Sometimes you just need a cute light romance that goes deep enough to really show you what it takes to start understanding another culture. Come see if I Love You So Mochi fits the bill!
A synopsis from our lovely friends at Amazon:
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.
I had a few concerns when I started this story. The author, Sarah Kuhn, has a fantastic sense of voice, which means that when Kimi started to get anxious and caught up in daydreams, I was RIGHT THERE with her. I have enough anxiety in my life, thankyouverymuch, so I wasn’t sure I could go on a journey with an anxious main character.
However, Kimi pulled out of her anxious daydreaming and became quite delightful and real. Her story is solid, giving me as a reader a window into understanding Japanese culture as an outsider. I felt like I got a really good insight into the difficulty of blending cultures — even ones that seem like they would blend easily, like Japanese culture and Japanese-American culture.
Ms. Kuhn also covers the value of being true to our passions instead of dismissing them, and the importance of not taking on more than we’re responsible for.
The romance was adorable and genuine and straightforward — nothing felt contrived or sloppy. I Love You So Mochi was a very cute read. I definitely recommend it.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of I Love You So Mochi, feel free to use our affiliate link! Then you can get a great book AND support the blog at the same time. How awesome is that?
Until the next page turns, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi