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Love and Other Natural Disasters

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When Nozomi Nagai pictured the ideal summer romance, a fake one wasn’t what she had in mind. That was before she met the perfect girl. Willow is gorgeous, glamorous, and…heartbroken? And when she enlists Nozomi to pose as her new girlfriend to make her ex jealous, Nozomi is a willing volunteer. Because Nozomi has a master plan of her own: one to show Willow she’s better than When Nozomi Nagai pictured the ideal summer romance, a fake one wasn’t what she had in mind. That was before she met the perfect girl. Willow is gorgeous, glamorous, and…heartbroken? And when she enlists Nozomi to pose as her new girlfriend to make her ex jealous, Nozomi is a willing volunteer. Because Nozomi has a master plan of her own: one to show Willow she’s better than a stand-in, and turn their fauxmance into something real. But as the lies pile up, it’s not long before Nozomi’s schemes take a turn toward disaster…and maybe a chance at love she didn’t plan for.


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When Nozomi Nagai pictured the ideal summer romance, a fake one wasn’t what she had in mind. That was before she met the perfect girl. Willow is gorgeous, glamorous, and…heartbroken? And when she enlists Nozomi to pose as her new girlfriend to make her ex jealous, Nozomi is a willing volunteer. Because Nozomi has a master plan of her own: one to show Willow she’s better than When Nozomi Nagai pictured the ideal summer romance, a fake one wasn’t what she had in mind. That was before she met the perfect girl. Willow is gorgeous, glamorous, and…heartbroken? And when she enlists Nozomi to pose as her new girlfriend to make her ex jealous, Nozomi is a willing volunteer. Because Nozomi has a master plan of her own: one to show Willow she’s better than a stand-in, and turn their fauxmance into something real. But as the lies pile up, it’s not long before Nozomi’s schemes take a turn toward disaster…and maybe a chance at love she didn’t plan for.

30 review for Love and Other Natural Disasters

  1. 5 out of 5

    may ➹

    first of all: sapphic fake dating with an Asian girl!!!! second of all: is that... two wlw couples with POC that I see in the cover... because I love it... first of all: sapphic fake dating with an Asian girl!!!! second of all: is that... two wlw couples with POC that I see in the cover... because I love it...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.50 Stars. This was a cute, YA romance. I’m not the biggest fan of rom-coms, but one of my reading goals for 2021 was to be more open-minded and consume more of them. The reason I picked this one is because I love YA and the main romance trope of this book is a ‘fauxmance’, which is my favorite romance trope. This did end up being a bit of a rockier read than I wanted, but it was a cute read and I appreciated the unusual spin on a fauxmance. I like the way that Sugiura writes and I found the bo 3.50 Stars. This was a cute, YA romance. I’m not the biggest fan of rom-coms, but one of my reading goals for 2021 was to be more open-minded and consume more of them. The reason I picked this one is because I love YA and the main romance trope of this book is a ‘fauxmance’, which is my favorite romance trope. This did end up being a bit of a rockier read than I wanted, but it was a cute read and I appreciated the unusual spin on a fauxmance. I like the way that Sugiura writes and I found the book easy to get into. I was really happy about the rep in this book. I have actually read more books in the first half of 2021, with Asian and Asian-America rep, then I have for probably the last 3 years combined. There still is a long way to go obviously, but it’s really nice to actually see a noticeable difference in the books currently being published. Anyway, for me the best parts of this book were Zozo’s family. The different family dynamics, of three generations, ended up really being the heart of the story. While I really enjoyed Zozo’s family, and how their stories were woven in, I had trouble with the three more main characters including Zozo. While Zozo had some real quality character moments, I never felt like I completely connected with her. That was also the problem with the other two mains. All three were just a little too on the surface and not as deep as I wanted them. I don’t feel like I really knew anything about Willow except that she likes makeup. Where Dela, who had some good potential as a baby ice-queen in training, all I really knew about her is that she’s an artist and had a recent trauma. I get that this was supposed to be a cute and funny book, but there were some more serious moments and I think I needed the characters to have more depth to go along with them. While this was a rom-com, I didn’t really find it to be funny. This could be a me problem, as my book funny bone seems to be broken, but instead I found it more cringey than funny. Think of a movie where a main character does something so embarrassing that you almost can’t watch, well that is what kept happening over and over here. I’m not really a fan of that feeling when I’m made to cringe, so it was a little hard to always like Zozo. I don’t want to go into the romance much since I think it would be too easy to spoiler the bit of a twist that was clever that Sugiura did on a fauxmance. I will say that I thought the romance was about average. It was cute and had some really sweet moments that I enjoyed, but I also thought it lacked some depth and I would have preferred even more time with the characters together. All in all I have some mixed feelings about this. It is definitely a cute story, and an above average rom-com, but it didn’t quite hit all the marks that I was looking for. There was some good here that I really enjoyed, but there was a few bumps too. If you are looking for a lighter, YA rom-com, that does family dynamics well, then this book may be for you. An ARC was given to me for a review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    Love and Other Natural Disasters became one of my most anticipated releases of the year as soon as I heard that there was a messy sapphic love quadrangle – I live for messy sapphics and the angst of love triangles (nevermind quadrangles!) and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. I got all the messiness and complicated feelings and angst I could ever want, as well as an unexpectedly touching story of family, second chances and love. I love trope subversion. Authors taking a popular trop Love and Other Natural Disasters became one of my most anticipated releases of the year as soon as I heard that there was a messy sapphic love quadrangle – I live for messy sapphics and the angst of love triangles (nevermind quadrangles!) and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. I got all the messiness and complicated feelings and angst I could ever want, as well as an unexpectedly touching story of family, second chances and love. I love trope subversion. Authors taking a popular trope (in this case fake dating) and turning it on its head to create an entirely unexpected and refreshing take on it is one of my favourite things to read. And so, I absolutely adored what Sugiura did with Love and Other Natural Disasters. This subversion was the perfect vehicle for Nozomi’s character development and I loved the journey she went on as she realised she is perfectly worthy of love just as she is and that she shouldn’t feel the need to change herself. Our main character and the other three points to the love quadrangle are all women of colour which I adored, especially as Sugiura took the opportunity to explore the intersection of race with queerness. This is particularly clear through Nozomi’s grandmother and Nozomi’s hesitation over coming out to her, especially considering the difficult relationship between mother and gay son. This resulted in some really touching moments and discussions of coming out, as well as some heartbreaking realisations due to her grandmother’s dementia. I really liked all of our sapphics and especially enjoyed their messiness – it just made them feel all the more human. They each had distinct personalities and issues and I loved reading about them all clashing or coming together. In particular, I loved Nozomi’s relationship with Dela, from its awkward beginnings to developing into something real and touching. It was such a good slow burn and felt really natural, even as they were both in some pretty complicated situations. Love and Other Natural Disasters delivers the fun, light hearted rom com it promises; full of messy sapphics of colour as well as a touching story about love, acceptance and second chances. This is the perfect novel to be enjoyed on a hot summer day and I highly recommend it. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *Thank you Harper360 for an advanced copy. This has not affected my review.*

