as important to know as the joys of winning.

My favorite character in the book is Mack, who makes a mistake in her teenage years but has never given up on herself. She works hard , plays harder and is a amazing friend to Olivia in every way. She has her own problems to solve with the father of her little girl but she never once blames anyone for her situation and is the smartest , kindest and most inspiring person in the whole story.

Jonah's friendship with Olivia and the romance that follows is sweet and very fun read. It has all the sparks , the charms and butterflies in stomach kind of cuteness when they are together. It was good to see that side of both of them and that kept me going on with the story.

But when we you start digging into the smaller details , the book also disappointed me. My biggest issue was with Olivia being very inconsistent in her behave and she was mostly very bitter and stubborn for her own good. I could understand her frustrations most of the time but the way she looked down upon other people around her was not fair either. I felt her bitterness was more from being jealous than being upset about where she was at that given point and it was not anyone's fault.
She herself realizes that her last performance with her best friend Stuart was not at all up to the mark and it deserved the criticism it got. She has all the chances to improve but it keeps getting sidelined by her family & personal drama. Together Jonah & Olivia are not good to other kids in her school while their friends are quite nice and appreciative of their achievements. Stuart was supposed to be the best friend / brother to Olivia but he was not at all considerate or respectful to Olivia most times.

The book definitely could have been better but it was still a decent read for weekend if you want to read of sports related YA.

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SARA FUJIMURA is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese- American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love.

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