Thursday, July 15, 2021

BLOG TOUR: Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura


 Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Award-winning Author Sara Fujimura's Faking Reality coming from Tor Teen! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt to share! To add to the tour events, we also have a tour-wide giveaway to share, too! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Young Adult
Contemporary Romance
Publish Date:
July 13, 2021

My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Some Kind of Wonderful meets Kara McDowell’s Just for Clicks with diverse characters, perfect for readers looking for feel-good YA romance and those who like “clean teen” reads

Dakota McDonald swore after “The Great Homecoming Disaster” that she’d never allow her romantic life to be a plot line in her parents’ HGTV show again. But when the restaurant run by the family of her best friend (and secret crush), Leo, is on the line, Dakota might end up eating her own words.

Leo Matsuda dreams of escaping his small town Arizona life and the suffocating demands of working in his family’s restaurant, but the closer he gets to his goal—thanks to the help of his best friend (and secret crush) Dakota—the more reasons there are for him to stay.





“Tadaima!” Leo yells front door of his house.

“Okaeri!” Ojiichan’s welcome echoes down the hallway. “Hungry?” Leo says after we leave our shoes and skateboards at

the door.


I follow Leo into the kitchen and park myself on a barstool at the counter my dad installed for the Matsudas, back when Leo and I were babies. We’ve always been Matsuda’s best customers, but this low-level “weekend project” build turned our parents into friends too. Soon after, Leo and I became Toddler Time buddies. We were not instant pals though. Leo’s skull probably still has the dent from when my toy backhoe collided with it. On purpose even.

While Leo goes upstairs to drop off his school stuff, I pull my drawing supplies out and spread them all over the island. I have    to come up with something today. Anything. I flip through pages upon pages of abandoned ideas. I knead my gum eraser while I rack my brain. Leo’s fluffy, gray cat Maru strolls into the kitchen for a snack. When she sees me, Maru drops her tail, flattens her ears, and takes off in the opposite direction.

“You will love me”—I yell after her—“one day.” “What?” Leo says, appearing from around the corner.

“Your cat is still salty about the Great Painting Disaster.”  “Yeah, if I had to be shaved to get all the paint out of my fur, I’d

be salty too.”

“You looked fierce, Maru,” I say when the cat peeks her head around the corner. “Like a lion.”

“One day, she’ll forgive you.” Leo moves Maru’s food bowl closer to her. “What’s your assignment?”

“For the first part, we have to do a two-dimensional drawing. That’s due tomorrow. The second part is building that 2D drawing into a 3D piece of art. We don’t even have to stay in the appropriate medium. Like I could draw a pirate ship and then make it out of cake instead of wood.”

Leo pulls a bag of rice crackers wrapped in seaweed out of their cupboard and pours it into a decorative glass bowl. “Too bad Sasha isn’t here. She could probably help you create anything out of sugar.”

Five years older than Leo, Sasha has been more of a babysitter than a friend to me. She’s always been kind to me, even when Leo and Aurora were on her very last nerve. Honestly, I think she likes me better than Aurora. Then again, maybe I would feel the same if I had to share a room with my sister.

“Is Sasha coming home for a visit soon? Maybe I could talk her into helping me make some kind of sugary masterpiece.”

“She’s supposed to be here Homecoming weekend. Not for the game, but so Mom and Dad can sign over the car and a couple of other things now that Sasha is twenty-one.”

“I thought it was Aurora’s car and then yours next year?”

“Not anymore. Sasha talked Mom and Dad into giving it to her. Warning: There may be a WWE-worthy smackdown between my sisters when Sasha gets here.”

“At least get it on video.” I pop some rice crackers in my mouth. “Don’t forget, we have to ask Ojiichan about the wholesale Pocky and Ramune.”

“Right. I will.” Leo opens the refrigerator and pulls out a liter bottle of Mitsuya Cider. He pours the ginger-ale-Sprite-ish kind of soda into two small glasses and slides one across the counter to me.

“I was thinking on our way over here. Since I have a food handler’s certificate and everything, what if I tried cooking something super simple at the Homecoming Carnival? Like, on my own so I can make some extra money? What do you think?”

“I think it’s a great idea. What would you make?”

Leo sits on the barstool next to me and bites his lower lip in thought.

“What about ramen?” Leo’s deep brown eyes light up as the cogs in his brain start turning. “We still have all the equipment in the storage  shed  left  over  from  the  restaurant’s  kitchen  rebuild  three years ago. Dad wants to put it in a food truck one day.”

“What if you made a small, free-standing booth instead? Like what I saw the last time I was in Japan.”

“Leo-kun, kochi kitte,” Ojiichan yells from his bedroom off the kitchen. As always, Ojiichan pronounces his name so that it sounds like something between Leo and Rio.

“Hai!” Leo yells back, both of us understanding that Ojiichan wants him to come to his room.

While Leo helps his grandfather with whatever, I sip my soda and gnaw on my 2B pencil.

Copyright © 2021 by Sara Fujimura

Praise for Every Reason We Shouldn't

“A rich, emotionally layered story.....Wonderful.” ―NPR

“This book is like a warm hug filled with all the things I love. I started smiling from page one and couldn’t put it down.” ―Courtney Milan

“Whether your first ice skating romance was The Cutting Edge or Yuri!!! On Ice, you will absolutely love this book. Full of complicated family relationships, sparkling friendships, and a completely delicious romance, Every Reason We Shouldn’t is an uplifting love song to everyone who’s ever lost their way, and then had the courage to find it again.” ―Lindsay Ribar, author of Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

“Sure to take the gold.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will enjoy the well-developed characters, witty dialogue, and cringe-worthy romantic fumbles right through to the awfully neat, but very happy ending.” ―School Library Connection

“Compelling... an obvious choice for fans of classic love stories that play out on the ice, but also for readers looking for a nuanced story of self-discovery.” ―Booklist


**About the Author**
Photo Content from Sara Fujimura
Sara Fujimura is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her self-published young adult novels include Tanabata Wish and Breathe. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.

Stay connected with Sara Fujimura


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends August 2, 2021
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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