Sugiura's new book reignited my outrage that schools don't teach Japanese internment (imprisonment, is the term the detained and their descendants may prefer). The book takes place in the present, and makes the point that the past is very much with us today.
This time, Hanna steamrolls me. "I'd say McAllister owes us at least that much, considering what they've done to our family. It'd be very appropriate, really."
"Oh, Hannah, please. They owe us exactly nothing. You're acting like the internment happened yesterday."
"And you're acting like it never happened at all.
The primary plot revolves around a family business that has gone back and forth between a Japanese family, the Katsuyamas, and a family of smooth greedy, racist, sexist opportunists, the McAllisters, whose scion's name is Trey. The town's high school is named after the first McAllister robber baron, and the protagonist's mom works for the McAllisters' venture capital firm.
At the end of World War II, the American government released Japanese Americans from the camps and encouraged them to start fresh and let bygones be bygones. They produced videos showing everyone how well we were integrating back into society and how happy we were.
There's also a love story and a save-for-later plot line about protag CJ's parentage. CJ has a queer best friend, a white girl may or may not learn about centering herself in POC struggles. There's also an off-screen abortion that didn't ruin the abortion haver's life, which I'm always happy to see, but I feel like that subplot is a remnant from two revisions ago.
Despite my critique, TTWBD is a solid read, simultaneously enjoyable and enraging.