Reading this book....."WHERE IS PART TWO"
I think the story is interesting and kinda cute. Pacing was weird though. The ending is what made me decide to give the book three stars. It was so rushed that even though all the strings were technically tied up, it left me dissatisfied in a way (if that makes sense). There were also some things in the book that felt like it was kind of just tossed in there just to be in there.
Overall, I did enjoy reading the book. I like the Toyko aspect (that was the best part I think). It was different from the YA books I typically read. I’d recommend it if you are looking for a quick fun read.
Going into this book, I had really low expectations, but I surprisingly really enjoyed this novel. The main character. Elle has been living in a nightmare. When her single parent mother is sent to jail, Elle gets sent into the foster care system. She is forced to endure bad foster parent, after bad foster parent. Then one day she is told that her 'deadbeat' dad wants her to come live with him in Tokyo. Right away Elle starts to realize this 'deadbeat' dad is actually a millionaire and she is being flown first class straight into a Tokyo Dream Life Fairytale. If you like the book series Gossip Girl and books like The Thousandth Floor, then you will love this book. I really liked the way Rachel Cohn delves into the lives of Tokyo's Elite. I feel like Rachel Cohn really did her research on Japan while writing this book. If you've ever dreamed of traveling to Japan but just haven't had the funds or vacation time to go, then read this book. She writes about a lot of fun touristy things to do, like visiting the cat cafe's and famous robot cafe's in Shibuya. I really felt like I was experiencing everything for the first time along side Elle because her character was just so relatable. This book was really well written and you honestly feel like your on vacation in Japan while reading this book. This was honestly a perfect summer read.
Elle is living in Foster Home #3 when her Uncle Masa shows up one day to tell her that she’s moving to Tokyo to live with her super-rich Japanese dad - whom she’s never met. Cue "My Flawless Tokyo Dream Life," a whirlwind story à la The Princess Diaries that maintains warp speed as Elle explores her newfound home, determined to make a fresh start. But will her new “friends” at school prevent her from being her true self? Sprinkled with Japanese culture, and with a timely discussion of sexual assault, I highly recommend this relevant novel by prominent YA author Rachel Cohn.
quick and fun read that was better than I expected. the Japanese elements were well-researched and authentic, for the most part. was there a great deal of despair and teenage angst? no, but neither did princess diaries contain suicide, depression, and violence.
Mehhhhhh. It's Little Orphan Annie, But In Japan. And not in a good way. Characters were flat, plots were as thin as rice paper, and there is nothing particularly poetic or beautiful about the words used to describe those. On the rare occasion that an outing to broader Japan is included, the settings do sparkle, but unfortunately, most of the time we see in this book is spent in the fictional school or fictional hotel/lounge space, both of which felt way more American than Japanese.
Three further notes:
- The inclusion of mis-worded idioms in English was a cheap token "haha English is hard!" joke that fell really flat, for me, because it felt completely unlike how English language learners *actually* mess up. I do appreciate that sharing idioms was a way to bond with an otherwise outcast teen, but c'mon -- it's 2019. "orange of my eye"? You can do better. Imperfect English is a thing, and a thing that COULD be represented more, but the shoddy
- No one who would be catering to actual rich people in actual Japan would do a buffet. Buffets are for poor people to feel like they have an abundance. The higher you go in Japanese cuisine circles, the more emphasis there is on elements from kaiseki, such as seasonality, local ingredients, and exquisite presentation. A buffet of "everything possible" has absolutely none of those elements. Despite the emphasis on the Amazing Food, the way it was presented fell really flat.
- This felt, overall, like someone had spent a month or two in Tokyo and wrote out a really long daydream about What It Might Be Like To Live There, For Realsies. But then decided that wasn't dramatic enough so they had to add Terrible Life Circumstances to Escape, and wrote the most dramatic foster-kid scenario. There are tons of problems with the foster family system in the United States, but this was like Little Orphan Annie level of dramatized torture in the orphanage, and it didn't hit on any of the real issues kids are facing. I would cringe to hand this to any kid who'd actually been through the foster care system.
Definitely skip this one if you're at all familiar with Japanese culture already. Maybe hand it to a reader who's just discovered anime and manga, and wonders what it would be like to actually travel to Japan. Anyone else...pass. There isn't enough of anything here other than a fangirl love letter to Japan, and even there, it's very surface-level.
A Must-Read Young Adult pick. On her 16th birthday, Elle Zoellner leaves the foster care system to live with the rich and powerful father she never knew in Tokyo. Will it be a dream come true?
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