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    I loved this. I've really been craving a light YA rom-com book, and this fit the bill exactly. I flew through it in twenty-four hours and had a really good time doing so. Sugiura's writing style is really engaging, and I loved how the fake dating trope was subverted? I also loved the slow buildup of the relationship between Nozomi and her love interest, and became quite invested in the two of them. Sugiura also engages with cultural attitudes to queerness in a really interesting and thought-prov I loved this. I've really been craving a light YA rom-com book, and this fit the bill exactly. I flew through it in twenty-four hours and had a really good time doing so. Sugiura's writing style is really engaging, and I loved how the fake dating trope was subverted? I also loved the slow buildup of the relationship between Nozomi and her love interest, and became quite invested in the two of them. Sugiura also engages with cultural attitudes to queerness in a really interesting and thought-provoking way. Would definitely recommend if you're looking for a YA sapphic novel featuring the fake dating trope. > 4 stars Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

  5. 5 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: Japanese American lesbian mc, Japanese American lesbian li, Taiwanese American lesbian li, Black bi side character, Japanese American gay side character, Filipino American gay side character, Japanese American side characters tw: homophobia, mention of parent's death Review also on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher. We always shout about how we want a fake-dating book, but actually the only one that will ever matter from now on is Love & Other Natural Disasters. Not only because it rep: Japanese American lesbian mc, Japanese American lesbian li, Taiwanese American lesbian li, Black bi side character, Japanese American gay side character, Filipino American gay side character, Japanese American side characters tw: homophobia, mention of parent's death Review also on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher. We always shout about how we want a fake-dating book, but actually the only one that will ever matter from now on is Love & Other Natural Disasters. Not only because it understands the trope, but importantly: turns it on its head. For the fake-dating trope to work you need two characters who are already into one another but assume it’s only unrequited feelings, so that the pining can make your heart hurt. But here, it becomes meta in a way. First of all, Nozomi is very aware that Willow doesn’t have a crush on her, but unlike a character in your favourite fic, she actively tries to change that. She treats her life like a rom-com which she is a script writer and director of, and she doesn’t stop until she will get the happy ever after that she envisioned. But Love & Other Natural Disasters is more than just a bunch of movie-perfect dates, every single one not ending the way anyone would have expected (least of all the girls on them). It spends a lot of time talking about coming out. About how it’s not a single event, but something you have to do over and over again. About how sometimes it’s hard to come out because you have to consider if you’re safe enough in any given situation to actually be true to yourself. About how sometimes you hide parts of yourself from a family member you love because you don’t want them to stop loving you. A lot of focus is also on familial relationships. Mainly on how complicated they tend to be. Sugiura is clear on the fact that there’s ever a black-and-white kind of situation when it comes to family; that most of the time you can be hurt but still care for someone, you can feel you’re in the right only because someone spared you the details to avoid hurting you more. It’s visible in the way Nozomi treats her mother, her father, her grandmother, in the way Nozomi’s uncle treats her grandmother, in the way Nozomi’s brother treats their mother. There’s always more than one side to look at things from, but it’s never an attempt to get you to forgive someone who hurts solely because they’re your family. Speaking of family, Nozomi and Max are probably the best siblings in all of young adult literature. I know I’m right. Love & Other Natural Disasters is a very smart book about second chances; learning to love people the right way that they need & deserve; recognising your own mistakes and prejudices. And it touches on all of that while masquerading as a cute and silly rom-com.

