Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1039
A Japanese Cinderella feel!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
When Elle's mom gets sent to jail and she's thrown into foster homes, she starts to feel like her life is just falling apart. She's been struggling with her mom's addiction problems, but she's just about hit her limit of crapiness. Enter her dad from Tokyo.

After all these years, Elle's dad brings her to live in Tokyo so he can get to know her, but he has his own demons he's fighting. Between that and his time being consumed by work, Elle discovers her dad is more of an absent one. So, her focus remains on school. She quickly befriends Imogen and the Ex-Brats who are among the rich and privileged. They are also the "popular click" in school and ice out anyone who doesn't fit in, including Elle's friend Akemi and her crush Ryuu.

While there wasn't much depth to Elle, she was still very strong and had me cheering her on. I love Ryuu and looked forward to the parts that contained him. He's reserved and quiet, so who he really is remains a mystery for most of the book. But I loved learning more and more.

The main message of the story is that it isn't always easy to be a family, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. The ending is a little rushed, but it is also full of hope and promises that left me satisfied. It was also very interesting learning about Japanese culture and way of life. To me, that was the best part of the book and has me curious to learn more.


Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of coming of age, Japanese culture, sensitive family topics, and stories with characters who are finding who they are and where they fit in the world.
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