Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 753
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream
(Updated: September 03, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Sixteen-year-old foster kid Elle Zoellner's life turns topsy turvy when a father, she never knew about, wants her to move to Tokyo. Elle feels as if she's living a real version of Cinderella's life. Her father, when he's around, is charming, funny, and someone she wants to know more about. She's sent to ICS-International Collegiate School of Toyoko where she's suddenly accepted by the Ex-Brats, ubercool rich kids. Elle is excited about her new life, but misses her mother, who is in prison for selling drugs. Then she's attracted to Ryuu, a boy who is iced out of the Ex-Brats group. Her father also warns her to stay away from him. Can she be true to her heart, even if that means ruining a chance for a better life?

What worked: This is a modern-day Cinderella tale set in the fast-paced world of Tokyo. Elle is a foster kid with a mother in prison for selling drugs. At first, she's not sure about the opportunity to go meet a father she never knew about. Then when she goes to Tokyo and becomes part of the inner circle at an elite school, her life feels like a dream. Nevermind her 'new' father works all the time or that her grandmother doesn't seem to like her. I really liked how Cohn pulls back the curtain and shows readers that not all is what it seems in world of the rich.

Elle is strong, funny, and excited to find out about her Japanese culture. This is where Cohn's writing excels. She shows readers Tokyo in lush, vivid details. I especially love when Elle and Ryuu go to 'cat island'. There's glimpses of Japanese culture, that at first are hard for Elle. But she tries her best to shine as she wants to connect with a father she never knew.

My only concern was how fast the story was tied up. The ending felt too rushed. Though Elle's arc of being true to herself rang very true.

Intriguing tale of learning about what family means and finding the strength to be true to yourself. Filled with rich descriptions of Tokyo and Japanese culture.
Good Points
1. Great descriptions of Tokyo
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