Cover Image: Tokyo Ever After

Tokyo Ever After

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Member Reviews

I think there will be a lot of teenagers, probably American ones, who will really enjoy this novel. It’s the dream of finding out you’re somehow special and then when you don’t measure up, finding out that you’re actually fine just the way you are. Being celebrated for mediocrity in fact! Who doesn’t like that? 

As a person living in Japan, there were some parts that just didn’t ring true. Izumi was in Japan for such a short time, so it’s really impossible that her language learning practice started with painting kanji. Hiragana first, katakana second, kanji a distant third. Dorayaki are made with anko, bean paste. They are delicious, but they aren’t made with Nutella. There was just something about the FEEL of it that felt like it’s written by someone who’s never been here. 

As a reader, I had a hard time believing the start of the story. I know I need to suspend disbelief in a “turns out I’m a Princess” story, but the mom just turned around and let her go to Japan to see her ex-lover without even a conversation? Izumi flew all the way to Japan without even cracking the prep book sent to her? I don’t believe it for a second. Yes, she’s painted as a bit of a lazy, go with the flow teenager, but I think the complete lack of preparation for her visit is in contrast to her supposed extreme interest in meeting her father. I also think it’s a little insulting to teenagers. They’re not this... apathetic. I know. I teach them. These two things happen so early on in the story, by the way, that I don't think this qualifies as a spoiler. Finally, the secondary characters were all charming but felt like foils for Izumi rather than fully realized individuals. 

But you know what? We have a ton of fluffy romance novels lacking in substances with white girls who discover their European royalty as the main character. Nothing wrong with a fluffy romance lacking in substance with an Asian girl discovering she’s Japanese royalty. 

If I were in America, I would buy this book for my students because my quibbles with cultural accuracy are just that: quibbles. For my students in Japan though? Probably not.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Crazy Rich Asians meets The Princess Diaries with a healthy mix of First Daughter and American Royals in this lovely new contemporary YA story about a girl whose search for her father leads her straight to the Imperial Palace of Japan. Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean needs to be on your TBR.
Izumi is a pretty normal girl–well as normal as you can be being Japanese American in the states and struggling to fit in as well as accept yourself and your culture. She’s got a good group of girl friends, a single mom who loves her, and a smelly little dog she adores, but she’s always wondered who her father was. When her friend discovers an inscription inside one of her mother’s flower books, they end up finding her father…but he’s not just another Harvard grad her mother had an affair with her senior year….he’s the Crown Prince of Japan.
Before Izumi can even process this, the Imperial Guard is at her house, she’s being offered a chance to go to Japan,and of course she jumps at the chance to learn more about where she comes from, but going from Mount Shasta to the Imperial Palace is a big jump.
Being a Princess is hard work, especially when there’s a demanding lady-in-waiting, scheming twin cousins, a hot bodyguard, and a father she doesn’t know at all. But soon Izumi finds herself falling in love with this new country–even as it demands more and more of her–and that’s not the only thing she’s falling for.
I LOVED this book. I recently read Heiress Apparently and it fell really flat for me, but this one soared like American Royals–well written, lots of humor and heart, a protagonist I was rooting for, and a good plot! It’s only a little predictable (aren’t all books these days?) and I loved the dynamic that her father brought to the story–especially the last 15%! Fingers crossed this book gets the hype it deserve–it’s so fun, such a good travel story mixed with female coming of age and family growth, and I really enjoyed it!
Tokyo Ever After is on sale everywhere May 25, 2021.
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What a fun ride this book was! i loved traveling to Japan and have a bit of a remake of Princess Diaries.

On a personal note, I was unsettled that i am the same age as the parents but that is just personal.

This book was a lot of fun. I will be featuring this book in my blog  in the following feature: Upcoming YA books to add to your TBR and a Book Feature/Review closer to publication date.  I would be happy to interview. Emiko in my podcast.
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Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean was exactly what I needed when I read it! A lighthearted, fun break from some recent heavier reads, Tokyo Ever After was the perfect modern Princess Diaries. As a Japanese American myself, I absolutely loved reading about Japanese American Izumi Tanaka, a teen who learns that she is the daughter of the Crown Prince of Japan. This book to me encapsulated so perfectly what it feels to be Japanese American -- sometimes feeling not quite American enough, but definitely not Japanese enough. The feelings and experiences she described of being in Japan were so similar to those that I had when I visited -- a place that I thought would feel like home, but wasn't quite. 

Absolutely loved this one and recommend it, especially for those who watched Princess Diaries as a teenager like me, and would imagine long lost royal relatives bringing you into a life of luxury.

forthcoming review on
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Perfect for fans of Crazy Rich Asians and The Princess Diaries!

Disclaimer: I will be posting a review closer to the release date but this was a super cute YA contemporary book!
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Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians meets American Royals in this new YA novel out in April 2021. Izumi finds out that she is a princess of Japan in the middle of her senior year and the novel follows her as she finds herself in a new role and also getting to know the father she never knew. Oh, and he just so happens to be the future emperor of Japan, no biggie. She navigates crazy cousins, a forbidden romance, a nosy press, and finding her true self wedged between two cultures.  I loved learning more about the Japanese culture in this book and it was a quick read that I devoured in one sitting! 4/5 stars.
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