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I Love You So Mochi

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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 brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted f 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 brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted for college. 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 loses herself in Kyoto's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival--and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. 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.


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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 brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted f 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 brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she's been accepted for college. 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 loses herself in Kyoto's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival--and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. 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.

30 review for I Love You So Mochi

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I read this all in one sitting and it definitely was not a bad way to spend my afternoon! It was sugary sweet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    may ❀

    book #9 completed! for the reading rush ✓ i am Spent y'all. i need to sleep for the next two weeks to rest my eyes very cute, very wholesome, very precious

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz I Love You So Mochi has been flying around the Asian book blogger blogs. It caught my eye due to the title, based on a Japanese confectionery made from pounded rice and molded around a yummy filling. My favorite are ice cream mochi... I was dying to see how they were incorporated into the story. The Premise Kimi Nakamura has been practicing her art since she was a child at the knee of her wannabe artist mother. Lately though its taken a turn away from fine art and she's beenstory.TheWriter...The Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz I Love You So Mochi has been flying around the Asian book blogger blogs. It caught my eye due to the title, based on a Japanese confectionery made from pounded rice and molded around a yummy filling. My favorite are ice cream mochi... I was dying to see how they were incorporated into the story. The Premise Kimi Nakamura has been practicing her art since she was a child at the knee of her wannabe artist mother. Lately though its taken a turn away from fine art and she's been playing around with clothes and making her friends "feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves." This is such a true dilemma for a soon to be college student. All through college friends were going into fields they didn't enjoy because of a parent's expectations. And they didn't even know it!! I feel like I Love You So Mochi is for all of those high schoolers who are feeling uncertain about what they love to do and need answers. What made I Love You So Mochi step out into the limelight for me is the fact Kimi explored her feelings about college and career while visiting her estranged grandparents in Japan. There she meets a boy who points out the things he sees about her... And this helps her to see some truths about herself she's never realized before now. Getting a tourists eye view of Kyoto along with Kimi was super fun and a great way to incorporate her exploring her career choice. And Akira was so darling! Things aren't tied up perfectly but end on a satisfying note that will inspire other college bound students to honestly evaluate their future. My Experience What can I say? I sat down and read I Love You So Mochi in almost one sitting! I found Kimi's friendship and school life really made her stand out to me compared to other characters in similar circumstances. She has some of the best friends in Bex and Atsuko! She didn't treat them the best but also tried to understand what she was going through and embrace what they knew of events. I really fell in love with Kimi though when she got to Japan. She really didn't know what the customs were and hadn't had time to look them up and familiarize herself. This made her start there fun and different. It was natural conflict that made her experiences feel more real and the conflict with her grandmother more pronounced. I feel like this natural foreshadowing and story support within the writing of I Love You So Mochi to be quite strong and made the read so pleasurable. Even the conflict and resolution with Akira rang true. And the men in Kimi's life supported her so much! Her dad, grandpa and Akira's uncle all were so winningly fun and witty without taking the focus off the female relationships. They all felt like real people that I would run into on the street one day. All hallmarks of a great read for me, definitely a top winner for 2019! Why is I Love You So Mochi a Great College-Bound Read? - I love Kimi's relationships! Her girlfriends honestly were so fun! I love how she bonded with one friend because they both had Asian moms. Her grandparents were so touching! Honestly I loved her tongue in cheek grandpa but it was her grandmother who won my heart. And her realistic and loving mother-daughter relationship made me tear up. -I love seeing Kyoto! GAHHHHH all the fun places that she went, some with Akira, and some alone or with her grandparents. I felt like I was there and got to learn about some tourist things I would love to do if I visited Japan. -I love the fashion design! Kimi really has an eye for fashion and it reads like a Project Runway original. The dresses, the outfits, the designs. I loved them all and really was rooting for her to realize where her love lies. -I love her letters to mom! These were absolutely incredible. I wish they had commissioned drawings to represent the photos she sent along with her emails to her mother. To try to explain her passion for fashion! So inspiring to follow what you love. -I love the mochi date! I won't say more than this so as to tantalize you for what I mean but it includes mochi... and is the ultimate date at just the right time. It was fun and so sweetly epic! Cover & Title grade -> A+ I love the whimsical tone to the cover and title for a book that deals with a pretty huge deal in a teens life. The art is imperfect but so darling and perfect for Kimi and Akira's story. What else is there to say?! YOU NEED I Love You So Mochi ASAP!! Okay I will say this about I Love You So Mochi... there is A LOT to love in this sweet contemporary about a girl returning to her roots and finding her passion. There is a little love, friendship and family that mixes into the best filling for mochi!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 2.75 stars Full review here This book just wasn’t for me. I appreciated the descriptions of Kyoto and all that there is to see and do there. They were all very good. They were probably one of the things I liked most in this book, alongside the development of a deep relationship between Kimi and her grandparents. My main issue with this novel is that there isn’t really any conflict. The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 2.75 stars Full review here This book just wasn’t for me. I appreciated the descriptions of Kyoto and all that there is to see and do there. They were all very good. They were probably one of the things I liked most in this book, alongside the development of a deep relationship between Kimi and her grandparents. My main issue with this novel is that there isn’t really any conflict. Kimi goes to Japan to avoid her mother who seems disappointed because her daughter does not want to be a painter like her. Kimi’s passion is fashion and making clothes, we know that from the beginning. Yet somehow it takes Kimi basically the whole book to figure out that fashion is not a distraction, it can be a real plan for her future and also a job opportunity. That’s what got me on my nerves, the whole book is a journey toward something we know from page 1. The romantic aspect of this novel was just okay. Akira is a very sweet boy but I did not see a spark between him and Kimi. Their relationship didn’t work for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    ...finds romance with a med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. Lol, I'm here for it! Sounds like an adorable Asian drama plot.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    How cute is that cover???

