Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “It's Not Like It's a Secret” as Want to Read:
It's Not Like It's a Secret
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

It's Not Like It's a Secret

by
3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,504 Ratings  ·  478 Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to Califo
...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by HarperTeen
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Crumb
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, uno
Fresh. Fantastic. Fearless.

I am not an uber-fan of YA but I will make an exception now and again. This phenomenon will happen for something special. Something perfect. What can I say? It's Not Like It's a Secret was that unicorn for me.

I mean.. what's there not to like? It had the main ingredients that I feel make a book unputdownable: relatable characters, a progressive plot-line, and of course, character development.

On the outside, this story looks like just another teen romance.. but it wasn
...more
Laura
I made the mistake of thinking this was just a contemporary romance between two girls, but it actually has a lot more to the story. Racism being the most common theme throughout. There is racism from one POC to another, which is not often portrayed. Because of these themes, racism is very present and can make readers uncomfortable*. However, it is often called out by another character or Sana ponders what just happened addressing the racism head on. Stereotyping is one of the main ways racism oc ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
About: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret is a fiction novel written by Misa Sugiura. It will be published on 5/9/17 by Harper Teen, 400 pages. The genres are GLBT, Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, and Romance. This book is intended for readers ages 13 and up, grades 8 and up.

My Experience: I started reading It’s Not Like It’s a Secret on 3/31/17 and finished it on 4/3/17. This book is a great read! It’s fast paced, easy to read, and relatable. It has diversity like The Upside of Unrequited and light
...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
This is maybe the most disappointing book I read this year. Cute contemporary, romance between two girls, ownvoices racial rep... yeah, it sounded great to me too. But I had so many issues with this book.

THE GOOD

+ The first half is genuinely really cute! I actually loved the first half. Jamie and Sana have some great romantic buildup before they get together. There's an insta-crush, but things progress very well from there. They exchange poetry and are just generally incredibly sweet.

+ There'
...more
Sarah
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Endure. Bear it without complaining Her life’s motto and my life’s bane.”


This was a YA contemporary romance story about a gay Japanese-American girl.

I liked Sana in this although she did show poor judgement at times. I did like how loyal she was to her mother though.

The storyline in this was about Sana moving with her family to California as her father had a new job. She then fell for a girl called Jam
...more
Christina
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this one. Sugiura gracefully tackled so many difficult and sometimes sensitive topics, while also creating fully-fleshed, relatable characters. Sana's voice is spot on. I can't wait to have this gorgeous book on my shelf to share with my students.
Aine
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books that I go into so excited and then come out of feeling kind of betrayed. It feels like it should have been an amazing book, but there were problems. So. Many. Problems.

The Good:

-I mean, it's a a gay romance (yay!) with two non-white characters (YAY!), with actual supportive female friendships (YAY!!!).

-And Sana was pretty cute.

-But that's about the extend of the likes. For one, I didn't really feel anything about Sana. She was cute. But I didn't have any emotional at
...more
Ilana
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Misa Sugiura is a beautiful writer, and this book is wondrous, engaging, important, and will be beloved by many.
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
This was AWESOME. It's one of those YA books clearly written by an adult who actually spends time with teens. The characters were messy and made LOTS of mistakes, perhaps most of all the main character Sana. I LOVED the queer girls of colour romance and I really appreciated the book's complex look at racism, stereotyping, relationships, and culture. And Sana's journey to learn to stop lying and hiding from the problems in her life was too real. I saw a lot of my younger (and sometimes current) s ...more
Trevor
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
A few months back, I became aware that SECRET had cheating as one of its largest themes. Admittedly this discouraged me a bit, but I was still intrigued to read it as it was on my TBR for almost a year.