  6. 5 out of 5

    luce

    / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / For the love of Jupiter, Nozomi was such a detestable main character. It had been a while since I so wholeheartedly hated and rooted against the main character of a novel...but here we go. Love and Other Natural Disasters is the kind of romance YA novel that pretends to critique and be self-aware of the tropes that populate this genre but in actuality offers the same recycled ideas and an avalanche of cliches (we have one character saying something along / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / For the love of Jupiter, Nozomi was such a detestable main character. It had been a while since I so wholeheartedly hated and rooted against the main character of a novel...but here we go. Love and Other Natural Disasters is the kind of romance YA novel that pretends to critique and be self-aware of the tropes that populate this genre but in actuality offers the same recycled ideas and an avalanche of cliches (we have one character saying something along the lines of "you are in love with the idea of love"...come on). A quick rundown of the story: Nozomi is our narrator, who supposedly is in her late teens (17?18?) and is sad because her parents have split up and her mother is now with a former teacher of hers (boo-hoo). She and her brother go off to visit their uncle in San Francisco where thanks to his connections—*ahem* nepotism— she gets an internship working at a museum (do we learn anything about this internship? not really). Her grandmother is homophobic and has only recently 'rekindled' her relationship with her son (nozomi’s uncle). Nozomi is gay and understandably she is unhappy about having to keep her sexuality a secret in order to have a 'good' relationship with her grandmother. Alas, the plot is less concerned with Nozomi & her family than her love life. Before setting off to San Francisco Nozomi overheard a girl she was crushing on making fun of her and comparing her to grey wallpaper or something along those lines. Nozomi wants a GF real bad, and she falls in insta-love with Willow, who turns out, also works at the museum. Willow is beautiful, well-off, and wears makeup (that’s it. that’s her character). She’s also reeling because her girlfriend just broke up with her and seems now to be already dating someone else. Willow and Nozomi decide to do the fake-dating thing, Willow because she hopes to make her ex so jealous she will want to get back together, and Nozomi because she has watched a lot of rom-com movies and according to those the fake-dating couple always ends up falling in not-so-fake-love. Willow’s ex is maybe dating this girl who, you guessed it, is also at the museum as she is working on an installation for a show or something. This girl and Nozomi do not get along at all. At first, the girl is an asshole to her but then it becomes apparent that Nozomi is actually the brat. And that’s my biggest problem with this novel. Nozomi is a real stronza. The kind of nice person who often talks and thinks about how nice, kind, and selfless she is. She’s also low-key into virtue-signalling (telling off this girl for dismissing someone’s ‘i wish world hunger was no more’ wish, claiming that you never know who could be inspired by those words, maybe a person will come across it and decide to volunteer at the food bank…which, if you are wondering, nozomi does not do). Nozomi has also no growth. Her self-pitying ‘I’m a nice person really and any mistakes I do, I do in trying to be good and kind to others so can you blame me, really? ’ shtick got on my fucking nerves. The story tries to spin it so her only ‘flaw’ is that of being too much of a romantic and of trying to orchestrate a romance with Willow (her whole attitude towards willow is creepy af) . The last few pages make it seem as if being called out on her shit has made her mature in no time but I do not believe it for a second. Even after that ‘showdown’ scene, Nozomi seems still firm in her belief that because she didn’t mean to hurt anyone and that after all someone was mean to her so isn’t understandable that she tried to recreate the kind of romance you see in the movies? She has to be told to give someone space and that even if she apologizes that person can refuse to accept said apology. What is she, 14? And don’t get me started on how awful and pathetic she is when it comes to her mother. At one point puts the phone down on her mom because she can’t stand her ‘self-pitying’....pot kettle much? Her behaviour towards her parents was so childish, from the way she assigns them into good/bad roles to how she demands to be in the know-how of their private affairs. I mean, how is this girl meant to be 17/8? She acts like a child! Worse than a child. And she uses the words monstrous all the time. Her grandmother is a monstrous homophobe. She never seems willing to understand that her grandmother, who is Japanese, elderly, and religious, grew up with different social norms. At the end, Nozomi seems to resign herself to her grandmother being the way she is because she’s showing early signs of dementia. And as Nozomi loves to believe she’s a nice person this (her 'accepting' her grandmother's homophobia) works with that narrative. The characters were one-dimensional, they lacked substance, history even. Nozomi never talks about her high school or mentions any friends/hobbies. It seems to me that she came to be in that very first page of the novel, and that her life before that was...blank. The story was too focused on the drama between these four girls and I would have much preferred for the narrative to be more of a coming of age than a typical YA love story. There were lots of needlessly cringy scenes in which Nozomi does something incredibly stupid (out of the kindness of her heart) that I could have done without. All in all, this novel irritated me. I kept reading hoping that Nozomi would grow but no. Her character arc is nonexistent even if the last pages will have you believe that she has become a better person and deserves to be forgiven for playing cupid. Her mistreatment of her parents, her obliviousness to her own rather privileged lifestyle (she’s not as wealthy as willow but come on, also, that internship? she cares nothing for it!), and her binary way of thinking (in which people are either bad or good)...all those remain unaddressed. Nozomi is a 'nice' person who's been fooled by those damn romance movies and someone she liked made fun of her so of course, she gets a—frankly undeserved—happy ending. The author’s writing was decent enough. It didn’t amuse me nor did it engage me particularly but it’s very much run-of-the-mill YA writing. Her dialogues were awkward, her portrayal of teenagers left a lot to be desired, and her mc was bloody awful. If you liked this, good for you, I guess? If you have this on your tbr list don’t let my review deter you so you should maybe check out some positive reviews instead.

