TITLE: Tokyo Ever After
AUTHOR: Emiko Jean
PAGE EXTENT: 336
PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan
GENRE: YA Romance
MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
SOURCE: Received a copy from Pan Macmillan India in exchange for an honest review.
A Reese Witherspoon Book Club YA Pick!
A hilarious and heartfelt novel perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Princess Diaries!
Izumi Tanaka has lived an uneventful seventeen years in her small town, keenly aware of all the ways in which her family is different from most of her classmates’. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity . . . and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan.
Soon she’s traveling overseas to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she’s only dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself―back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?
I’m pretty sure most of us have dreamt of being a princess at least once in our lives. We have imagined ourselves in fancy attire, horse-drawn carriages and the whole princess-y vibe. But what would you do if you found out one day that you’re ACTUALLY a princess? Like, LITERALLY ROYALTY! That’s exactly what happened to our protagonist Izumi Tanaka! She was going about her life in pleasant California when the bomb dropped: she is the illegitimate daughter of the Crown Prince of Japan! 😱👸🏻
As she goes to Japan to discover more about her Japanese culture and royal background, a shocking realization hits her. She was never American enough in America, and she’s not Japanese enough to be in Japan, much less Japanese royalty. Could things get any worse? Of course they can! Add one forbidden romance to the mix and things will definitely go haywire!
Izumi was a very likeable protagonist, and so very hilarious! Like, laugh-out-loud hilarious! Her deadpan sarcasm and crisp sense of humor was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this book! She is very realistic, kind and super duper honest about herself and her abilities. I am super excited for her shenanigans in Book 2 haha!
Japan has been on my travel bucket list since forever. I have always wanted to walk under the beautiful cherry blossom trees and soak up the beauty of the sharp contrast between Japan’s bustling cities and it’s pleasant countryside! And after reading this book, I am CRAVING it! Set in Tokyo and Kyoto, this book will definitely make you want to visit Japan at the earliest! 🌸
While the plot as such isn’t very unique, it’s the writing that took the cake for me! The story does rely on a lot of clichés and basic YA tropes but it’s the fast-paced, quirky writing style that makes this book the piece of joy that it is! If you’re in a reading slump or you’re just out of a dense fantasy and don’t want to read heavy books, this one is the perfect choice for you!
Did I mention that this book has a very well-written forbidden romance featuring a broody book boyfriend? AKIO KOBAYASHI HAS MY HEART. A very caring, concerned, law-abiding boyfriend with a stoic exterior but a very tender heart? CHEF’S KISS. Emiko, please give me more Akio in Book 2! Pretty please!
We have all read slowburn romances. But have you read slowburn friendship? The blossoming of friendship between Izumi and her lady in waiting, Mariko was one of the highlights of this book! Mariko, who initially finds Izumi insufferable, slowly begins to take a liking towards her and it had me smiling from ear to ear.
The Asian Girl Gang(AGG for short) comprising Izumi, Noora, Hansani and Glory, all Asian American girls, was another favorite element for me! I love books featuring high school squads and this one was close to perfect! Makes me want to have an all-girl sassy squad now!
While being extremely fun and cute and giggle-inducing, it didn’t escape my notice how Izumi’s relationship with her father felt very realistic and intricately done. It wasn’t rushed and it took just the right amount of time to develop and that was indeed commendable!
Let’s embark on this journey to Japan with Izumi as she wades through her newly discovered royalty status while putting up with conniving and plotting cousins, a very very forbidden romance, a super hot bodyguard and language struggles! And when you’re done, it will leave you with a sense of satisfaction and a huge smile plastered to your face!
And oh gosh, I’ll NEVER EVER forget the word “ippai”. Thanks for that, Emiko Jean! 😂 Read the book to find out what I’m talking about!