I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (320 pages)
“I Love You So Mochi” Is About Finding Your Passion
I Love You So Mochi appeared in my life right around the same time I discovered ice cream mochi at my local grocery store, and after trying the dessert (in multiple flavours!) I knew I had to read the book too. In I Love You So Mochi, Kimi’s on a quest of self-discovery after arguing with her mom about her future. She’s always been a painter, like her mom, but she’s not passionate about it. Only problem? She’s not sure what she is passionate about. So when her grandparents send her a ticket to visit them in Kyoto, Japan for spring break, Kimi decides it’s time to get away.
Exploring Kyoto And The Concept Of Family
Kimi’s voice drew me into her story—she’s dramatic in a good way and easily excited. Not all teenage characters read as teenagers, but Kimi did for me; angsty with an all-or-nothing perspective on the world. When she’s exploring the Kyoto marketplace, Kimi meets Akira, a Japanese boy dressed as a mochi mascot, dancing for his uncle’s stand. His confidence and smoothness provides a nice contrast to Kimi’s uncertainty, and after getting to know one another, he vows to help her with her quest to find her true passion. They explore Kyoto together, and I loved exploring a place I’ve never been with them. I also loved how the concept of family was so strong in this novel. Kimi meets and gets to know her grandparents for the first time (after they had a falling out with Kimi’s mom years ago) and she works through her argument with her mom while discovering her passion. I have to admit, the answer to the question “What is Kimi passionate about?” seemed obvious early on, but the journey to get there was still worth taking. Plus, Kimi had to get there herself and make the decision to pursue something even though her parents might not understand or support her. As her quest continued, Kimi’s confidence in herself and her own abilities grew, which was lovely to read and experience.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
I Love You So Mochi is about human connection and how sometimes we need others to give us perspective, but it’s also about how we have to find our passion—and the willingness to pursue it—on our own. My recommendation: devour this sweet tale with a side of mochi!
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse