“Every Reason We Shouldn’t,” by Sara Fujimura, is a young adult read that addresses some of the commitments and sacrifices needed to fulfill dreams. The book stresses how family responsibility and expectations, as well as how friends impact our dreams.
Olivia is the bi-racial daughter of parents who won an Olympic gold medal as an ice skating pair. Her mother is Asian and her father is American. Oliva began skating at a very early age and is now 16.
Years ago, her mother was severely injured because of a skating accident. Her mother owns and manages an ice-skating rink that depends upon Mack, a family friend, to keep the rink functional.
Olivia’s father is very emotionally supportive but is physically separated due to his travel with an ice show to support the family financially. Olivia’s family life is significantly affected by their current condition. Additionally, Olivia’s skating was impacted by the bodily changes associated with puberty, so she questions whether she is a “has-been” at her early age.
Olivia is trying to be a normal kid by attending public high school, which is a new experience for her. In high school she lunches with other Asian kids—Naomi, Erika and Brandon. They are over-achieving students unlike Olivia who’s primarily focused on figure skating. A new Asian kid, Jonah, joins their table. Like Olivia, studies are not his focus; he is a committed speed skater and an Olympic hopeful.
“Every Reason We Shouldn’t” is an easy, enjoyable read that intimately reveals the family dynamics of Olivia and Jonah as well as the relationship that develops between them and their friends. The story is thoughtful and heart-warming as it addresses the various challenges that develop through the course of the plot.