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Summer Haikus (Happily Ever Asia)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"When it comes to fight or flight, I always choose to run like hell.”

Isa planned the perfect summer:
Tokyo and the Summer Olympics — check.
Helping her best friend prepare for the marathon — check.
Forgetting she's in love with Masa — double check.

But when Isa's mother is hospitalized, she has to abandon her summer plans to run the family's Tokyo business. Masa’s offer to
Paperback, 310 pages
Published August 6th 2015 by Onigiri Press
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Trish at Between My Lines
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought, contemporary
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]

See how cute and romantic that cover is?  Well feel free to judge this book by the cover because it IS cute and romantic and I absolutely loved it.

First Line of Summer Haikus by S J Pajonas:

“Ripples of energy shoot up my legs as my feet hit the pavement, one stride in front of the other.”

My Thoughts on Summer Haikus by S J Pajonas

I don’t hand out 5 stars easily and when I picked up this one, I thought I’d get a light, summery
S.J. Pajonas
Now available! Purchase information is available at

Note: This novel is NOT Young Adult. The protagonists are in their twenties and the story contains both sexual situations and profanity.

Summer Haikus Teaser 1

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SUMMER HAIKUS is a modern story of best friends, family, and love in Japan, running for the thrill of the race and the accomplishments of a lifetime.
See this review and more on my blog, After Hours at Lilybloombooks

4.5 stars
Summer Haikus came on my radar after a fellow blogger brought it to my attention. This is just one thing I love about being a blogger -- finding new books, new authors and coming together to help promote their work, as I've said about a thousand times. That's not to say that I wouldn't have picked Summer Haikus otherwise -- I would have.

There is so much I want to discuss about this book! While it IS a romance, it has so m
I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ever since I first heard of Summer Haikus I couldn't wait to read it. And I can say it's been worth the wait. I loved this book. It's a great summer romance read! I love Pajonas her writing style and I got quickly sucked into the story and didn't want to put it down. This is exactly the type of romance book that I love.

Summer Haikus follows Isa, who is half Japanese and half American. She has been studying in the US, where
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review was posted on the Reader's Handbook https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordp...

A book with the setting and its vivid descriptions so great I felt I had taken root in Japan, living alongside our young lovers, Isa and Masa. At first not knowing a great deal about the book I was unsure where it was going as Isa, and friend Haley, a runner set to participate in the Olympics, leave school for Japan one summer, with Isa's
Ashley Aponte
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. You know a book is good when it makes you feel things, and this book definitely did that. Not only did it have me laughing, I was smiling through 90% of it. The relationships between the characters are relatable and the writing makes you feel like you're in the book. Definitely a book I would recommend to others, and would read again. The ending was perfect even if some of the characters didn't get what they wanted.
Jun 06, 2017 marked it as tbr-own-ebook
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

S.J. Pajonas is an author who consistently writes books that I really like. She’s got awesome heroines, great heroes, and there’s usually some sort of Asian flair to her books. And this book was definitely no exception, since the majority of it was actually set in Tokyo, and there were characters to root for.

The heroine of this book was Isa. Since the story was told in her point of view, I definitely felt like we got to know
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweet, favs
4.5 stars

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Summer Haikus is the first and only S.J. Pajonas book I’ve ever read, and I must say, what a first impression. When I read the blurb, I expected a light, sweet read; but I didn’t expect to like the story so much.
Isa is a Japanese- American college student, who lives and studies in the US because that’s where her father lives. During the summer, she plans to stay with her family in Japan so that she can bond a little with her relatives
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, asian-character
This book is for anyone who has ever wanted to fall in love in Japan.

A refreshing blend of NA romance and travel fiction, Summer Haikus will make you want to fly to Japan and find a sweet Masa of your own to write romantic haikus for you.

Isa, a half-Japanese girl has to leave her college in Michigan and her American dad's family to rush to Japan when her Japanese mother is seriously injured in an accident. Isa finds herself taking over her mother's duties at the family's ryokan, a traditional
I would like to thank you Lola's blog for giving me this book to provide an honest review.
I love the cover as much as I love the book. It's colors and photos suggest a summer romance but its more. It's fabulous cross continental romance!

This book is about self-journey, growing responsibility, family relationships, and love in the middle. The book beautifully touches Japan & Japanese culture, I was filled with idea to buy a ticket and travel to Japan for more than just 2 weeks! And start running
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I received this book for free as a First Read through Goodreads Giveaways.

