I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of the blog tour for this new, wonderful book! If you remember, last year I was swept off my feet by the incredible book Tokyo Ever After. It promised me a Princess Diaries-esque vibe and boy oh boy did it deliver.
That being said, Tokyo Ever After left me with one specific want after I turned the last page: a royal wedding please between Mr. Crown Prince Dad and Ms. Professor Mom. Emiko Jean said, “Yes, Rendz. For you, anything.” And boom…here we are one year later with a sequel!
It didn’t go down exactly like that, but I did indeed receive the royal wedding drama that I wanted.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review!
Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller Tokyo Ever After
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
Much like the first book, I really enjoyed the court drama. Only this time it got on a much bigger scale now that Izumi and her mom were both being scrutinized by the public eye. The book does a nice job of exploring, once again, the criticism faced by women in media and the pressure put on them to conform and be puppeteer-ed by the opinions of others. What I loved about this book is that Izumi encounters different experiences and different opinions from various women in her life who all have to deal with similar, if not the same, kind of pressure.
As in the previous book, there is quite a wonderful cast of characters to be found. I think my favourite evolution over all from book one is that the Shining Twins were fleshed out and their “villainy” was given some more nuance. They were honestly the highlight characters for me, despite their less than wonderful scenes.
And here comes the juicy bit…I never thought that I would say that I enjoyed a love triangle…and I continue to hold onto that statement precariously. HOWEVER, this one was actually very well done, in my humble opinion. We had the awful break up, the ruse of fake dating and then the real fall-in, only to be confronted by The Choice and its aftermath. Bottom line is that Eriku is a sweetheart and Akio is the loyal first love. My oh my. Decisions. Decisions.
Romance aside though, I really enjoyed Izumi’s struggle for her purpose. She spends much of the first part of the book wondering what her next move is going to be and then spends the rest of the book on a path that she is still not sure is for her. Anyone who has ever struggled with the blank page of the future can relate to her troubles, even if we are not princesses of Japan needing to impress an entire nation. Deciding what to be, what to do and who you are is a challenge for everyone.
All in all, the book was cute. Was it missing some of the hijinks from the first book, maybe. But if you want to enjoy a sweet book with an extra dash of court drama then I highly recommend it for you. AND if you were hoping for a little more of a taste between the parents love story, the glimpses this book offers will surely satisfy that hunger!
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Recommend: Yes! For my romantics and royal enthusiasts!
Let me know what you think! Have you had the chance to pick this one up yet? What love-triangle books have caught your eye lately? Do you prefer modern fairy tales or more historic ones?