By: Cait Marie
*Originally reviewed on YA Books Central. I received a free advanced copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller Tokyo Ever After.
Since reading Tokyo Ever After a few months ago, I’ve been eager to read this sequel. And it did not disappoint!
This is such a cute, sweet story. I loved jumping back into this world and finding out what happened next with Izumi, her family, and Akio. It picked right up with Izumi still learning what it took to be a “proper” princess, but it also added in a new potential love interest to show how much her life is changing, not to mention the stress and decisions her mother had to make as well.
I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this book. Though it’s technically a romance, that didn’t truly feel like the main focus, which I liked. It was more about Izumi and her mother adjusting to their new lives and figuring out how much of themselves to give up to become what others wanted them to be. I also loved that we got to see her cousins more and understand their behavior.
The romance was really good, though a tiny bit predictable. I had a feeling I knew how it’d end, and I was pleased with it. However, it kind of felt abrupt. I don’t want to spoil things, so I won’t go into details, but the romance part of the ending felt very rushed, and how it pivoted to that point felt almost random. Again, I still very much enjoyed the book, and this didn’t take away from the overall story.
I highly recommend this duology! It’s a cute story with a lot of heart. This second book actually made me cry. Despite its fairytale-esque story, it also feels very real. Izumi’s emotions and struggles are realistic and relatable. It isn’t just becoming a princess she’s dealing with but finding herself, preparing for college, and growing up in general.
It was a great read, and I look forward to seeing what the author has in store next!
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