  7. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    read my review on reads rainbow Rep: Japanese American lesbian mc, Japanese American lesbian li, Taiwanese American sapphic li, Black bi side character, Japanese American gay side character, Filipino American gay side character, Japanese American side characters CWs: homophobia read my review on reads rainbow Rep: Japanese American lesbian mc, Japanese American lesbian li, Taiwanese American sapphic li, Black bi side character, Japanese American gay side character, Filipino American gay side character, Japanese American side characters CWs: homophobia

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Thomas

    do teens fake-date this much in real life?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This book was pretty fun overall! This is my second book by Misa Sugiura after It's Not Like It's a Secret, which honestly was a disappointment to me- I didn't love it. But I'm a sucker for fake dating stories- they're popular for a reason and that's because they're so fun! So I was excited to read this. And I liked it overall! This book follows Nozomi "Zozo" Nagai as she spends her summer in San Francisco. Zozo often has her head in the clouds and loves to daydream about love and relationships. This book was pretty fun overall! This is my second book by Misa Sugiura after It's Not Like It's a Secret, which honestly was a disappointment to me- I didn't love it. But I'm a sucker for fake dating stories- they're popular for a reason and that's because they're so fun! So I was excited to read this. And I liked it overall! This book follows Nozomi "Zozo" Nagai as she spends her summer in San Francisco. Zozo often has her head in the clouds and loves to daydream about love and relationships. When she gets to San Fran, she instantly falls for Willow. Willow is going through a breakup though with her ex girlfriend Arden, and Arden is dating someone who works with both Zozo and Willow, the quiet Dela. Zozo proposes to Willow that they can pretend to date so Willow can make Arden jealous and want her back, while Zozo has ulterior motives- to convince Willow to start liking her. I really appreciated this inversion of the fake dating scheme. Usually it seems in many books of this trope, it is the main character who proposes a fake relationship in order to get someone back- but here the fake relationship is proposed as a way to get closer to the person. And I thought that was a nice twist on the situation that made this a fun read. The characters were all really great. Zozo is so very cute. She has a lot to deal with and doesn't always handle things with the most grace, but her heart is always in the right place. And I love her optimism! It spread through the book and made me really happy. I really loved her pining for Willow and then later when she couldn't figure out her feelings towards many things, I really felt the emotions. That was a really strong part of the book. This book had a lovely cast of characters too. Nozomi and her brother Max are staying with her uncle and his husband. I really loved the family ties between all of them. They aren't perfect but all do really have love for each other. And her dad and mom are well rounded, imperfect, and very interesting characters in their own right. The family dynamics make this book shine. I actually really appreciated the relationship explored between Zozo's Uncle Stephen and her Grandmother "Baba". Stephen is gay and married to a man, and her Baba is homophobic, didn't approve of Stephen's marriage, and had many years of no contact with her son because of it. And while they are cordial now, it's often tense- yet there is still love shared. To peek behind the curtain for this review, I've had to cut out several members of my family. I haven't spoken to them in years. But literally in the last couple weeks I've found they might want to get back in touch. I don't really know what will happen for me- but seeing a dynamic like this in the book spoke to me heavily and I felt like it was depicted for all it's complexity very well. Unfortunately there were parts of the book that threw me off. I had trouble with the pacing in a lot of this book. This was a big criticism of It's Not Like It's a Secret as well if I remember correctly. I often felt like I had no idea how much time was passing between events in this book, or where we were at timeline wise. There were jumps in weeks, but I didn't know how long- and it just threw me off and was a little confusing. The love interests and relationships all seemed on the shallow end for me. I wanted to learn so much more about both Willow and Dela. But other than some surface level interests for either, we just don't learn that much other than Nozomi's feelings for them. And her feelings were fun and delightfully angsty, by the end of the book it all seemed kinda shallow. Also a lot of the storylines didn't really conclude. I want to know what finally happened with Baba, and there was little closure with Nozomi's relationships with her parents. Those were disappointing. I really liked a lot of this book, but parts of it really threw me off as well. 3.5/5 Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  10. 4 out of 5

    Berry ☆

    RELEASE DAY EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE - when! the! fork! is this coming out?!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Love and Other Natural Disasters is disaster queers in its most chaotic and delightful and I had so much fun reading this. - Follows Nozomi, a Japanese-American teen who spends her summer in San Francisco with her gay uncles and gets into a fake-dating scheme with gorgeous Taiwanese-American teen, Willow, to win back her ex - and realises that she may actually be falling with Willow's ex's newest girlfriend, Dela. - Gosh, this book was just so much fun! Katharine Chin's narration for Nozomi was Love and Other Natural Disasters is disaster queers in its most chaotic and delightful and I had so much fun reading this. - Follows Nozomi, a Japanese-American teen who spends her summer in San Francisco with her gay uncles and gets into a fake-dating scheme with gorgeous Taiwanese-American teen, Willow, to win back her ex - and realises that she may actually be falling with Willow's ex's newest girlfriend, Dela. - Gosh, this book was just so much fun! Katharine Chin's narration for Nozomi was just pure delight and I had so much fun being inside Nozomi's head. - This book is messy and I loved that. I really connected to all of the characters and their imperfections. Nozomi for how she sees life and relationships like a big romance film in which she's the director and Willow for how she manipulates other people in the name of love. None of the characters are perfect in this, and I loved that. - I actually enjoyed how this story ultimately subverts the fake-dating trope; that fake-dating seems cute and all, but the story explores how fake-dating can also be inherently manipulative in which people's emotions are gambled. - I love how Misa writes with this... sharp self-awareness; how readers are let into the reality of the situation (in this story, it's via Nozomi's brother, Max) while the characters are completely oblivious. It's like watching a trainwreck and it's just so much... fun??? - I also really liked how this story explores complicated family dynamics. Specifically, Nozomi's now broken family, how we're often in denial of how bad things are (and I liked how Nozomi's dad and Nozomi's responses to their failing relationships run parallel). I also enjoyed how the story explores Nozomi's bigoted yet loving, aging grandmother. - This story has the right balance of sugary sweet with 'oh no, this is all a huge mess'. I just had so much fun reading this. Content warnings: anti-gay sentiment, death of a parent

