I’m actually really happy to talk about this book right here. I kept seeing this book, Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, on Youtube and Instagram. Hell, it’s in Reese Witherspoon’s book club for this month. It is a YA (Young Adult) contemporary novel that looks like a first in a series. I have seen nothing but positive responses from this book so naturally, I was intrigued. To be honest, I haven’t read many books by Asian writers and I’m trying to change that (no it’s not because of all the Asian hate but just because I need more diverse books in my life). I always preach that representation matters and I’ve mostly read books by white writers. Anyway, I could not wait to dive in this book. Princesses? Romance? Finding out who you are? Sign me up please!
It’s not easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white Northern California town. Raised by a single mother, Izumi–or Izzy, because “it’s easier this way”–has always felt it’s been her and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always 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 soul mate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izumi 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?
Where do I begin with this book? I loved it! I had such a great time reading it. I never wanted to put it down even though it took me some days to read it (like four days). I loved this book. I low-key feel like it will be made into a Netflix movie. That’s the vibes I got from it. I honestly loved seeing her journey from a super unorganized teen to a royal. As I read the book, at some parts I found myself noticing the small changes she was making overtime and in the middle of the book, I thought to myself, wow she’s changed so much and in a good way. How she became more poised coming into her own was fascinating. It was very believable and it was empowering.
The only part of the book that I found a bit predictable was who was going to betray her. It could just be me not being able to fully trust people and keep my guard up but I figured out pretty quickly who was going to be the shady character. That was like the only thing I found predictable. I loved the imagery in the book. It painted a very beautiful picture of Tokyo. In fact, I definitely want to visit it one day. One awesome thing I got out of this book was that it made me want to discover my roots and my Bahamian heritage.
It gave me all the romance feels. I’m a sucker for a great romance book and this did not disappoint at all. I loved how Akio (her bodyguard) just paid attention to the little details about her and how their relationship grew over time. It was very organic and precious. The fact that he wrote poetry and ugh…their relationship was everything to me. One of my favorite quotes from Akio was “I wish I could take away your sorrows and bury them deep”. Like how sweet is that? The romance was believable and again…this was everything I needed.
I love how relevant everything was. This must have just recently been written and came out (side note: it came out in May of this year). because it was so relevant on current hot shows and clothes. This book did not disappoint. It reminds me of The Princess Dairies meets Crazy Rich Asians. This book is just awesome. It was quick paced and the writing itself…honestly it felt like I was talking so I totally appreciated that. The only thing I was a bit worried about was the language. There’s no sexual scenes at all but the explicit language was a different story. Truth be told, I didn’t mind it but to be a YA book, I was a little concerned. Then again, I can see some high school seniors or juniors reading this book.
All in all, I loved this book. I didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to read other books the writer comes up it. I rate this book 4/5. You can find it at your local bookstores, Target, or even Amazon.
What new books have you read lately? What book should I read and review next?