Surprisingly the cheating characters wasn't my biggest gripe (although it really ruined my experience)- it was the instalove between the two MCs, Sana & Jaime. Except physical appeal, I had no clue why these two were attracted to each other. This led me to not believe their relationship as it
...more
Sonia
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was different than many other YA I've read in its honest and complex portrayal of race, all within the context of a burgeoning lesbian romance. Sana is a believable and relatable protagonist, caught between trying to satisfy her strict parents and also feel like part of her peer group. I loved the tie-ins with poetry and the way Sana was able to find herself in the words of others.
CW (new book blog coming soon! ✨)
Wow. I am blown away. This was a challenging book to read, but the realistic and frank discussions about racism and prejudice were refreshing, difficult, but necessary.

- To address the elephant in the room: yes, this book does has several instances of racism towards Mexican individuals and there are some parts that are certainly difficult to read. However, I felt like the racism was either challenged or addressed, either in-text, through internal monologue, or clearly through subtext.
- Sana wa
...more
alexandra
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF at 30% // i was really excited to read this – a f/f contemporary ft a Japanese MC with a Mexican love interest?! yes pls. but.... i couldn't even get halfway. here are some thoughts:

(1) this main character is so. annoying. she's extremely stubborn and close-minded and refuses to see things around her. Sana is constantly arguing with her mother and it feels like she refuses to see things from her perspective. of course, her mom is very traditional Japanese and didn't grow up in America, so OB
...more
Lauren Stoolfire
When Sana Kiyohara and her family move to California from Wisconsin, she decides it's time to be honest with herself. She has a crush on her best friend, Jamie Ramirez. She's smart, beautiful, and different from anyone Sana's known before. There are a few problems with this - Sana's new friends don't trust Jamie's, Jamie's friends don't seem to want Sana around, and a classmate named Caleb appears to have more than friendly feelings for Sana. Plus, Sana doesn't know how well her strict Japanese ...more
Meags
Oct 31, 2017 marked it as dnf
DNF @ chapter 8

I was looking forward to this one, but the prominent themes of racial stereotyping and the way it was (mis)handled irritated the hell out of me. In the few chapters I slugged through I was constantly facing one unlikeable character after another which is not the way to endear me to a book. (view spoiler). I'm out.
Shortcake
I? Loved? this? Book???

Ive seen some less positive reviews on It's Not Like It's a Secret and I totally! disagree!!!

I jumped into this book with the expectation of some adorable f/f romance and just relatable teenager characters. Instead, I got some adorable f/f romance and just relatable teenager characters PLUS a lot of racist/stereotype confrontations, making the reader step back and think about how our society truly works.

Some fabulous things

* Character development and adorable teen gir
...more
PinkAmy loves  💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
As a white, middle-aged American woman, reviewing IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET is difficult. I grew up in a small town and could count the number of nonwhite students on one hand. Having never attended a large, multiracial school, I don’t know if students sticking to their race groups is common, or whether the rampant subtle and not so subtle bias and racism between cultures.

Race and bias permeates every aspect of IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET. I suppose my white privilege doesn’t see race as much
...more
Janine Andersen
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, have-read
I appreciated hearing Sana's voice in this story. Her relationship with her culture and her mother are complicated. She is a 16 year old girl struggling to find her niche in high school. She would like to have a tribe of friends that understand her, someone to love her and to make real connections to the people in her lives. I see Sana as someone who is brave. She makes mistakes, has flaws, and misperceptions about her peers, her parents and her love interest. I see that she does grow. She chall ...more
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I am very excited for this book. We need more WLW books in YA especially ones that are written by authors of color.
Shenwei
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Closer to 4.5 stars? Would be 5 if there weren't some small things that bugged me.
I ugly cried in the bookstore while reading this oops.
In this book you will find: cute gay moments, teen angst, complicated family issues, uncomfortable but honest conversations about race, utterly realistic human messiness, and more. Full review to come.

