‘Love & Other Natural Disasters’ Is The Perfect Summer Read – Book Review
Love & Other Natural Disasters is a sweet and sincere look into how complicated it is to love someone the way they need to be loved. While Nozomi is looking forward to a romantic adventure when she spends the summer in San Francisco, an idyllic location, she ventures into the murky waters of a fake relationship and emerges with a whole new experience that teaches her a valuable lesson about love.
Right off the bat, if you are a fan of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before then you will adore Nozomi as she is Lara Jean’s tethered (in a good way). Nozomi is a romantic heroine, someone who loves the idea of love. She is the perfect character for a romantic comedy about the errors and missteps to finding the true meaning of love. And although at times you wish you can shake her to her senses, you can’t help but adore author Misa Sugiura’s creation.
Nozomi is an awkward queer Japanese-American teen who is dealing with a lot. While grappling with the emotional fallout of her parent’s divorce, Nozomi has her heart hurt by a crush who cruelly dismisses her, and the prospect of a summer in San Francisco becomes her salvation. With a mission to reinvent herself, she finds herself in a complicated love quartet that involves her fake girlfriend, the gorgeous Willow, Willow’s ex, the super cool Arden, and Arden’s new girlfriend and Nozomi’s hostile new acquaintance, Dela. While crafting a story about the comical adventures of a love-sick teen, Sugiura also weaves in Nozomi’s complicated home life – that not only includes secrets regarding her parent’s divorce but her ailing grandmother who has complicated views on queerness.
What is so valuable about Sugiura’s novel is that it doesn’t provide any easy answers about what love is or how to love someone. It is a complicated matter which varies from person to person. Love is love and it can be super messy sometimes. Nozomi’s strained relationship with her parents and her fear of losing her grandmother if she were to find out about Nozomi being queer opens readers up to the difficult reality that those who are dearest to us may be the hardest to love. Forgiveness, compromise, distance, and pain all factor in, but ultimately, Nozomi must learn these things the hard way.
Sugiura’s writing is airy and fun. Nozomi’s mind is that of a typical teen who believes they are the centre of a grand rom-com, but she is also flawed and relatable. Sugiura does a great job of never losing sight of Nozomi’s heart or the point of the story. There is a great balance of light-hearted fun and heartfelt revelations that have us laughing out loud one moment and fighting back tears the next. And by the time you reach the end, you will know that you have gone on a worthwhile adventure about love.
Love & Other Natural Disasters is the perfect summer read if you are craving a feel-good and heartfelt story about loving yourself and opening your heart to everything that comes with loving someone.