Love & Other Natural Disasters (Hardcover)

A Staff Favorite!

This is a rom-com based on rom-coms, with deeper feelings of grief and identity. But there is FAKE DATING, which is one of my favorite romance tropes. This is so sweet and lovely, and I just wanted to hug Nozomi and tell her that life isn’t a rom-com, it’s so much better, but of course, she has to figure it out for herself. Nozomi is a queer teen who goes with her brother to spend the summer in San Francisco and she’s going to work at the museum where her gay uncle (whom she’s staying with) is a curator. Nozomi and her brother are also going to spend time with their grandmother, Baba, who is starting to decline into dementia, and also has a history of being homophobic. Nozomi hasn’t come out to her, and this is a consistent struggle and question throughout the book. Add into the mix, Nozomi and Max’s parents are in the middle of a messy divorce and Nozomi just has a lot of feelings, rightfully so, about EVERYTHING, including her relationship with her mom. To top it all off, Nozomi is dealing with some self-esteem issues, after being likened to beige wallpaper by her crush at a party. She heads into the summer hoping to re-style herself and find her perfect girlfriend. She falls quickly for Willow, the gift shop girl, who is still hung up on her own ex, and quickly agrees to help Willow win her ex back in a fake dating scheme, that goes deeper as she is trying to win Willow’s heart for herself. All of this is complicated by Dela, an art student, and daughter of another curator, who happens to be both installing an exhibit she created, and dating Willow’s ex. The hijinks these young women get up to is both hilarious, cringey, and a little heartbreaking, but the whole time you’re rooting for Nozomi to get the girl (which one?!), and find the confidence to be herself and also to think about and trust in others. I just love this book, okay?

Reviewed by: Tildy

Zomi wants to star in her own rom com but learns that life really isn't a movie set. She's a teen with insecurities about her looks and has a crush on a beautiful girl. Zomi and her crush, fake date to make the crush's ex jealous. The ex is dating Zomi's nemesis and Zomi's plan is that the crush will fall for her so everyone will be happy. Meanwhile, Zomi is also struggling with the fallout of her parents' divorce, as well as her beloved grandmother's homophobia and dementia. Besides the engaging plot and characters, it's just refreshing to read queer characters living and not about queer pain and suffering. Zomi's realization that life isn't a movie and how she the complexities of what love is, gives this book the emotional heft that will resound with readers.

Reviewed by: Audrey H.

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On Our Shelves Now
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This delightfully disastrous queer YA rom-com is a perfect read for fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon.

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.

About the Author

Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel, It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, was the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for YA Literature. Her second novel, This Time Will Be Different, was the HarperCollins Children's Books Lead Read. Misa lives under a giant oak tree in Silicon Valley with her husband, two sons, and three cats. Visit her online at

Praise For…

“Sugiura layers a complex rom-com plot with deep insights about honest and patient love.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A laugh-out-loud, tender, and wholly satisfying read.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“An adorable rom-com… [that] also digs into the intersection of race and queerness along with other topics like dementia, the fallout of divorce, and homophobia.”
— School Library Journal

“Delightfully romantic and hugely refreshing! I loved every page!”
— Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Dumplin

“Sugiura expertly details an intricate web of relationships with exquisite precision and wonderfully cringey moments to explore the joys, frustrations, and conundrums of love.“
— David Yoon, New York Times bestselling author of Frankly in Love

"An adorable rom-com."
— School Library Journal

 Praise for This Time Will Be Different: “Sugiura tackles an abundance of topics with finesse, including social and economic injustice, allyship, and feminism, simultaneously breaking down the Asian-American immigration narrative and the myth of the model minority. Essential.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fresh, vibrant, affecting and powerful.”
New York Times Book Review

“A gripping, emotionally charged story that presents a window into a uniquely Japanese American experience.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)

“With intelligent dialogue surrounding diversity, representation and responsible social action, This Time Will Be Different is a timely, smart novel that readers of contemporary teen fiction will likely devour.”
— Shelf Awareness

“Sugiura deftly weaves historical fact into this coming-of-age narrative, providing an entertaining and informative backdrop that allows CJ to explore her own sense of identity while giving readers a front seat to her process.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for It's Not Like It's a Secret:  “The graceful complexity of this first-person narrative is an accomplishment in itself. Sana is a fully realized protagonist with faults and unacknowledged privilege alongside her nuanced experience of identity and “model minority” racism. Sugiura thoughtfully explores intersecting issues of race, immigrant-family relationships, queer romance, and, less explicitly, class dynamics without implying the significance of one over the others. Well-paced, brimming with drama, and utterly vital.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An essential and delightful choice that realistically celebrates a teen’s discovery of trust in herself and in others.”
— School Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062991232
ISBN-10: 006299123X
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English

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