Author : Sarah Kuhn
Published on : May 28, 2019
Publisher : Scholastic Press
Genre : Fiction, YA Contemporary
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.
Kimi’s future has been decided. She is going to art school, become a painter, and be the next Asian American artist just like what her mother is dreaming of. Until one day she realizes that it’s not what she really wants to be. She dropped out of art class and had an argument with her mother after she finds out about it. Kimi decides to accept her estranged grandparents’ invitation to visit them in Kyoto, Japan and use the opportunity to find out what she really wants to do with her life.
Kimi’s whole journey was enjoyable to read. She is really talented and Akira, the love interest, is so precious. They’re adorable and so good together but their romance isn’t the main focus in the story which was great. The writing is so good that I could smell the cherry blossoms and taste the mochi. I liked how the author incorporated the different places and attractions in Kyoto into the story.
It’s quite obvious from the beginning what Kimi wants to be and what her passion is but she doesn’t want to disappoint her mother and somehow this became her top priority instead of being true to herself. I loved how Kimi’s relationship with her grandparents developed throughout the story. We don’t see this kind of bond a lot so it’s refreshing.
I have never been to Japan and I really want to (someday when the pandemic is over) but reading this book has brought so many fun memories. Read this if you’re looking for a light and heart-warming read. Fair warning though. Make sure to have some food with you while reading.
“I want you to remember that you are boundless”