Tokyo Ever After
by Emiko Jean
Crazy Rich Asians meets The Princess Diaries in this irresistible story about Izumi, a Japanese-American girl who discovers her senior year of high school that she’s really a princess of Japan.
Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
In a whirlwind, Izzy 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 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?
~Special thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for giving me the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book~
This was a partially tepid read.
Rating: 👑👑👑👑 4.2 luscious crowns.
Hello, and be welcomed into another episode of
*talk show music*
Books That I Thought Would Be Amazing But That Turned Out Being A Slight Disappointment (or B.T.I.T.W.B.A.B.T.T.O.B.A.S.D for short)
Yes, I am aware that I always set my expectations inhumanly high, and that most times it is utterly my fault as to why I disliked the book, but hear me out. The whole story just SCREAMED Rom Com deliciousness waiting to happen and my brain being the bootiful specimen it is, obviously made it clear what I was walking into. I just- I had a humongous amount of hope set on this. Alas, that hope was stomped down in the final parts of this story.
Now, I shall talk about the good things first, as I seldom do.
The thing is, the writing was amazing. Relatable and so full of life, pungent in its realism, magnificent in its roots *intense hand motions because Booksy doesn't know what else to say*, beautiful in its facade. Truly amazing. One of the things I love most, gowns down, is that it wasn't perfect. It didn't STRIVE to be perfect, which is AMAZING. Since all YA books have plenty of metaphors that I absolutely adore, but I wasn't in the mood for it, at the time in which I was reading this. So thank you, dear book. For not disappointing me more. *smiles in petty*
The next thing on the list... *frantically checks said list* THE PLOT. Sorry, didn't mean to scream it.
*whispering* The plot.
It was fantastic. I know, SuRpRiSiNg. Perhaps I have read books with the same premise about a thousand times, perhaps the story has been repeated in so many instances it has ingrained itself into my memory. And PERHAPS, I am that same moron who always comes back to the nest. AKA, cheesy YA books that make me feel all fuzzy and warm and full of will to continue on (which I adore). Predictable at times? Absolutely. But you bet your fancy tiara I read through the night to finish it (and although it isn't a rare occurrence, I still lost sleep over it. Consider yourself lucky, TEA).
And a little tip, betrayal is in the midst.
(NOT A SPOILER, I SWEAR)
Oh, the beautiful characters. I can sincerely say that I was pleasantly bamboozled by the preciousness instigated by them. And since I can't go into detail (bring me my coffin, porfavor) I shall limit myself to gracefully trip through all the wires surrounding them.
The MC was wonderful.
Wonderfully weird, and I'll be the first to tell y'all, I call dibs as BFF. And throw her off a cliff. *sweet grin*
But of course, I shall throw her off a 4 foot cliff, I'm not a savage you know. I shall explain myself a bit since I called dibs as her BFF and feel the need to do so.
Izumi was really kind (which I hated so much at times)
She was extremely fun and out of the roof speshul.
But, BUT (and not Kim K's) she. cried. so. much. And was more indecisive than ME. And that's saying a LOT. (the other day I couldn't decide between wearing a black satin dress or a midnight black dress. The pAiN)
And that annoyed me to the end of this frail ecosystem of ours. Yes, she was cool. Yes, she had the best friends a girl could ever ask for. And also yes, slight annoyance made itself present in her existence.
Closing the curtain on her, as previously stated, her friends were to die for. I would die for them. Fictionally. But I would die for them nonetheless. I adore how that the author actually gave the secondary characters PERSONALITY. I can't y'all-
I need a second-
They had PERSONALITIES. Which I could DIFFERENTIATE. That's it. That's all I can say about them without becoming a blubbering fool (don't you even say it, I know I'm a blubbering fool. I've accepted it)
(The Love interest doesn't exist in Ba Sing Sae)
And because I love a little rant here and there, ON TO THE THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE VERY MUCH OR SAW ANY USE, TO BE HONEST.
The love scheme (I've become slightly tired of repeating that the romance is crap) was the thing that brought this down.
0 to 100 real quick. WHERE WAS THE BUILD-UP.
Oh, I know, right beside my 2nd-grade drawings.
In the trash.
*more petty smiling*
On a closing note, even though it was a bit tepid and overly cliché. I REALLY enjoyed it. The story was interesting, the characters were precious and the drama was *queen's kiss* Perfection, dahling. I wish I could've said that the book as a whole was a masterpiece alas, it was missing something. A tea was awaiting to be mixed into this. Said tea being named, a different love int-
I truly recommend this to those who love a good romance once in a while, ones who want their heart to go into overdrive at times. If you like a fast read, full of drama and funny analogies and even better Tokyo sights and language, this is totally for you. And of course, Princess Diaries lovers. Oh, Oh! And laughs. Laughter is a good definition of how this story made me cackle at the wee hours in the morning. You are the real friend, dear pillow.
P.S: *starts fancily accented writing*
Dear Long lost uncle...
Even though you may not know me, nor I may not exist to you. Or vice versa.
I just wanted to bare my heart for a single moment and say
where the heck is my crown-
Vaguely thought-out data graph. I have a little obsession with those things these days.