Tokyo Dreaming

Flatiron. (Tokyo Ever After: Bk. 2). May 2022. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250766632.
Gr 8 Up–In the second installment of Jean’s lovable coming-of-age romp, Izumi Tanaka has a lot on her mind. Will she take a gap year? Go directly to college? How will she and her friends stay in touch? Is the boy she fell head over heels for still the one? However, there is an enormous, more foreboding element to things. Izumi is not just a girl trying to navigate the mundane changes of getting older—she is the daughter of the crown prince of Japan and forever under the watchful eye of the press. People inside and outside the court are ready to record her even slightest mistake. Quickly she realizes it is not just her reputation on the line; after finally reuniting, her father and her mother want to marry. A princess does not simply get to choose her life and the adventure throughout it. Or does she? This book excels in the best of both the cheesy and the substance of a YA novel’s plot. The setting, however, sets it apart. The Japanese imagery and historical context explained in the book never feel forced. Jean accurately captures the difficulty for truly empathic individuals to focus on what is best for themselves while caring for others. Readers will find themselves laughing and screaming out loud at the characters’ choices. Warning for one tastefully vague sexually explicit scene in the book that readers can easily skip without derailing the overall awesome writing of the book as a whole.
VERDICT Buy this fun book for any collection, especially where the previous book is popular.

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