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rec-It Rachel

    wow wow wow what a stunningly perfect contemporary and honestly exactly what i needed after a day of being sick

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars Her mother's dream was for Kimi to become the next great Asian American artist. The only problem was it was not HER dream. While standing at a crossroads in her life, Kimi received a plane ticket and an invitation to visit her estranged grandparents in Japan. She saw this as the perfect escape from her mother's crushing disappointment, but it was exactly what she needed to find her passion. I swear, I didn't stop grinning for hours after reading this book. I simply loved everything about it. Kimi was fan Rating: 4.5 Stars Her mother's dream was for Kimi to become the next great Asian American artist. The only problem was it was not HER dream. While standing at a crossroads in her life, Kimi received a plane ticket and an invitation to visit her estranged grandparents in Japan. She saw this as the perfect escape from her mother's crushing disappointment, but it was exactly what she needed to find her passion. I swear, I didn't stop grinning for hours after reading this book. I simply loved everything about it. Kimi was fantastic! She was charming, smart, funny, and talented, oh so, talented. I loved her passion for fashion, and her zeal for discovering new things. Akira was terribly sweet. I was delighted by all his nerdy suaveness, his ambitions, his authenticity, and his love for his family. I was so happy that this life-sized mochi danced his way into Kimi's life, because he absolutely made her time in Japan really special. Kimi's family played a big role in her journey as well. Her relationship with her mother was complicated. As a matter of fact, there were three generations of women working through their complicated feelings for each other, but underneath it all, you knew there was love. The relationship that developed between Kimi and her grandmother was beautiful, and a step in the right direction for her grandmother to begin mending the bridge between herself and her own daughter. Then, there were the letters Kimi wrote to her mother. They were beyond wonderful, and it was really lovely how Kimi uncovered so many truths about her mother as she was trying to figure herself out. Lots of sweet and touching moments here, folks. I must mention, that her dad and grandfather were also too precious for words. The romance was like biting into mochi - soft and gooey and so sweet on the inside. I adored Kimi and Akira together, and I wish I had a jump ahead to see what their future held. Japan and Japanese culture were featured prominently by Kuhn, and I inhaled every site, morsel, and bit of information she sent my way. The places she chose to have us visit were all so wonderful, and they weren't simply backdrops to the action, but rather, Kuhn incorporated them well into the story. And, as for the food, my mouth watered continuously. Bless you, Kimi, and your hearty appetite. You know I am trying to find some sweet potato Kit Kats now too. Overall: I had an incredible time with Kimi on her journey to finding her passion. It was filled with so many new discoveries, new experiences, and lots of love. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 4 out of 5

    chloe ♡

    oh my god i loved this so mochi. review to come! update: i loved this book so mochi. before i start talking about the story, let’s just take a moment and appreciate the fluffiest piece of art that is the cover of this book. also, the title is so punny and adorable, which adds to the cuteness even more. one of my favorite things about the book is that it’s set in kyoto, a part of japan that almost never appears in ya novels. it’s underrated, really – with its beautiful shrines and cherry blossoms, kyoto is one of the most beautiful plac oh my god i loved this so mochi. review to come! update: i loved this book so mochi. before i start talking about the story, let’s just take a moment and appreciate the fluffiest piece of art that is the cover of this book. also, the title is so punny and adorable, which adds to the cuteness even more. one of my favorite things about the book is that it’s set in kyoto, a part of japan that almost never appears in ya novels. it’s underrated, really – with its beautiful shrines and cherry blossoms, kyoto is one of the most beautiful places in the world. in this book, we meet kimi, who was an aspiring artist until she finds out that she has lost all motivation for something she has been doing for her entire life – painting. on the other hand, akira, a japanese boy whose uncle runs a mochi shop, has always known what he wants to be – a doctor. my love of fun is complicated by parental expectations and a burning need to not disappoint anyone. kimi always feels frustrated with what she and her friends call asian mom math. being pressured by her mom, she grew up believing that art is the thing she loves most. this happens for me too – my parents and i have very different expectations for myself, and sometimes it can be quite difficult to satisfy both. akira, on the other hand, is encouraged to pursue his dreams. the only person stopping him from doing so is himself. he helps his uncle with his mochi shop, and with the rent being raised, he believes that it is his responsibility to work hard for the shop and to give up his med school dreams to keep it going. i really like how kimi and akira are always there for each other on every step of their self discovery journey. akira makes it his mission to help kimi find out her goals in life, while kimi motivates akira to chase after his passion. and that slow burn romance. can someone please buy me an airplane ticket so i can fly to japan and find a boy who gives me mochis when we go on dates? akira is the sweetest, most precious character in the universe. i think i have a new book boyfriend.(●´∀`)ノ♡ the romance is beautiful, and so is kimi’s relationship with her family and friends. kimi has never met her estranged maternal grandparents from japan before, and i really liked seeing how they eventually warm up to her. as for her parents, it’s clear that they want the best for her, but don’t know how to express it (in other words, asian mom math). i loved kimi’s emails to her mom – they are so honest, and full of raw emotion, and i tore up a bit at the very end (not going into detail here, i don’t want to spoil it for you!) and kimi’s friends are the best. they don’t even get mad when kimi suddenly abandons them and their spring break plans for a spontaneous trip to japan, and are supportive of every decision kimi makes. we need more friendships like this in ya novels! i love you so mochi is an adorable, sweet and heartwarming novel about love and family. i loved it so much, and i’m sure you would too! read this on my blog: https://marshmallowpudding.home.blog/...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rodoreads

