This Time Will Be Different

Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

This Time Will Be Different is a Junior Library Guild selection and has received numerous starred reviews from trade journals, as well as a glowing review in the New York Times Book Review (see below).

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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)
A gripping, emotionally charged story that presents a window into a uniquely Japanese American experience.
— School Library Journal (starred review)
Sugiura provides 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)
At turns delightfully humorous and wonderfully insightful. The cultural nuances were perfect, and I found myself utterly transported. I can’t wait to read what Sugiura writes next.
— Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of THE WRATH AND THE DAWN
Smart, funny, and huge-hearted. You will cheer for CJ as she blooms in the most beautiful of ways. A fierce anthem for protecting (and fighting for) the values and boundaries of your own heart, even as they shift on you.
— Kim Culbertson, award winning author of CATCH A FALLING STAR and THE POSSIBILITY OF NOW
Strikes that perfect balance of light-hearted humor and emotional depth. I adored CJ and her journey. Using an inventive narrative structure to explore friendship and romance alongside family and history, Misa Sugiura has created a truly fun and thoughtful read.
— Maurene Goo, author of I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE
This masterly weaving of the personal, political and historical is one of the novel’s greatest strengths. A story with so many narrative threads might easily unspool, but Sugiura keeps it tightly interlaced through CJ’s captivating, honest, often hilarious point of view. Her voice anchors a novel that’s fresh, vibrant, affecting and powerful.
— The New York Times Book Review
A timely, smart novel that readers of contemporary teen fiction will likely devour.
— Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Sugiura’s deep dive into mother-daughter relationships, the fragility of self-worth, and the gathering of courage resonates deeply.
— Booklist
Insightful. Intricate. Honest. With richly drawn characters that feel utterly real, Misa Sugiura reminds us that the past is always present, but that we hold the power to shape our future, if we’re brave enough to face it.
— Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of LOVE, HATE, AND OTHER FILTERS and INTERNMENT
One of the most authentic, steadfastly real teen characters I’ve read in recent memory. CJ deals with racism, familial strife, and finding herself with a charm and grace I couldn’t get enough of. Her pitch-perfect voice leaped off the page and stayed with me. Highly, highly recommend.
— Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI
Hilarious and fiercely loyal, CJ is one of my favorite characters to hit the page in a long time. This smart and thought-provoking tale of the bonds that connect family, and second chances, will have you cheering in your seats.
— Stacey Lee, award-winning author of OUTRUN THE MOON and THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE
CJ will break your heart, reassemble it, and put it in a gorgeous magical flower arrangement that’ll make your heart soar. A lovely and complicated story of different forms of love and figuring out who you want to be in the world
— Sara Farizan, award-winning author of IF YOU COULD BE MINE and HERE TO STAY