  12. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    3.5/5 Stars A couple of years ago I listened to an audiobook of Misa Sugiura’s second novel, This Time Will Be Different, and absolutely loved it. In fact, it was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and I loved it so much that I now own a special edition signed hardcover of it! So, of course, I was dying to read Misa’s third novel which is also her second novel with sapphic main characters, especially since it features the fake dating trope which is one of my favourites. Plus, just look at th 3.5/5 Stars A couple of years ago I listened to an audiobook of Misa Sugiura’s second novel, This Time Will Be Different, and absolutely loved it. In fact, it was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and I loved it so much that I now own a special edition signed hardcover of it! So, of course, I was dying to read Misa’s third novel which is also her second novel with sapphic main characters, especially since it features the fake dating trope which is one of my favourites. Plus, just look at that gorgeous cover! But sadly, it fell a little short of my expectations. I’ll start with the things I really enjoyed in this book – because I definitely don’t think it’s a bad book, more of a case of it’s me not you (you being the book in this scenario!). Misa Sugiura’s writing style is really funny throughout the book and I actually snorted with laughter at a few of the main character’s lines while reading. I absolutely loved reading from Nozomi’s point of view and seeing her hopelessly romantic daydreams about girls she has crushes on! Speaking of girls she has crushes on, I loved just how gay this book is! Both Nozomi and the love interest, Willow, are sapphic, and as you can probably tell from the cover, there are two more secondary characters who are also sapphic, one of whom is more masculine, which we don’t see all that often in YA! Nozomi’s uncle, who plays a big part in the book, is also gay and lives with his husband and they’re really sweet together! The discussions on sexuality and coming out to your family were also so important. As someone who is going through a similar situation to Nozomi and is terrified of even speaking about anything relating to being queer around grandparents, it was so so comforting to read about it (though I do wish we’d got a bit more closure on that storyline). Back to the diversity, another thing I loved about the book was that every single main character is a person of colour. Nozomi and her family are Japanese and Japanese-American, and so is one of the side characters, Willow is Taiwanese-American, there is a Black side character, and even Nozomi’s uncle’s husband is Filipino-American! I don’t think I’ve read a YA contemporary where there were no major white characters and it was so refreshing to see! Finally, and honestly once you hear about this one, you’re definitely gonna see why I’m dedicating a whole paragraph to it. This was definitely for the sapphics. I’m sure we’re all well aware of that photo of the two girls where they’re lying on a bed and one is putting make up on the other, right? I think you can see where I’m going with this one. There is pretty much this scene several times throughout the book and it is…wow!! Iconic!! Misa Sugiura didn’t have to do that but she really said sapphic rights, and in Pride Month no less! But sadly, now is time to move onto the things I didn’t love so much about the book. First up is the romance. I love the fake dating trope. I’m relatively new to it but I love seeing the characters slowly realise they have real feelings and then the tension that arises from that, but I just didn’t love it in this book. Now, I know for a fact this is going to be a me thing and that other readers are going to love the relationship dynamic in the book, and I do really love what Misa Sugiura was trying to say with it and how the book ended, but the whole time I was reading it I just felt so sorry for Nozomi who was getting her heart trampled all over! The characters in general I also found to be pretty flat – I couldn’t tell you one thing about Nozomi and her interests and the only thing I could say about Willow is that she likes makeup…that’s it. It was a wee bit disappointing. And finally, the ending was just a bit…I hate to say it…rubbish. There were so many loose ends that we never got answers to, particularly regarding the storylines with Nozomi’s family, and I felt so let down. But I do want to say, particularly regarding that last point, but really for them all, that I did read an ARC copy and so these things may have changed in the final copy! That being said, this was a super quick contemporary read with wonderful representation and witty prose that I am so glad I read, and I hope that my personal gripes with the book haven’t turned you off from reading it too! Want more sapphic books? You can find me here: Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    3 stars. You know how I love a good fauxmance and I appreciated that this book had its own unique spin on it and was very self aware of its tropes. Nozomi goes to San Francisco for the summer to spend time with family (in particular her grandma whose health is severely declining and in the middle of progressing stages of dementia) and falls head over heels for the beautiful Willow. Learning that Willow has just broken up with someone who is now dating someone new, Nozomi offers to fake date Will 3 stars. You know how I love a good fauxmance and I appreciated that this book had its own unique spin on it and was very self aware of its tropes. Nozomi goes to San Francisco for the summer to spend time with family (in particular her grandma whose health is severely declining and in the middle of progressing stages of dementia) and falls head over heels for the beautiful Willow. Learning that Willow has just broken up with someone who is now dating someone new, Nozomi offers to fake date Willow to make the ex jealous... in the hopes that this will be like every other fake romance story and Willow will eventually fall in love with her. I applaud the Sapphic Asian American representation and also showing familial/cultural homophobia. My main issue was with the main character, who I really couldn't relate to and often found obnoxious (I've never thought of myself as a particularly cynical person, but she made me feel like one... if you are hopeful/upbeat/blindly romantic then maybe you'll understand her more than I could). Otherwise though, this book had some great side characters (I particularly like Nozomi's brother, who is 100% on her side but is also a realist) and tactfully dealt with some surprisingly heavy and difficult topics. I enjoyed the twists in this one and that the romance in the story was rather rough around the edges, not some picturesque thing from a Hallmark movie. I'm glad I read this one. Thank you HarperTeen and NetGalley for the ARC!

  14. 4 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    misa sugiura's disaster teen gay books haven't failed me so far misa sugiura's disaster teen gay books haven't failed me so far

  15. 5 out of 5

    rhi ✰

    it's not like it's a secret was basically the first wlw book i read ever and like,,, i'm so happy older me gets this book that sounds amazing and has THE PRETTIEST cover and who knows maybe another girl will find this at a library and see something that she doesn't know about herself yet on the page :') it's not like it's a secret was basically the first wlw book i read ever and like,,, i'm so happy older me gets this book that sounds amazing and has THE PRETTIEST cover and who knows maybe another girl will find this at a library and see something that she doesn't know about herself yet on the page :')

  16. 5 out of 5

    katie ❀

    sapphic fake dating with POC?? ooh sign me up pls

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eva B.