3.5 - A sweet YA romance and coming of age story. I appreciated that it was more than a romance and the female lead character gained insight and came into her own throughout the story
Donna Mitchell
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love in denial

Isa is a student at Michigan State University because that is where her best friend, Halley, wanted to go to be on the track team, train for the Tokyo Olympics, and focus on sports medicine. Isa has been Halley's running partner for years, but she runs to destrress. Because her mother is Japanese, Isa grew up speaking Japanese, which she loves. Although her parents divorced and Isa's mother returned to Japan to help run her family's inn, Isa has kept up her Japanese. She decided to
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebees
I loved the Japanese setting of this book. The attention to detail was incredible. But apart from, I'm not sure what to think of this. I struggled to suspend my disbelief at some of the fundamental assumptions of the story (e.g. why doesn't Halley seem to have a proper trainer? why does Isa have to take over her mum's responsibilities when the hotel has staff? why does running the hotel mainly means visiting the baker and fishmonger every day?). However, my main problem with this book was that d ...more
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I accidentally came across Summer Haikus and I absolutely adored it. It tells the story of Isa, a twenty year old half-Japanese college student who plans to spend the perfect summer in Japan visiting her mom and helping her best friend prepare for the Olympics while hopefully getting over a bad case of unrequited love.

Her perfect plans are ruined when her mom suffers an untimely accident and Isa must fly to Japan sooner than anticipated and help take care of the family business. Suddenly everyth
Katie Carroll
Isa has been in love with fellow MSU student Masa pretty much since she first met him. When she finally gets up the courage to kiss him and it goes terribly wrong, she tries her best to resign herself to the friend-zone. Going away to Japan for the summer to help her friend get ready for the Olympics is just the distraction Isa needs. Then an emergency means Isa has to run the family business in Japan and her whole summer is in turmoil. Masa shows up to help, but is he there as a friend or poten ...more
4 stars

I came across this book/author only because someone recommended it in a book group when it was free a month ago, and it turned out to be a very good book.

The story started slow, but after 30% or so I got really into it. Great writing, awesome cultural setting in Japan, real, imperfect characters and family relationships, plus a sweet (but not cheesy!) friends-to-lovers progression. Summed up, this was a lovely read.

POV: 1st person (h)
story: 4
writing: 5
characters: h: 4.5, H:
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable Read!

I enjoyed reading and learning about Japan & all things Japanese!The ups & downs of Isa & Masa lives and their love for each other was well told. Thanks for a great read, S. J. Pajonas!
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!

Loved the characters. The description of Isa's need to plan everything and anxiety attacks were right on the money. Masa was wonderful, too. Japan came to life and I felt like I was there. Can't wait to read more of your books!
Tori Knightwood
I loved this book! The setting, the characters, the love story - loved it all.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Isa is used to being in the background and being the pleaser. Her best friend and Oympic hopeful, Halley is the center of her world. They’ve grown up together and now attend university together. Isa is also Halley’s biggest supporter and makes sure her friend stays on course. Masa is another close friend she’s known for a couple of years for whom she harbours a secret love. She just hasn’t been brave enough to tell him. Years of rejection and missed signals have made her doubt her own attractive ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Synopsis: ""When it comes to fight or flight, I always choose to run like hell.”

Isa planned the perfect summer:
Tokyo and the Summer Olympics — check.
Helping her best friend prepare for the marathon — check.
Forgetting she's in love with Masa — double check.

But when Isa's mother is hospitalized, she has to abandon her summer plans to run the family's Tokyo business. Masa’s offer to help makes it impossible for Isa to ignore him — and the firecracker kiss they shared half a world away. Everyone
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

While I'm not sure if I'd bought this book, I'm very glad I read it. I do have a certain fascination for Japan, and while 'Summer Haiku's' is a perfect, easy-going book for reading in the summer, it also managed to teach me some new things about this wonderful culture.

Apart from liking the setting very much, I also loved the characters. Isa is a wonderful person I could really relate to - from the love for planning, espec
Christina Rhoads
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Isa's plans for the perfect summer getaway to the Olympics in Tokyo are shattered by a health crisis in the family she finds herself running the family business with help from the one person she wants to run from. Masa must prove he is someone Isa can lean on, even as she runs scared.

I loved the location of this book, I really felt I was in Tokyo, living among the strong characters of this book. Isa was such a wonderful person, one I would count as a friend in real life. Strong family value
Amanda Williams
Amazing author!!!!

When you read Pajonas, you are reading a book with well developed, complex and multidimensional characters. No, Isa is not a character, she's a person. One I could relate to (10 years ago) but still Pajonas brings all the angst and uncertainty of first love out beautifully. Isa and Masa have a wonderful journey to their HEA. Great story!
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
An adorable story of best friends to lovers, with a few hick-ups along the way of course. The Tokyo setting made it so much more interesting, raising it up another star for me. Pajonas has a lovely writing style, with solid characters, a hint of humour and a story that draws you in.
Annika Barranti
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, romance
This is an adorable romance novel with sweet, real characters and an unexpected setting. I only wish I'd read it at the beach! Also I wish I had some sushi right now.
Sarah Fraser
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2018
Karen Gibbons
rated it it was amazing
Jan 06, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2017
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Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, Japanophile, and USA Today Best Selling author. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both h

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