    I'm soft, giddy and grinning like an idiot. What a cute book. Starting from the title, to the cover, to the story! So adorable. Sometimes reality intrudes on what we want. That’s just the way it is. Kimi had her life perfectly planned. Or you can say her mother did. She just wanted her mom to be happy and pretty much followed everything she said to see her smile. Until she couldn't anymore. Until she just became a blank canvas with no idea where to start. Dropping out of art classes without le I'm soft, giddy and grinning like an idiot. What a cute book. Starting from the title, to the cover, to the story! So adorable. Sometimes reality intrudes on what we want. That’s just the way it is. Kimi had her life perfectly planned. Or you can say her mother did. She just wanted her mom to be happy and pretty much followed everything she said to see her smile. Until she couldn't anymore. Until she just became a blank canvas with no idea where to start. Dropping out of art classes without letting her mom know made her face the Asian mother wrath (boy, I know how it is). Meanwhile Kimi gets a ticket to visit her grandparents in Japan, whom she never met. Needing a break from all these she decides to leave and that's when the magic starts. I want you to remember that you are boundless Kimi meets Akira. A boy who has his future planned. To be a doctor. Because he wants to. And it, itself was amazing for Kimi because she's so lost in what she wants to do in life. I loved both of them. A lot. The romance is so pure and there were heartbreaking parts too. Akira is perfect. He's my new book boyfriend 😭 getchu a boy who buys you mochi everytime he meets you. The family dynamics was amazing. You can see the insides and bitterness but so much love for eachother. Kimi's development and her trying to find her passion. Everything was put together in such a comprehensive way. Japan's description, food, clothing and so much more made me want to teleport right there, right now. 😭 Such a beautiful story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    This is the sweetest and softest and I loved every minute of it. There is so much heart and love in basically every page. I loved the descriptions of Japan and Kimi’s clothes and the family dynamics and AKIRA. Our world is really harsh right now and it was so, so nice to have something so hopefully and kind and soft.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)

    Maybe 3.5 stars. This was really sweet!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate ☀️ Olson

    (free review copy) SO SWEET!!! And inspiring. The setting, the story, the romance, the food, the friends, the family dynamics - ALL OF IT.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    oh my actual goodness, I NEED THIS. My Japanese student heart needs it. ALSO: “a med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot.” I’m SO SO DOWN for this like you cannot believe

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hanis

    4.3/5 stars. Can we just appreciate the cover for a second? That’s one awesomely beautiful cover and I’m not gonna lie, the book cover attracted me first. And luckily, when I read the synopsis I was interested and intrigued. This reader right here definitely didn’t regret picking this up. The story began with Kimi who went to Japan to get some brief vision of what she aspired to do in her life, as she couldn’t handle the very thing her mother wanted her to do – drawing wasn’t fully he 4.3/5 stars. Can we just appreciate the cover for a second? That’s one awesomely beautiful cover and I’m not gonna lie, the book cover attracted me first. And luckily, when I read the synopsis I was interested and intrigued. This reader right here definitely didn’t regret picking this up. The story began with Kimi who went to Japan to get some brief vision of what she aspired to do in her life, as she couldn’t handle the very thing her mother wanted her to do – drawing wasn’t fully her passion, and she couldn’t discover the passion that had driven her mood every day. I definitely loved how this book brought me to Japan indirectly and learned more about the food, the culture, etc. I would love to say that this book didn’t only focus on giving Kimi’s dream some exposure and her love story with the Japanese boy, Akira – who was a precious mochi to me – but some other aspects that I find vital in not exacerbating the story and leading it towards boredom. I extremely loved the family relationships in this book and their very own back stories. The friendship in this book was super strong, I adored how they were there for each other through thick and thin. This wasn’t exactly a light read, but the plot could be easily grasped and definitely expressed the story well. However, I wish the author could expand the plot a little bit by inserting some other conflicts. There were some conflicts that I found a bit cliché as almost all books have them now. Nonetheless, I didn’t really have much problematic issues with the plot and definitely loved it! The attention in making the characters in this book perfect was meticulously impressive. I adored Kimi and Akira with all my heart – they were perfect together and I could accept their adorableness. Both of them had different visions in life and held on to different characteristics of their own. The differences attracted them well. I loved, LOVED Kimi’s family especially her grandparents. Her friends were adorable as well, and I loved to have supportive friends like them. Regardless of all this, I personally wish the characters had more character growths. I was a bit irritated when Kimi couldn’t realize what her passion in life was – it was in front of you, girl! This is what I’m talking about character growth. I was comfortable with the author’s writing style – wasn’t exactly simple but wasn’t complicated, either. Her writing style definitely gave the Japanese vibes and spread the can’t-help-but-fall-for-it cuteness throughout the story. I would sincerely love to read more books from this author in the future! Overall, I Love You So Mochi was a delightful read that could form a broad smile on your face. I was soft reading this and highly grateful that I enjoyed it wonderfully. My final rating for this book is 4.3 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Super cute book about finding your passion, and your family! I loved how Kimi connects to her roots, and strengthens the bonds of those currently in her life. I loved the descriptions of the food, and the passion she has for all things cute and colorful! I do wish there had been pictures, sketches of her fashions because I couldn't imagine some of them!