    I think that this book did exactly what it set out to do, but at the same time Nozomi got on my nerves quite a bit. I wish there had been a bit more page time dedicated towards events at the end of the book too. I do, however, love the book's criticism of the fake dating trope (which I admittedly enjoy) and the "my life is a movie and I'm the lead!!" mentality that some people have, as well as toxic relationships and knowing your worth. I absolutely love Dela and so I was pleasantly surprised at I think that this book did exactly what it set out to do, but at the same time Nozomi got on my nerves quite a bit. I wish there had been a bit more page time dedicated towards events at the end of the book too. I do, however, love the book's criticism of the fake dating trope (which I admittedly enjoy) and the "my life is a movie and I'm the lead!!" mentality that some people have, as well as toxic relationships and knowing your worth. I absolutely love Dela and so I was pleasantly surprised at the end. This book perfectly captures just how messy love (whether romantic or familial) can be as Nozomi deals with family issues on top of her (fake) romance and learns that nothing is really black or white.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    Fun and cute sapphic romance with great characters.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Such a fun read! Nozomi is spending her summer in San Francisco with her uncles and helping care for her grandmother who is showing signs of dementia. Zozo has always dreamed of having an ideal summer romance, and when she meets Willow, the opportunity to make her dreams come true presents itself. Willow has recently been dumped by her girlfriend, but enlists Nozomi's help to make her ex jealous. Zozo is secretly hoping that Willow will instead fall for her in a perfect fake dating scheme. There a Such a fun read! Nozomi is spending her summer in San Francisco with her uncles and helping care for her grandmother who is showing signs of dementia. Zozo has always dreamed of having an ideal summer romance, and when she meets Willow, the opportunity to make her dreams come true presents itself. Willow has recently been dumped by her girlfriend, but enlists Nozomi's help to make her ex jealous. Zozo is secretly hoping that Willow will instead fall for her in a perfect fake dating scheme. There are so many queer fake dating books out now and I love it!! I am living for it really. Nozomi was such a fun character, I loved how bubbly she was. Some of her thought patterns are ones I relate to, especially with how quickly she could jump from topics. The romance of this book was a bit unexpected since while I did like Nozomi and Willow's friendship, I was not shipping them together after a certain other character came onto the scene. It was the perfect grumpy and sunshine one and I was a goner for it. I loved that this book not only focuses on romance, but it deals with a lot of hard topics like caring for elderly family members who don't want help, homophobia/coming out, sibling bonds, friendship boundaries, and more. I also liked how one of the messages of this book was that you can plan not to hurt people, but intentions don't always equal actions and that actions have consequences. Apologies aren't always accepted and just because romantic feelings are involved, it does not mean that everything will be forgiven "just because". Rep: Japanese-American female lesbian MC, two sapphic asian side characters, Black sapphic female side character, Japanese-American achillean uncle, Filipino-American achillean uncle in law, Japanese-American grandmother with dementia. CWs: Alcohol consumption by minors, cancer/terminal illness & death of parent (side character and happened before the start of book), dementia, grief, infidelity, homophobia, lesbophobia, discussions of racism and how it different impacts the Asian characters and the Black character.

  20. 4 out of 5

    tammy

    dec 14, 2020: i did not like sugiura’s novel it’s not like it’s a secret, but this sounds rlly nice.. by that i mean f/f, fake-dating, asian mc. hopefully next summer has plans for sugiura’s redemption (kinda nervous bc i just reread my less-than-eloquent review for inlias but. ahhh oh well)

  21. 5 out of 5

    caro(lee)na

    i really really liked this book. it was a cute fluffy sapphic contemporary romance. it was diverse as it should and focused around lgbtq+ people, but not in like a ‘coming out’ way. it was just a sapphic romance. i really recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    A cute f/f fake-dating rom-com that's perfect for anyone looking for an unapologetically queer, quick, fluffy read that explores identity and acceptance. Whilst this was definitely an enjoyable read, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped I would upon reading the synopsis. Unfortunately, for me, it fell a little flat. I didn't find myself warming to any of the characters or relationships. Everything felt a little surface level and I was left wanting more. However, this was an overall enjoyable re A cute f/f fake-dating rom-com that's perfect for anyone looking for an unapologetically queer, quick, fluffy read that explores identity and acceptance. Whilst this was definitely an enjoyable read, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped I would upon reading the synopsis. Unfortunately, for me, it fell a little flat. I didn't find myself warming to any of the characters or relationships. Everything felt a little surface level and I was left wanting more. However, this was an overall enjoyable read and one I flew through. I have no doubt readers, especially younger readers, will adore this book, it simply didn't reach my expectations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    *4.25 Stars* I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Nozomi is spending the summer in San Francisco and that couldn't be more perfect because she really wants to get out of town after the last party she went to was less than ideal. But, anyway, she's almost in San Fran and she's ready to have the summer romance she's always dreamt of. And she stumbles onto the most gorgeous girl ever on the first evening. She starts a conversation but the other girl doesn't all that i *4.25 Stars* I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Nozomi is spending the summer in San Francisco and that couldn't be more perfect because she really wants to get out of town after the last party she went to was less than ideal. But, anyway, she's almost in San Fran and she's ready to have the summer romance she's always dreamt of. And she stumbles onto the most gorgeous girl ever on the first evening. She starts a conversation but the other girl doesn't all that interested. Imagine her surprise when Nozomi rans into that same girl some time later. Yup, Willow is working at the exact same place Nozomi is and she's just broken up with her girlfriend. Nozomi knows she shouldn't be happy about that but she can't help it. The two start a friendship and after seeing Willow's ex girlfriend, Arden, with her new girlfriend, Dela, who also works with them, they end up starting a fake relationship... Willow is hoping Arden will realize that she misses her while Nozomi is hoping Willow will fall for her. Not exactly the perfect relationship Nozomi had dreamt of but it'll have to do! It doesn't hurt that it's distracting her from the problems back home between her parents or her grandmother's declining heath... I really liked this one. It was a different approach to fake dating but I loved it all the same. I had a good time with that story despite it touching sensitive subjects that are pretty close to me right now. Anyway, I liked some of the characters a lot, some others a little less. Nozomi was very infuriating at times but I still related to her a lot. I liked how the book talked about racism, homophobia and dementia. It wasn't just a fluffy romance. (not that there's anything wrong about fluffy romances, I love them too.) It was all really well written and well brought on. I found the pacing to be just right. I really dove into the book and could barely stop reading. The setting was perfect and immersive, I felt like I was right back in San Francisco, seeing it all over again. I guess I just found it a little predictable at times, and some parts of the book put me off a little bit (bad choices ya know) but this was still a great read. I loved it. I really need to read the rest of Misa Sugiura's books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maha

