Summary: Tokyo Ever After
In Tokyo Ever After, Izumi Tanaka finds out that her father (the one her single mother never wants to talk about) is the crowned Prince of Japan. Immediately, she’s whisked away to Japan to meet her father and the family she didn’t know she had. Of course, this means she had to leave close to the end of her senior year in high school, hoping to return in time for graduation. When she gets to Japan, however, she’s met with a new (handsome) bodyguard, Akio; cunning cousins, and a whole lot of royal etiquette to learn. Will she survive and finally find belonging? Or will she crash and burn?
This was such a fun book! I loved every moment spent listening to the audio galley. The narrator was spot-on and the story itself very immersive. Izumi is awkward and messy and feels a bit of out of place as an Asian-American. She’s hoping that going to Japan will be an opportunity to find herself.
At first, things are different, but pretty okay. But then the Japanese press begins to rip into her, all while she’s trying to understand her new role and dealing with cousins who are jealous about sharing the spotlight. I have no knowledge of Japanese Royalty, but the details included in this book feel believable enough that there are few, if any distracting elements.
Then, of course, there’s the attraction to her new bodyguard, Akio, whose mother is suffering with dementia. I thought their relationship was endearing and realistic and I was totally rooting for them throughout the story. I also liked Izumi’s relationship with her mother and girlfriends, as well as her tentative relationship with her father, and her parents’ love story (which I hope a sequel will address).
Overall: Tokyo Ever After
Tokyo Ever After is a royal coming-of-age story perfect for fans of The Princess Diaries. Set in Tokyo and Kyoto, this young adult romance provides an immersive armchair travel experience. With a sweet, smart, relatable protagonist, and an endearing love interest this is a guaranteed favorite for fans of young adult romances. I would highly recommend this for teens and adults looking for an escapist read that tackles tough topics like parental illness, the impact of media and finding a sense of belonging.
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I received an audio galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Kim Spradlin says
Would this book be appropriate for 7-9 graders, or is it more for high school? I’m a junior high librarian with grades 7-9 and it’s a tough age level in terms of finding appropriate YA books because it includes middle grade (7,8) and high school (9th) kids.
Afoma Umesi says
Hi Kim! I would try it with 9th graders. There’s a couple instances of mild profanity and underage drinking. If you’re looking for books for 7th and 8th graders, please check out my books by grades category. I have book recommendations for grades 2 up to 9 and then for high schoolers https://readingmiddlegrade.com/category/book-lists/by-grade/
Specifically for 7-9th graders, this list of upper middle grade books is super helpful https://readingmiddlegrade.com/upper-middle-grade-books/
I hope these help!
Kim Spradlin says
Thank you so much!
Erin M says
sounds like a good one!