  17. 4 out of 5

    oliversromeo

    super juvenile and cringey at times, and the plot was pretty insta lovey but it was still fun and cute and fluffy. although, i wish akira had more character depth and personality as he was kinda lame.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is probs like 2.5 stars from me *I feel like this entire review has spoiler-y content, so if you don't want to know anything besides how I felt, here you go: Not-believable romance, weird parental expectation that didn't seem believable, super fun fashion design mc swoon-worthy descriptions of Kyoto and very cute grandparent relationship scenes. * I'm kind of sad I couldn't get behind the main conflict in this book. There were so many precious scenes that re This is probs like 2.5 stars from me *I feel like this entire review has spoiler-y content, so if you don't want to know anything besides how I felt, here you go: Not-believable romance, weird parental expectation that didn't seem believable, super fun fashion design mc swoon-worthy descriptions of Kyoto and very cute grandparent relationship scenes. * I'm kind of sad I couldn't get behind the main conflict in this book. There were so many precious scenes that really hit me, but they were all twinged with my disbelief for basically the entire plot. Alright so Kimi has been painting her entire life. When she finally gets into this prestigious art school and must create her final amazing painting that will encompass her as an ~artiste~, she can't. Her mom is super excited for her to follow *her dreams* and follow in her footsteps as a painter. Instead of painting her super important piece of art, she's been "messing around" and sketching some super bad ass outfit sketches and created her own garments out of scraps of clothes and other material that sparks her creativity. When Kimi's parents find out she hasn't actually started her painting and she maybe dropped her advanced art class, shit hits the fan. How could she throw away this oppourtunity!! This is all she's ever dreamed of!! (Just like me your mom who is also an artist!!) Her mom says she needs to stop "distracting herself" with drawing and making clothes and think about her career as an artist. That messing around making clothes won't help her get a job in the future. -- ok. This is the first place this story lost me. This entire internal conflict of Kimi deciding she no longers wants to be a painter (did she actually ever want it?) and "not knowing what she wants to do with her life" (hellloooo maybe the thing you're obsessed with and actually good at? i.e. fashion design) just doesn't make sense to me. For some reason in my mind the idea that her mom would be so rigid about what kind of artist she wants her daughter to be just doesn't seem realistic? Because both of those professions are considered artists. Just different mediums. And throughout the entire book she's trying to "find herself" in Japan and figure out what she really wants to do, but her passion of clothes-making is almost never seen as an option. She even goes to her grandma's friend's clothing store full of clothes she's created herself and she still doesn't admit that its a viable job option. like?????? I get there's some self denial in there, but it really didn't make sense to me. *spoilers for the end* eventually when she gets back home her mom realizes she was being freaking annoying and that her dream of being a fashion designer is just as valid as her dream of being a painter. like duh??? idk. I feel like this narrative would make more sense if the initial job was more of a stable/boring job and not just a different sect of artist. It doesn't hole the same amount of parental expectation or something? I'm not sure. *romance spoilers* lol they told e/o they were in love after ....... 2 weeks. There was basically zero conflict in this "love story" and whatever there was, was taken care of in 1-2 days. and I get that this is a short timeline so things kind of have to move that quickly, but... it didn't feel genuine to me. I wanted more struggle!!! More tension!!! I'm actually so sad that I couldn't get behind the legit two main plots in this story lol. There were so many cute moments and scenes!! Her learning more about her grandparents and building a relationship with them? GOLD! The letters she wrote to her mom about how she began falling in love with clothing design? BEAUTIFUL! The descriptions while she roamed around the city? SO FUN! (I will say I'm a little sus about how easily they traveled around - esp to Nara- , but that was never really addressed so I'm just gonna ignore it.) *Thank you to Edelweiss and Scholastic for this review copy!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaja (red panda) *:・゚✧

    THIS IS LIKE THE CUTEST TITLE EVER??? Also the synopsis sounds like everything I've ever wanted. UPDATE: IT'S PREORDERABLE ON AMAZON! Releases May 28th 2019!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sachi Argabright

