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 Izzy 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, Izzy 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.
Izzy 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 fairytale, happily ever after?
In late March, I had the delight of reading and reviewing Tokyo Ever After, a book that would become one of my favourite reads of all time. I have so much love for this romantic comedy, and I am incredibly delighted to participate in the blog tour for Tokyo Ever After today. Thank you to Flatiron Books for inviting me and allowing me to be part of this blog tour!
Today, not only will I be sharing with you all five good reasons why you should pick up this gorgeous book, but I also drew some fanart for Tokyo Ever After – and I hope you all love the wallpapers that I made out of my fanart.
Without further ado, here are my five reasons of why you should read Tokyo Ever After.
1. It’s like The Princess Diaries, but with an Asian lead
When I was young, I watched The Princess Diaries and was utterly enamoured by the story – and it also ignited a plethora of daydreams of me being a secret princess. So when I read Tokyo Ever After and got to follow Izumi as she discovers that she’s a secret princess and follow her on her fish-out-of-water journey across aristocratic Japan, I was thoroughly delighted. Izumi’s story just brought me so much joy.
2. The humour is warm, goofy and so charming
This book made me laugh out loud so many times. It was refreshing to read a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and manages to poke fun at itself. If you love humour that is incredibly silly, a little goofy, but undeniably charming, then you will love Tokyo Ever After.
3. Izumi is a relatable protagonist in her ordinariness
Something that I loved about Tokyo Ever After is how Izumi’s character was so refreshing and relatable. I loved that Izumi was spectacularly ordinary and average – she’s not a straight A student and she just loves hanging out with her friends. Academic excellence often dominates Asian narratives (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) but it was refreshing to see a protagonist who was just so ordinary; it made her journey all the more delightful.
4. The princess/bodyguard romance is *chefs kiss*
I didn’t know that I’d love the princess/bodyguard romance trope, but after reading Tokyo Ever After, I sure know now! The romance between Izumi and her bodyguard, Akio, was so much fun and so good. I loved the dislike-to-like-to-forbidden-romance, the tension of being in different stations, and the fleeting moments of joy when no one is looking.
5. A heartfelt portrait of identity and connection
Though Tokyo Ever After has plenty of silly and fun moments, the story is also a love letter to identity and finding yourself. Izumi’s family history is intertwined with the Japanese internment during World War II, leading to her family losing their connection to their heritage due to forced assimilation. So for Izumi to learn about her heritage and connect her diaspora and sourceland identity was beautiful and affirming.
Fanart for Tokyo Ever After
Because I loved Tokyo Ever After so much, I drew fanart of my darlings: Izumi and Akio!
(Why the radishes in the background? You’ll have to read the book to find out!)
Wallpapers for Tokyo Ever After
Download the wallpaper:
About the Author
When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.