I went into this with my guard up because I'd heard it had issues wrt to the Mexican/Latinx rep, and while I was hoping that the issues had been fixed post-sensiti
...more
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m actually giving this 4.5 stars, but since Goodreads doesn’t do half stars (I still don’t understand this) I went with 5, because I really liked it, and I want to encourage more people to read this. This books is BEAUTIFULLY DIVERSE. These are the kinds of books we need that include LGBTQ+ narratives and that discusses important topics like racism and equality. It’s a really great YA contemporary, and I truly believe it needs more readers and attention. Also, I loved all the characters and I ...more
Ben Babcock
My friend Rebecca gave this to me as a birthday gift last year. This was a really tough week for me, so I finally picked it up off the shelf because I knew she had inscribed it (as I do with my book gifts!), and I wanted to reread the lovely, lengthy message from her and then dive into a YA book. Whether it’s fluffier or heavier, there is something about YA I find very reassuring when I’m down. Something about the way that authors have to consider carefully how they engage with and portray these ...more
Naoms
Everyone should read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rana
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
It's gotta mean something when I'm as frustrated by actual teenagers as I am with teenaged characters. I guess it means the author is writing her characters accurately. Because damned, this was frustrating. Teenagers are stupid in love. Well, everybody is, but teenagers are really stupid in love.
Christie Angleton
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqa
2.5 Ugh. This book had so much going for it just to fall so very flat. The stereotyping was over the top and there were just too many things going on.

Also, Sana's extreme whining made it really hard to root for her.
Jessica Woodbury
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The first half of this book was great. 3.5 or so stars, but the second half fell down to a 2 so the 3-star rating here is rather generous.

At first, this is an interesting setup. Sana, who has always been the only Asian girl in her school and who has kept her sexuality under wraps, moves to California where everything is different. There are a ton of Asian kids in their racially mixed school and it's totally fine to be gay and out. As Sana adjusts she has to reconsider a lot of her assumptions ab
...more
Lea (drumsofautumn)
DNF at 50 pages. I wasn't engaged at all and didn't have any urge to pick this back up after I had put it down for a while. And knowing all of the bad things that are still coming, without really being challenged, I'm not interested to give this any more of my time.
Ari
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, q, romance
hey so this is the teen lesbian romance we have all been looking for all our lives, get in on this

it's about sana kiyohara, a high school student from wisconsin whose dad moves their family abruptly to california on what sana sees as suspicious pretenses. in her new town, sana gets to have a group of asian friends for the first time in her life, and also meets The Girl Of Her Dreams. sana deals with being the new kid in a new town, the troubles of being queer undercover as a teen, handling her e
...more
ashley 🌈
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
💖🌈4.5 STARS🌈💖
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Gallery of Unfinished Girls
  • Little & Lion
  • Kat and Meg Conquer the World
  • Dear Martin
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • You're Welcome, Universe
  • My So-Called Bollywood Life
  • Just Friends
  • 27 Hours (The Nightside Saga, #1)
  • American Street
  • How to Make a Wish
  • It Started With Goodbye
  • Our Own Private Universe
  • #famous
  • Ramona Blue
  • Amal Unbound
  • To Catch a Killer (Erin Blake #1)
  • Dare Mighty Things

Young Adult Deals

  • World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • American Street
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Going Wild (Going Wild #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Enchantress (Evermen Saga, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Prisoner B-3087
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
    $3.74 $0.99
  • Fawkes
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Sticks & Stones (Upside-Down Magic #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Thing About Jellyfish
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Where the Road Takes Me
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Relic (Evermen Saga, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Followed by Frost
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wish
    $5.67 $2.99
  • The Wednesday Wars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Killing Ruby Rose (Ruby Rose #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • All the Little Lights
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Endangered (Ape Quartet, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vanishing Girls
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Broken Pride (Bravelands, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Path of the Storm (Evermen Saga, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Master Magician (The Paper Magician, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Compound (The Compound, #1)
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Girl on a Wire (Cirque American #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
“Gaman isn’t just about enduring hardship in silence—and it’s not about backing down. It’s about stepping up and choosing which hardship you endure. And enduring it with grace because of something important, like honor, or family. Or someone important. Like Jamie.” 1 likes
“Asking for acceptance and equal rights isn’t selfish. It wouldn’t be an issue at all if other people accepted them instead of thinking of them as freaks.” 1 likes
More quotes…