    I LOVE YOU SO MOCHI tells the story of Kimi Nakamura, a Japanese American high schooler who is passionate about designing clothes despite her mother’s disapproval. After an explosive fight with her mother, Kimi receives a letter and plane ticket from her mysterious Japanese grandparents and takes them up on their offer to visit over Spring Break. After meeting and staying with her grandparents for the first time, Kimi is learns more about her family and also discovers a lot about herself along t I LOVE YOU SO MOCHI tells the story of Kimi Nakamura, a Japanese American high schooler who is passionate about designing clothes despite her mother’s disapproval. After an explosive fight with her mother, Kimi receives a letter and plane ticket from her mysterious Japanese grandparents and takes them up on their offer to visit over Spring Break. After meeting and staying with her grandparents for the first time, Kimi is learns more about her family and also discovers a lot about herself along the way. I was so excited for this release, and really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, this book didn’t work for me. I loved Kimi’s grandparents and the descriptions of Japanese food in this book are amazing, but otherwise I didn’t find this story to be very realistic. The biggest thing for me was that everyone Kimi meets in Japan speaks English. This might be my own narrow view, but in the three times I’ve been to Japan, I’m always overwhelmed by only hearing Japanese and not hearing any English. Kimi, like me, doesn’t speak Japanese and she has no problem getting off the plane and navigating the airport, the complex train system, or even ordering street food without the aid of a native speaker. I would understand it a little more if this wasn’t her first trip to Japan, or if Kimi was an extremely confident, problem solving teen. But she’s portrayed in the book as an anxious teenager that would rather dream up fantasies rather than take risks and experience life in reality. Once she meets up with her grandparents (who’s fluency in English wasn’t explained until halfway through the book) she also meets a boy who conveniently knows how to speak English, and even multiple bystanders speak to her in English as well. I’m sorry, but I’ve never had some random person speak English to me in Japan. Maybe hello or something, but not conversational English. Even when we asked a police officer (who is trained to speak English in case of emergencies with tourists) for directions his English wasn’t as good as the English speakers in this novel. I also thought the “fight” that Kimi and her love interest have was a little unbelievable and unnecessary. The way they make up is a little cliche, too. I liked the self discovery arc that Kimi goes on, but the outcome was obvious to me and I wasn’t sure what took Kimi so long to get there. Overall, this is a sweet book with a heartwarming ending, but I felt underwhelmed and a little irritated throughout the book. *A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    OH this is CUTE CUTE

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

    This was absolutely adorable. I Love You So Mochi is about a girl visiting her grandparent's in Japan for the first time and trying to figure out what exactly her passion is. She also meets a very cute guy who works as a mochi mascot for his uncle's mochi stand and they develop a romance. I basically loved everything about this book, except for the main plot of finding one's passion. It was pretty clear from page one what exactly Kimi's passion is and the fact that it takes This was absolutely adorable. I Love You So Mochi is about a girl visiting her grandparent's in Japan for the first time and trying to figure out what exactly her passion is. She also meets a very cute guy who works as a mochi mascot for his uncle's mochi stand and they develop a romance. I basically loved everything about this book, except for the main plot of finding one's passion. It was pretty clear from page one what exactly Kimi's passion is and the fact that it takes her the entire book to figure it out herself was kind of frustrating. It would've been so much more interesting if she actually didn't have a passion and she spend her time in Japan finding something new she loved and actually discovering herself. Finding out what makes her happy, instead of already knowing but just not connecting the dots yet. The things I loved most about the book were the family relationships and the romance. I loved reading about Kimi and Akira going on adorable dates, him showing her around Kyoto and just, the way they interacted with each other! So cute! As for the family relationships, the relationship between Kimi's mother and her grandparents is very strained, and now that Kimi has chosen to go on another path than the one her mom wants her to go on their relationship isn't amazing either. Throughout the book Kimi gets to know her grandparents better (I absolutely loved them both, btw!) and learns more about her history, and therefore gets to know her mother better as well. And I loved being able to go on that journey with her.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Knobby

