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Book Review for: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

I was so sure I was going to love I Love You So Mochi, I just knew it, so what went wrong?

This book is about a Japanese-American girl in search for the perfect career to pursue, something that sparks her heart - after realizing painting wasn’t her cup of tea, even though she was good at it. She had an argument with her mom – which oohhh, you know, never goes well with Asian moms – so Kimi took the first escape route she got, free tickets to visit Japan from her grandparents she never met. Fast forward, now we’re learning about Japan from someone who hasn’t even taken the efforts to go there to sightsee herself. Hmm… So when I DNF-ed another book to read this one, first chapter in, I really couldn’t believe how underwhelming it was.

The problem with this book was that it was not Japanese enough… it was so American. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you start a book expecting to get 110% of Japan and get only 50% of it, disappointment is something you’ll easily get.

What to expect when you pick this book up:

  • The first 145 pages are… what can I say? Not good enough and really squashes the high expectations you have on this book.

  • 160 pages in you find a few lines of goodness into the story, find some romance too – too quick to be true but it’s better than nothing.

The story felt plain, as if something was missing, I couldn’t know if it was me and my boring heart or the story itself that wasn’t making me love this book, until a few chapters in, I knew. The book wasn’t…. authentic enough. For example, when you start a Japanese translated book most of the time you find a masterpiece, so even though this is not a translated book (I found out a second too late) I was expecting it to entertain me with its own unique beauty. This book was a typical teenage American drama, even the Japanese main lead wasn’t Japanese enough and that was the first bummer. I’m sorry if I sound rude but I really expected so much more and I think it’s partly my fault that I did, I shouldn’t have set my expectations too high before picking this up… I should’ve kept it really low as only then I would’ve truly enjoyed it. I mean, please, I could predict the ending from miles away.

Why, oh why do I get mad when a story doesn’t go the way I want it to go? I’m such a toxic reader.

Ok so, I won’t lie, after page 150 things began changing to better,

The story spoke to us about how important our dreams are, how important it is to follow them, as they are significant too, our happiness is important too. I loved whatever details the author gave us of Japan and their culture, it was fascinating. I’m giving it a 3/5 stars, which is gravitating towards a 2.5.

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