Read an excerpt from Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Didn't See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Image credit to Delcorte Press.
Didn't See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Image credit to Delcorte Press. /

Jesse Q. Sutanto has made a name for herself in multiple different genres and age groups. That’s why I was so excited to hear about Didn’t See That Coming.

One of her young adult ventures, this is a contemporary romance between Kiki who is a gamer girl, and a guy she knows as a gamer and IRL. Of course, these two worlds intersect when Kiki transfers to a new school and she’s on a mission to find the guy she likes.

Ultimately though, the main thing holding this back is the fact that her gaming friend thinks she’s a guy. That puts a hiccup in things and is part of the reason why this book has You’ve Got Mail vibes.

As someone who has already read it, I really enjoyed it and Jesse Q. Sutanto just dazzles no matter what she does so I’m happy to share an excerpt from Didn’t See That Coming ahead of release.

This excerpt from Didn’t See That Coming is a great early preview.

Of course, I’d like to thank Delacorte Press for sending me an ARC and for sharing this excerpt with me. I think that if you’re looking for a unique and fun contemporary romance, then you can’t go wrong with this one so let’s get into the excerpt.

"I know from hours of watching Netflix shows that in the States, the students move around through different classrooms throughout the day. But in most Asian schools, the students stay put and the teachers are the ones who move around to different classrooms according to the timetables. So every year, students pray that they’re placed in the right class, because if you happen to be placed in a class with someone shitty—a mean kid, or cliquey athletes who dominate the class—then you’re shit out of luck.At Mingyang, our classes were given animal names, and I was in Year Eleven Dragon, which was hands down the coolest animal out of the lot. I relished being referred to as “the Dragon kid” rather than, say, “the Orangutan girl.” At Xingfa, the classes are given virtues as names. Ugh. They go by Year Eleven Charity, Eleven Diligence, Eleven Faith, and so on. Who’d want to go from Dragon to (ugh, my new class) Purity? This feels like a bad omen. Why is “purity” even a virtue? What kind of purity are they referring to? Racial purity? ’Cause that just sounds like straight-up racism. Or do they mean sexual purity, which is a whole other kind of gross.Okay, so maybe my mind is spiraling and glomming on to anything it can focus its anxiety on. Now that Eleanor Roosevelt has scurried away to her class (Year Seven Justice), I’m left to find my class on my own. In a way, I’m glad that I’m not being escorted by some elderly admin lady, but Xingfa is really huge and I’m sort of lost.“I’m the GOAT,” I whisper to myself as I make my way through the crowds of students filing into their various classrooms. My eyes ping-pong between the classroom labels and the other students, all of whom glance at me as I pass by, their eyes crawling from my head down to my legs. Crap, none of the other girls have shortened their skirts. What the hell?Never mind. Focus on finding your classroom.Outside the classrooms are these huge bulletin boards. A few of them are filled with exemplary projects—there’s one about the chemical composition of popular shampoos and why they may or may not cause cancer, another about the physics of eggs and why they’re so much stronger than we think they are. Other boards are filled with medals and paintings and other memorabilia. All of them proudly announce which class the students who made them are from: Year Eleven Wisdom, Year Eleven Hope, Year Eleven Kindness—they’re not even in alphabetical order? Gah! But finally, I see it: Year Eleven Purity. My home for the next year.I take my time standing outside the class to study the bulletin boards. Well, okay, I take my time standing outside because I’m sort of scared shitless to go in. But also, I’m gathering intel on my future classmates. The first bulletin board is filled with two projects, one of them an English Lit project (a study on Shakespeare’s patronage), the other one a calculus project. Both of them were done by someone named Jonas Jayden Arifin. The name rings a bell, and I take my phone out and do a Google search. Which is kind of creepy, I know, but knowledge is power, and I need all the power I can get today.When the search loads, my breath catches. There are a ton of news articles about Jonas Jayden Arifin, because his family owns TalkCo, the nation’s biggest telecommunications corporation. Holy shit. Okay, wow. So Jonas Arifin, teenage billionaire, is the class nerd. Did not expect that, but I can respect it. But then I go to the second board, which is filled with medals for tennis, and I see that they were all awarded to Jonas as well. Okaaay. I adjust my mental picture of Jonas from a gangly, pimply nerd to a less pimply nerd with tennis shoulders.The third bulletin board is filled with photographs taken from various events, groups of sailor-uniformed students with their arms around one another, laughing. There’s one of them at some sort of arts and crafts and baking fair, another of them wearing protective goggles in what looks like a woodworking class.As I stand there checking out the board, a couple of girls walk past me. They glance at me with passing curiosity, and when our eyes meet, they smile. Before going inside the classroom, they take out their phones and plop them into a basket hanging off the wall. On top of the basket is a sign that says phones here!Wow, okay. I guess we’re not allowed to take our phones into the class. That’s pretty hardcore. With a lot of reluctance, I fish my phone from my pocket and place it carefully inside the basket. I feel naked without it. I won’t be able to pretend to look busy without my phone. But maybe I won’t need to pretend to look busy; maybe I’ll be swarmed with so many new friends that I won’t even remember that I don’t have my phone on me. With that, I take a deep inhale, grip the strap of my messenger bag, and walk into my new classroom."

While the publisher gave me Chapter 3, I did cut it down a bit. If you’re looking to pick up Didn’t See That Coming, this gives you enough of an idea of what’s going on and the perfect intro to Kiki’s character. Plus it gets into the book’s premise without giving away too much so I had to feature it ahead of the book’s release.

Didn’t See That Coming by Jesse Q. Sutanto is set for release on November 28th. 

Will you be picking up a copy of Didn’t See That Coming on its release date? What did you think of this excerpt? Be sure to come back to Culturess on release day for a full review!

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