    I'll be honest... I didn't finish this. But not because it was bad! I thought it was adorable. Kimi (btw that's my name too), a Japanese-American with a first-generation Japanese immigrant mom (that's mine too) and a fourth-generation Japanese-American dad, is worried about her creative future. See, her mom, a successful painter, found out that Kimi dropped art and is instead passionate about designing clothes. During spring break, Kimi goes to Kyoto, Japan to visit with her mom's par I'll be honest... I didn't finish this. But not because it was bad! I thought it was adorable. Kimi (btw that's my name too), a Japanese-American with a first-generation Japanese immigrant mom (that's mine too) and a fourth-generation Japanese-American dad, is worried about her creative future. See, her mom, a successful painter, found out that Kimi dropped art and is instead passionate about designing clothes. During spring break, Kimi goes to Kyoto, Japan to visit with her mom's parents, try to glean some sort of creative epiphany, and also meets a cute boy. The story is nothing new — everyone likes a good "artist struggling to find her voice" story intertwined with "teenager reuniting with her parents' culture" story along with a "cute boy to help her find her way" story — it's just that all the little touches that made this book unique were explorations of Japan and its cultures, and there was nothing new for me. I lost interest at the very minutiae that is supposed to catch and hold the reader's attention. For people who haven't been to Japan before, or someone who's only visited, I could see this book as fascinating and endearing. For me, though, I partially grew up there and it just felt too redundant. Again, I thought this was super cute! There was so much going for it that made me appreciate it. Like, Kimi's grandparents were interned during WWII and that was mentioned — thank you for talking about that! I rarely see this discussed in mainstream books (I studied it in school so I've seen them in many texts but not in anything that gets wide release, really). I liked how Kimi's mom is pressuring her to be an artist, and not, like, a lawyer. I loved how Kimi's friend Bex publicly asks a girl out at school, during daylight hours — growing up, even in a very tolerant city and school, I didn't ever see that and the casual insertion of it here made me so happy for Gen Z. Stuff like that. But I lost steam with it. So I feel like it was setting itself up to be a super cute read for people without really close ties to Japan, probably around the 4-star mark. It's just, if I don't finish a book, I don't know if I can accurately rate it... and I just want to move on to the next one in my queue. So no rating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Cute love story! Perfect summer read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I'll be honest, the only reason why I picked up this book was because of the cute cover and because I wanted to read something that happens in Japan, also the title is really cute so who am I to say no? Buuut, it was...ok? Like...even since page 1 we know what Kimi wants to do and how it'll end, and the romance didn't worked that well for me, it was just ok to read? I also think something was missing, like the only conflict Kimi had in her trip was so minor that perhaps wasn't even that good to I'll be honest, the only reason why I picked up this book was because of the cute cover and because I wanted to read something that happens in Japan, also the title is really cute so who am I to say no? Buuut, it was...ok? Like...even since page 1 we know what Kimi wants to do and how it'll end, and the romance didn't worked that well for me, it was just ok to read? I also think something was missing, like the only conflict Kimi had in her trip was so minor that perhaps wasn't even that good to be in the book? I liked how the relationship with her grandparents was but perhaps I'd preffered to read more and get into that relationship? Grandparents are amazing and they can give you many more stories and I think the author could have focused a little bit more into that relationship. But well, in general it was a nice book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    Holy mochi mochi. 'I Love You So Mochi' is, without a doubt, one of the cutest books I've ever read. If a book could be a yogurt dessert filled with candy and compressed into one giant actual mochi that you could just bounce on like jelly and have a swim inside it, that wouldn't even come close to the sweet, gorgeous, digestible and adorable YUM that is 'I Love You So Mochi'. I could hug and squeeze it all day. 'I Love You So Mochi' is about the Japanese American Holy mochi mochi. 'I Love You So Mochi' is, without a doubt, one of the cutest books I've ever read. If a book could be a yogurt dessert filled with candy and compressed into one giant actual mochi that you could just bounce on like jelly and have a swim inside it, that wouldn't even come close to the sweet, gorgeous, digestible and adorable YUM that is 'I Love You So Mochi'. I could hug and squeeze it all day. 'I Love You So Mochi' is about the Japanese American teen Kimi Nakamura, as she tries to navigate what her purpose in life is and where her passion lies, defying the expectations of others, just like any teenager getting close to college age. Her artist mother, who defied her own parents' expectations and sacrificed everything for her passion, for living in the States, and for Kimi, thought that her daughter would be a painter like her. But as it turns out, that is not Kimi's passion. This revelation is sudden, and it practically breaks Kimi's mother's heart. So, at a surprise letter of invitation from her maternal grandparents to stay with them in Japan, Kyoto for spring break, Kimi takes the opportunity, partly to find out more about herself and receive inspiration, and partly to get away from her mum's heartbroken eyes for a while. So much beauty and culture she finds in Kyoto too! And a cute boy in a big mochi costume in front of a mochi stand. Kimi loves fashion and designing and making clothes - she loves colourful and "clashing" tones and styles - but that has always merely been a hobby, not a career choice. But it is clearly her passion, and in Japan, with guidance from her mochi boy, Akira, and from her grandparents who are warming up to her, she will come to embrace all the colours and textures that surround her every day. So mochi inspiration will move her to tears; move her deep in her soul. Along her artistic journey, Kimi will try to make it up to her mum by emailing her about her "Kimi Originals", the evolution of her clothing designs (not the least of which is a candy wrapper dress made for her friend Bex). It is Kimi's Super Important Quest of Self-Discovery. And it is fabulous. And delicious. This book does not sell on cuteness alone. It is a "be yourself" and "follow your dreams and passions" kind of story without being patronizing, shallow and unrealistic, yet it's still positive and uplifting. It shows how important art is. It is for all creative types - I wish I had read something like it when I was younger. It is also a Japan and Kyoto tourist guide. I had been to Japan recently, and had even been to some of the sites that Kimi and Akira go to. It brought back beautiful memories and insights, such as the shrines, like Fushimi Inari Taisha, and oh, the deer in Nara! And the cats! I want to go back to Japan more than ever! To try new things and further appreciate it. The couple of mochi lovers even go to a pug cafe! It is one of the cutest things I've ever read about. Japan is truly is one of the most fascinating and breathtaking places in the world; no surprises that Kimi falls in love with it. Kimi as a main character is as sweet, adorable and wide-eyed as her story. She's not the brightest goldfish in the pond, and indeed it is a little annoying that she hasn't figured out her passion for fashion sooner (though to be fair she's had her mother's painting expectations pressured on her), but when her passion shines, she shines. She's funny, naive and lovely, and does grow braver and surer of herself in her time in Japan. Not content with only fantasizing that something might happen to her - she has to go out there and do it. How I related to her. Kimi discovers what is inside herself, as well as her family's history. At least it is never said that Kimi is supposed to be super smart; one thing worse than an idiot protagonist is an idiot protagonist who we keep getting told is really clever and a prodigy, when they have the common sense of a weed given to a pheasant. This is sadly all-too common in YA. Eccentric tastes Kimi also has two equally exuberant besties, Atsuko and Bex (wow, this is two books I read in a row with a character named Bex, who is the protag in 'Going Off Script'). Atsuko is an advice columnist versed in the ways of luuurve and firing squads (partly joking... one hopes), and Bex is loud and proud; a dark-skinned queer girl who's into kittens and unicorns and hyperbole. It is Kimi's candy wrapper dress that gets Bex a girlfriend, Shelby. The girls' Skype conversations - between Kimi in Japan and Atsuko and Bex in America - are some of my favourite parts in the book. They're such wonderful and supportive friends and their dialogue is hilarious. I cared more about the friendship love than I did the romantic love. Akira is a good guy - capricious, super helpful, cheeky, nice, slightly snarky, and torn between his dream of becoming a doctor and supporting his family by working at his uncle's mochi stand. The handsome piece of mochi is huggable. He can be adorably romantic when he wants to. Still, I find the girl friends relationship in Kimi's life to be more interesting, that's all. Though the romance grew on me; inevitable since Kimi spends the majority of the book hanging out with Akira, in a possibly short-lived relationship as she is in Japan for only two weeks. Well, their teenage love starts because of a tanuki, not just mochi. That's something. I love the complicated yet assuredly loving relationship Kimi has with her mother. Ms. Nakamura is not exactly a typical Asian Tiger Mother (one of the reasons why I couldn't get past the first chapter of 'American Panda' is because the mother there is so horrible it hurts). As a Japanese artist living in the US, and whose work is being set up for a gallery, no doubt Ms. Nakamura is under a lot of pressure and high expectations of her own, and constant scrutiny. She has a strained, now almost-nonexistent connection with her parents in Kyoto, who had wanted her to take over the family farm. Kimi's grandparents, who she had never met before, grow to love having her around. The task is harder for her grandmother (her grandfather, her Ojiisan, is a sweetheart from the start). Obaasan is distant - Kimi reminds her of her overseas daughter - but it is soon discovered that she too loves sewing and designing clothes, and the two begin bonding and shopping together. The granddaughter could help in bridging the estrangement between her grandparents and her mother. Obaasan and Ojiisan also share a sweet history together, and they are a lovely couple, mirroring Kimi and Akira, and Kimi's star-crossed parents (but they're not tragic, they still adore each other). Love is represented in all of its forms in 'I Love You So Mochi'. Another great appreciation is the mention of the Japanese American interment camps in World War II, in one of Kimi's emails to her mother, when talking about the death of her paternal grandmother. Kimi's paternal great-grandparents had gone through the internment, and it is remarked as the travesty that it is; one that should not be repeated. For an otherwise lighthearted YA book, 'I Love You So Mochi' doesn't ignore elements of racism and classism that Asian people face in America, and even the tensity and barriers between the Japanese and Japanese Americans. Props for restraint in mentioning anime only once! Extra cute factoid: Kimi's mum has a childhood stuffed piggy called Meiko. Overall, if 'I Love You So Mochi' doesn't make you want to go to Japan, and eat mochi, noodles and ramen, and look up Japanese dresses online - or any pretty dresses - then you might not be human. Every "Kimi Original" is a delight: I wish for illustrations! Plus recipes for different kinds of mochi. Beautiful, hilarious, educational, inspiring, hopeful, and so, SO cute, the book warms my heart, fires my brain, and sweetens my mouth. You gotta try this mochi. Final Score: 5/5 P.S. Oh, Happy 550th Review for me, too! Perfect for such a passionate book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary H

