Book Reviews

Review: Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

After adoring Tokyo Ever After, I knew I had to read the sequel. And what a sequel! If you love stories with us against the world vibes and family discoveries, you have to read this one! It’s perfect for fans of the first and who love the Princess Diaries sequel vibes. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Tokyo Dreaming is a sequel that asks us what we are willing to sacrifice for what we want. For what we think is best. Each of these characters have to contemplate how much of themselves they give up for their dreams. For acceptance from their family and society. All to pursue their dreams. But when we begin to sacrifice pieces of ourselves, who will we be when we get there? This sequel is one that questions the conflicting pressures of our heart.

The world can try so hard to push us into being someone else. Into the model of who they want us to be, a rigid cage of acceptance. And it becomes our decision whether to acquiesce or to deny them. But is there a middle ground? In Tokyo Dreaming, Izumi will figure out who she is when she’s battling what everyone wants from her. I loved how Jean asks these characters, all of them really, who they want to be. In the midst of struggle, of the world forcing us one way, will we lose ourselves?

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Tokyo Dreaming is perfect for readers who wondered, “where else can it go from here”? It features a super swoony fake dating scheme and seeing her relationship with her parents bloom – as well as with her cousins – was a true joy. At the same time, it showcases the power of love and finding someone who will see us for who we are. The power of being exactly who we are meant to be. To know that family is what we make of it. We have to actively choose and fight for the space to be us against a world which wants to form us into something else. And Tokyo Dreaming is the anthem for that. Find Tokyo Dreaming on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite literary princess?

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