S is for...Southern Fried Sushi (Book Review)

Author: Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Genre: Fiction, Christian, Romance
Release: October, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?

Review: Shiloh Jacobs lives in Japan where she has the perfect life, perfect job, and perfect fiance. Sure she overspends to keep up an image, causing her to have stacks of credit card bills, but other than that, life is good. Until her mother back in the States dies and leaves her house to Shiloh. Shiloh was not close to her mother. At all. Yet, she goes to Staunton, Virginia to the funeral and to sell the house. While there, Shiloh loses both her job and fiance. Life couldn't get any worse. Only it does. Her hopes for a quick sale are dashed. God has funny ways of getting your attention and this is His way of getting Shiloh's. So now, Shiloh's stuck in Staunton, surrounded by her mom's friends, people Shiloh thinks are rednecks. What Shiloh doesn't realize is, these "rednecks" are teach her about true friendship, happiness, and most importantly, God's love.


  • The beginning was a little slow. It picked up more after she receives the call about her mother's death.
  • It was slightly stereotypical of the South, but not enough not to like the book.


  • The cover and title immediately grabbed my attention! I mean, come on. "Southern Fried Sushi"...what a cool title. The cover is colorful and the mix of cultures is evident (Japanese dress & fan with cowboy boots).
  • I loved Shiloh's character. Throughout the book, you see her growth and will be rooting for her by the end.
  • The secondary characters are pretty awesome, too. They're well-rounded, three dimensional characters, just like Shiloh. Her mom's friends all have their little quirks that makes them endearing.
  • The message of God and His love is written in the story without being too preachy. It's subtle, but...obvious. I know that's an oxymoron, but that's how I can describe it. It's not the "beat you with the Bible" type of message, but a "Let me tell you what God has done for me" type of message.
  • I love that Shiloh did not automatically accept Christ. Had she immediately accepted Him, it wouldn't have been real. She struggled. Thought about it. Then struggled some more. It makes the book more authentic.
  • There's a little romance in it, but that's not the focus. The focus is more on Shiloh and her growth as a person. But Ms. Spinola does add a splash of romance.

If you're into light-hearted books with a tiny splash of romance, Southern Fried Sushi is perfect. I am now reading the second book, Like Sweet Potato Pie (again with the cool titles), and I'm loving it so far. I'll definitely be on the lookout for book #3, Til Grits Do Us Part.



Angela Brown said...

There are some books that share a Christian message minus the "hellfire, brimstone and damnation if you do don't as I say" theme. This sounds like one that would be right up my alley. Thanks for sharing this review.

Rae said...

You're welcome. It's a good book!