    OH MY GOSH this book sounds adorable and perfect!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Many thanks to Scholastic for giving me a free ARC at Yallwest I don't even have the words to describe the absolute cuteness overload that was this book!!! I mean, first of all, just look at that gorgeous cover! With the cherry blossoms, and the drawn characters, and the adorable handwritten look of the cover...I just knew that I would be in for a treat, and I absolutely was! I Love You So Mochi is about Kimi, a second generation Japanese-American teenager, who goes to Japan and meets Many thanks to Scholastic for giving me a free ARC at Yallwest I don't even have the words to describe the absolute cuteness overload that was this book!!! I mean, first of all, just look at that gorgeous cover! With the cherry blossoms, and the drawn characters, and the adorable handwritten look of the cover...I just knew that I would be in for a treat, and I absolutely was! I Love You So Mochi is about Kimi, a second generation Japanese-American teenager, who goes to Japan and meets her Japanese grandparents for the first time in her life during her senior year of high school, and goes through a period of self exploration and discovery along the way, trying to determine what exactly she wants to do with her life. The premise was so wonderfully cute, yet relatable, and I just adored every inch of this book! Kimi is such a wonderful character to read about. She's spent her entire life trying to please her parents, especially her mother who wants her to go to a prestigious art school and become an artist. (This also brings up the equations of "Asian Mom Math" which had me cackling lol). Meanwhile, she doesn't really know what she wants to do, except that she's quit art lessons and loves fashion and experimenting with clothes. Reading about her struggle with her parents' expectations and her own desires, and her just feeling overall lost and confused and unsure of what exactly she wants to do with her life felt so personal and relatable to me, a senior in high school who is also trying to figure out just what to do with my life. I love how Kimi's passion for fashion really shone through in this book. It was so clear how much she loved it, loved her work, and also the descriptions of her pieces, such as a piece of candy wrappers, paper notes, or a re purposed skating dress, were so clear and unique and I could absolutely picture them in my mind and see how much she loved them. We really get to see Kimi's fun, caring, and so complicated yet wonderful personality shining through her art pieces. The setting was an absolute favorite part of this. Japan! Kyoto! From descriptions of street vendors (like mochi vendors!!), to walks through beautiful parks, to beautiful cherry blossoms, the setting was so amazing to read about and I really felt that I was there, in Japan. This book, and Kimi, is also certainly Japanese-American (Kimi's mom is first generation and her dad is fourth generation), as there are descriptions of growing up Asian in America, and even talk of the Japanese internment camps from WWII. Furthermore, since Kimi is American and has never been to Japan before, we really got to see her experience her culture for the first time, take it in with fresh eyes. We got to see her blundering around, not understanding parts of the language and culture, and trying to figure it out. Trying especially to figure out how she can look like everyone there, much more so than she did in America, yet still seem and act so completely out of place. This was so incredibly relatable to me, and I sometimes felt like Kimi's journey was an exact mirror of my own recent trip to Asian for the first time in ten years where I had to discover everything new. Of course, would it be one of my reviews if I didn't have a paragraph dedicated to the food? Especially in a book with the word "mochi" in the title? Right from the first chapter there are absolutely mouth watering descriptions of mochi, sweet and chewy with a delicious treat in the middle, matcha and strawberry and all sorts of flavors, and I was here for it!! Kimi even gets to help make mochi at a street vendor's stall and it was just so much fun (and also super delicious) to read about! One especially wonderful thing about this book was the strong family themes. Kimi goes to Japan initially to escape her mother's wrath when she fails to please her tiger mom, and there she meets her grandparents for the first time who have become estranged from her mom because her mom failed to live up to their expectations. We get to see Kimi meet and get to know her grandparents, and also learn about her mom's past with them, and overall see the importance of family. 4.5 stars

