Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in―it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi―or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”―and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself―back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?
Tokyo Ever AfterFeatured
I really liked Izzy. She's spirited, lovable, and determined to find her Japanese father. Her encounters with her father are awkward at first. She really tries to reconcile with her Japanese heritage, but the tabloids and even some within the royal palace aren't too welcoming. The Mean twin cousins go out of their way to make her feel like a 'Gaijin'-foreigner. Then there's the cute guard assigned to her-Akio-who sets her heart a flutter whenever he's close by.
Izzy's struggles trying to find out where she fits in are very realistic. She finds she's too foreign to be Japanese and never American enough back in the states. The relationship between her and Akio starts off as indifferent to one that is much more. I also liked Izzy and her father's bubbling relationship. It's not perfect, but both try to get past things like thousands of years of tradition that stand in the way.
Emiko does a great job showing readers Japanese food, culture, language, and a blossoming romance set amidst court drama and more!
Japanese Princess Diaries with a spunky, endearing heroine whose search to find herself leads her to a royal family and coming to terms with what she really wants out of her life.
2. Fun, refreshing twist on a teen finding out she's a Japanese princess