• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

Emiko Jean's young adult light fiction is delightful, youthful, sometimes wonderfully silly, and heartwarming. The irresistible premise of Tokyo Ever After: a heretofore-unknown princess finds herself and searches for her place in the world.

Emiko Jean's young adult light fiction Tokyo Ever After is the story of Izumi (Izzy) Tanaka, an everyday, average Japanese-American teen...who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan.

She's been raised by her caring, no-nonsense single mother in a mostly white northern California town, and she's never known the identity of her father.

Izumi is gobsmacked to discover that she's literally a princess. The only thing more outrageous is that she's asked to travel to Japan to meet her father and the rest of her royal family for the first time.

Cue the ball gowns, thousands of years of customs and traditions to try to learn, introductions to tricky rivalries and jealousies within her family--and the uncomfortable implication that the outspoken Izzy should quiet down and fall in line. She quickly realizes that being a princess isn't all it's cracked up to be.

“What had I pictured? That we’d run into each other’s arms? That our shared DNA would act as opposite ends of a magnet pulling us together? He is not a dad returning from deployment. I am not a child eagerly awaiting his arrival. There are no memories to anchor our relationship. He did not tuck me in at night, hold me while I raged with a fever, or cheer me on when I stole home playing softball.”


Tokyo Ever After is about identity, expectations, truth, challenges, betrayal, loyalty, and self-discovery. Jean's story is lighthearted, romantic, and sometimes poignant with frequently silly, teenaged comments, references, and text chains. It's just lovely.

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Tokyo Ever After is listed as Tokyo Ever After #1, with the second book in the series, Tokyo Dreaming, expected next year. Jean is also the author of Empress of All Seasons and We'll Never Be Apart.

If you like light fiction, you might want to try some of the titles on the Greedy Reading List Six Lighter Fiction Stories for Great Escapism. For other great young adult books, you might try the titles on the Greedy Reading List Six Fantastic Stand-Alone Young Adult Books. And for young adult royal stories, try Six Royally Magical Young Adult Series.