    this was extremely fun! and cute! though listening to the audiobook helped me get through it, i still had a great time reading about messy teenagers learning about love.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ash ♡

    all i want is for one 2021 ya release to live up to my expectations!!! (rtc maybe) 2 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Coudeville

    Fake dating but queer? Sign me up!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    tiana ⚘

    This made me radiate 'I hate you but I kind of maybe sorta like you' energy. And you probably already clicked 'want to read' as soon as you saw that cover. I mean, who am I kidding I did too. After getting humiliated by someone she once liked, Nozomi set off to California, in attempts to 1) get a girlfriend and 2) live her so called best life. But when she meets Willow, who seems as flawless as she looks, actually ends up being heartbroken from a recent breakup. Soon, Willow comes up with a marv This made me radiate 'I hate you but I kind of maybe sorta like you' energy. And you probably already clicked 'want to read' as soon as you saw that cover. I mean, who am I kidding I did too. After getting humiliated by someone she once liked, Nozomi set off to California, in attempts to 1) get a girlfriend and 2) live her so called best life. But when she meets Willow, who seems as flawless as she looks, actually ends up being heartbroken from a recent breakup. Soon, Willow comes up with a marvelous plan to act like Nozomi and her are together, as a way to somehow make her ex jealous. Nozomi though, decides to play along, in hopes to catch Willow's eye in a way that will make her actually want to date Nozomi. Until everything goes wrong and her world comes tumbling down...Perhaps for a different romance, one that is certainly meant to be. One Problem: The fake dating trope I had a huge problem with the fake dating aspect in this. Although it was talked about in the book and the characters learned from their mistakes and all of that. The problem was that the characters were trying to benefit off each other but not in the regular fake-dating way. It made me think a bit about friendships and if they should be like that. Nozomi and Willow were friends right? But, they were only 'friends' because Willow was using Nozomi to possibly get her ex back. And typically when you're friends with someone you either 1) share similar interests or 2) match each others vibe. You're probably yelling at the screen and saying that the premise of this book is fake dating and that there really isn't any other reason they should be friends, your probably right but my point is that Willow used Nozomi to get what she wanted instead of considering more how Nozomi felt about it. And not only was their friendship based on getting Willow's ex, Arden, back. Willow barely talked about anything other than Arden. So by now I can expect that you assume I hate Willow, and you aren't exactly wrong. Nozomi basically did the same thing except could you really call it the same thing? The answer is no. Nozomi focused more on getting the girl she wanted and when her wanting changed to someone else, her gaze was fixed on achieving that, achieving people like they were a prize. In her head, everyone was happy and her hurting others wasn't existent. As you can see, it took quite a few paragraphs to get my point across when it probably wasn't even necessary Now that we have the negative things out of the way, onto the positive ones. ✦ Pacing This was not only semi-fast paced but it had SHORT CHAPTERS. I mean, come on short chapters are the shit. I adore short chapters, as in 3-4 pages long, some were longer but I barely noticed. ✦ Diversity The main character, Nozomi, was Japanese and a lesbian. Arden was black. Dela was Japanese and Willow was Asian. My smol brain doesn't remember the sexualities of any of the characters except our main character's. ✦ Family (Most) of Nozomi's family were really supportive of her sexuality. Disclaimer: The following only applies to family and not any other individuals. I like how this talked about accepting people how they are. That doesn't mean ignore their mistakes but rather accept that we can't change their opinions and beliefs, no matter what they are. Don't get me wrong it sucks especially if it's something like homophobia but accepting it and not expecting a different them allows lack of disappointment. ✦ Characters I didn't hate the characters. (that's a first) They had their moments whether it be up or down. Learning about each one was fun, better yet this book was fun. ✦ Dela First off, look at Dela on the cover. The one with black jeans, a blue shirt and black jacket. Now go read the book and review her personality. I'm joking but actually maybe do read the book. Anyway, Dela appeared rude to the eye but her soft spot was so cute. UGH! We need more cinnamon rolls like her. Another thing I liked was how this book touched on the differences of wanting to be/be with someone and if that would make you happy. Do you think being with someone would be something that you would consider living your best life? To me, it's more of an individual thing, if you aren't happy by yourself how could you possibly be happy with others? 3.5/5

