Review: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

I’ve been really slacking lately! I’m sorry! I’ve just finished a really busy semester with school and I’ve got a little time before my summer semester (and final two classes of grad school) begin. And that little bit of time means I’m back to books, and back to reviews, at least for a little while.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in with…

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Miss Sugiura!

As always, we begin with the blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Okay, but first of all, how cute does this book sound? From the moment I read the description, I was in, especially since it was described as Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. So yes, I was excited.

And then when I realized that both Sana and Jamie are girls of colour, I was even more excited.

Basically:

Sana and Jamie’s relationship is cute, but also not without it’s issues. But the way Sugiura writes their story is so real, and that’s what YA fiction needs: real relationship stories, especially with people of colour.

But It’s Not Like It’s a Secret also deals with family issues, like Sana’s suspicion that her dad is having an affair. There are also honest discussions of race, expectations, friendship, and more.

There’s no secret here: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret is a beautiful story with very real moments that we need more of in YA fiction!

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret is available now.

Note: I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. I am an Indigo employee.

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