Review Detail

2.8 3
Young Adult Fiction 3918
Good for Young Teens
Overall rating
Writing Style
Tokyo Heist is my first and last experience with DAC ARC tours. I signed up a couple of months ago, I think, and have since withdrawn from the Debut Author Challenge (though I continue to do my own non-age-specific debut challenge). Since that is a requirement for the tours, I am not going to be joining any more of them. However, I have NOTHING against DAC ARC Tours. They have been very professional and nice, even though this experience was more drama-filled than some, since the first ARC disappeared somewhere along the way. So thank you to DAC ARC Tours and to Penguin for making it possible for me to read this ARC.

Tokyo Heist would make an excellent read for younger readers looking to transition to YA or for middle graders. The content, writing, and characters definitely would fit with that age group well. Violet definitely felt like a young 16 to me. There were definitely times where she would be trying to figure something out and I would be headdesking at how obvious this particular part of the mystery was. This was not the case with every single clue by any means, but did happen more than once. I also couldn't believe that the FBI was impressed by some of her suggestions, since most of them seemed pretty obvious; maybe they were just being nice.

Of course, Violet does do some serious sleuthing too, along with the Scooby Doo variety. Where Violet and Tokyo Heist really shine are in the sections focusing on artwork. As the mystery progressed into more art-based research and sleuthing, the pace definitely picked up and I was less able to point out the obvious solution.

It's also great that you can totally tell how passionate Violet is about art, both other people's and her own. In fact, the artistic descriptions were so vivid that I occasionally sort of felt like I was reading a manga rather than a novel. This would have made a stellar manga or graphic novel, btws. It would have been like Inception, when it got into the Kimono Girl scenes!

Part of what made Violet seem so young was her manga obsession, which was also something I enjoyed, being a lover of manga as well. However, Violet takes it a little too far, as a young teen might do. Whenever she's stuck in her mystery-solving, she asks herself "WWVSD?" (What would Vampire Sleuths do?), because that is her favorite manga. She also tries to figure out how to handle her crush on her best friend by looking to manga for advice. Friends, I adore manga, but DO NOT DO THIS. No wonder she's having so much difficulty with her romance, poor dear.

Tokyo Heist is a fun read full of Asian culture (ftw!). If you're looking for something light with an entertaining mystery and some diversity, Renn's book is definitely worth picking up.
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