Painting of grass and sky


It’s Not Like It’s A Secret

HarperTeen, 9 May 2017
  • Winner of the 2017 Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature

  • YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults

  • Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

  • Rainbow Book List Selection

Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to their parties. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely 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 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.

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

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“The graceful complexity of this first-person narrative is an accomplishment in itself. Sana is a fully realized protagonist with faults and unacknowledged privilege alongside her nuanced experience of identity and “model minority” racism. Sugiura thoughtfully explores intersecting issues of race, immigrant-family relationships, queer romance, and, less explicitly, class dynamics without implying the significance of one over the others. Well-paced, brimming with drama, and utterly vital. ”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A touching coming-of-age book that kept me cheering until the end; will be highly recommending!”
Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

“Major and minor supporting characters of every age and both genders are just as credibly realized as Sana as her narration unfolds. VERDICT An essential and delightful choice that realistically celebrates a teen’s discovery of trust in herself and in others.”
School Library Journal, Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA

“Smart, funny, authentically messy, and sweetly romantic.”
Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Conviction (Morris Award) and Picture Us In the Light (California Book Award, Stonewall Honor)