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kitkat

    I loved this book. I'm happy I took a longer time reading this book because I enjoyed every morsel of the characters and plot. I completely understand the character Kimi. I understand how parents sacrifice a lot for their kids however they just want what's best for them. This book will be in my heart for a very long time because it reminds me of my greatest trip going to Japan. I have to say this book is one of my favorites.

  30. 5 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    3.5 stars read on my blog **I received an ARC from Miss Print's ARC Adoption Program.** I Love You So Mochi was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2019! I adored Sarah Kuhn's Heroine Worship series (definitely recommend!), so I was so excited for her young-adult debut. This book was the cute, soft romance that I didn't know I needed. I loved the ma 3.5 stars read on my blog **I received an ARC from Miss Print's ARC Adoption Program.** I Love You So Mochi was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2019! I adored Sarah Kuhn's Heroine Worship series (definitely recommend!), so I was so excited for her young-adult debut. This book was the cute, soft romance that I didn't know I needed. I loved the main character, Kimi. She's such a go-getter; she knows what she wants and she does what she can to accomplish it. Her love of fashion and designing clothes is so unique, and the descriptions of her clothes really added a touch of creativity to the book. Her friends are so supportive! They help her with every step of her journey, whether it's with coping with her mother's anger or giving advice about her crush on Akira. They're definitely highlights of the book, and I would totally read spin-offs with them! Possibly my favorite part of I Love You So Mochi was the familial relationships. Kimi's estranged from her grandparents because they disagreed with her mother's decisions, but when she accepts their invitation to visit them in Japan, she really gets to form a closer bond with them. I also liked seeing her normally-great relationship with her mom that grows strained when Kimi doesn't want to pursue the path she wants her to. That's definitely such an Asian parent and child relationship, especially with diasporic, generational differences, tbh. It was nice being in a non-Western setting! This book definitely captured the "Asian American in their heritage country"/diaspora feels; Kimi doesn't know a lot of the customs and differences in Japan, which would definitely be true for me if I went to Vietnam. I always relate so much to diaspora books, which is probably why I read so many. The romance was super cute! I did think it was a little fast-paced, but the book was short, so. Also, I liked that Akira helped Kimi grow and realize what path she wants to take. Overall, their scenes were so heartwarming. I Love You So Mochi is such a cute, sweet read. Full of clothing imagery that will make you jealous and food descriptions that will make you hungry, this is a book you didn't know you needed. Read this magical, heartwarming novel on May 28! original review: this was cute!!

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