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

    A copy of this novel was provided for review. Love and Other Natural Disasters is a fake dating romantic comedy featuring a Japanese-American lesbian main character, Nozomi, who comes up with a “brilliant” plan to fake date a girl, all the while hoping that it will make said girl actually fall in love with her. As is the way with romantic comedies literally nothing goes to plan, and there are heartfelt and laugh out loud moments in spades. As soon as Nozomi meets Willow, she’s a little bit obsesse A copy of this novel was provided for review. Love and Other Natural Disasters is a fake dating romantic comedy featuring a Japanese-American lesbian main character, Nozomi, who comes up with a “brilliant” plan to fake date a girl, all the while hoping that it will make said girl actually fall in love with her. As is the way with romantic comedies literally nothing goes to plan, and there are heartfelt and laugh out loud moments in spades. As soon as Nozomi meets Willow, she’s a little bit obsessed with her. Willow is everything that Nozomi wants to be: pretty, popular, and confident. So while Nozomi does have a crush on Willow there’s also a huge part of that crush that’s centred in the “do I want to date them or be them” realm, and it takes a while for Nozomi to figure this out. I liked this inclusion because I think a lot of crushes are like this and yet I haven’t seen this side of them explored before! Even though a lot of Love and Other Natural Disasters is centred around Nozomi’s plan to make Willow fall in love with her there are a few serious elements included in the story. One of which centres around Nozomi’s grandmother, who is homophobic. For a long time she didn’t speak to her son, Nozomi’s uncle, because he was gay but has now decided she’ll talk to him but not accept him. This confuses Nozomi as she thinks that her uncle is settling for less than he deserves, and it also makes her wonder about coming out to her grandma. To make things more complicated, Nozomi’s grandma has dementia which is accelerating quickly. This makes Nozomi wonder if it would be worth coming out to her if she is only going to forget anyway. This part of the book is something I feel is incredibly important. For a while Nozomi feels like she isn’t being true to herself by not coming out to her grandma, that she is forcing herself back in the closet. But she also weighs up the options of coming out and losing her current relationship with grandma, or spending what little time they have left being the way they have always been. I’ve never seen this in a book before and yet it would be something that happens often – maybe not the dementia aspect but the internal conflict about coming out vs preservation of relationships. This decision isn’t easy, and Love and Other Natural Disasters in no way presents it that way. It is something no person should ever have to go through but unfortunately do. I’m glad that teens facing this same decision will see both sides reflected and validated in Love and Other Natural Disasters. On another note, I wish there had been more page time of Nozomi in her final relationship! I wanted more of that cuteness, and it would have made my heart happy to see the two of them being happy. But even so, I really liked the endgame relationship in Love and Other Natural Disasters, and feel like everything worked out the way it was supposed to for all the girls involved. All in all, Love and Other Natural Disasters is the perfect romantic comedy to read over the summer! It has all the ingredients of your fave rom-com movies, but so much better because it features a cast of queer girls of colour!! © 2021, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity . All rights reserved. trigger warning: romantic cheating, emotional manipulation, divorced parents, homophobic grandparent, grandparent with dementia, reference to death of mother (side character)

  29. 4 out of 5

    belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)

    actual rating: 2.5 stars rep: japanese-american lesbian MC, japanese-american lesbian LI, taiwanese-americas lesbian LI, black bi SC, japanese-american gay SC, filipino-american gay SC tw: homophobia, mention of parent's death after reading misa sugiura's books, i feel a little conflicted. like her previous book, it's not like it's a secret, i didn't like the speed that the main character fell in love with the love interest in love and other natural disasters. maybe because the instantaneous "i lov actual rating: 2.5 stars rep: japanese-american lesbian MC, japanese-american lesbian LI, taiwanese-americas lesbian LI, black bi SC, japanese-american gay SC, filipino-american gay SC tw: homophobia, mention of parent's death after reading misa sugiura's books, i feel a little conflicted. like her previous book, it's not like it's a secret, i didn't like the speed that the main character fell in love with the love interest in love and other natural disasters. maybe because the instantaneous "i love her, i need to get to know her, i want to be her girlfriend" was a bit too much. also, like the aforementioned book, willow doesn't have that same attraction towards nozomi. i don't expect her to like nozomi now but it felt reminiscent of it's not like it's a secret that this is repetitive. honestly, she's not someone who i will get along with and i can't stand willow at all. nozomi is so delusional?!!??!??!?!?!? OMGGG help. her head is always in the clouds, always daydreaming and not really looking at the truths right in front of her. i don't like that she's getting used so blatantly by willow as a rebound, and refused to even acknowledge it even when the thought does creep into her mind once in a while. whenever her brother advices her to "break" things off, nozomi never listens. the only people that i liked are max, nozomi's brother, and dela. okay, so, although i didn't like nozomi's character or the execution of the plot, i liked the realisation that nozomi had at the end. she understands that life and movies work differently and there are nuances to that. despite everything that's going on in her life, i'm glad that she finally gotten what she wanted with a girl who's compatible and real with her instead of someone who fits an ideal.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book ended up being super cute! I will say, I didn't really like the MC, Nozomi, for...a lot of the book. I thought she was making really stupid decisions and also that her "feelings" toward Willow were not real. It did turn around for me towards the end, though I wish her realizations had been a little more gradual. I liked the way this ended up! Content Warnings Moderate: Homophobia and Infidelity This book ended up being super cute! I will say, I didn't really like the MC, Nozomi, for...a lot of the book. I thought she was making really stupid decisions and also that her "feelings" toward Willow were not real. It did turn around for me towards the end, though I wish her realizations had been a little more gradual. I liked the way this ended up! Content Warnings Moderate: Homophobia and Infidelity

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