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Max Ackerman, Staff Writer

Emiko Jean has authored her third book called Tokyo Ever After. Her other two books are called Empress of All Seasons and We’ll Never Be Apart. Before Jean became a writer, she had many different careers. She was an entomologist, a candlemaker, a florist, and even a teacher for a little bit. Her wide knowledge of these varying topics has proved valuable to her writing. While the main character of We’ll Never Be Apart is white, Jean decided it would be best if her next two books had Japanese main characters. She draws from her knowledge of her own Japanese heritage.  

Tokyo Ever After follows the story of Izumi. She is your average Japanese-American teenager living in a predominantly caucasian town in Northern California. Izumi lives with her mom and dog, with no father in the picture. One day, when she was going through some of her mother’s books, Izumi and her friend Noora discover a love letter written to her mother. After Noora does some sleuthing to figure out who could have written the letter, she comes across something interesting. That is when Izumi finds out that she is a part of the Japanese Imperial family.  She then takes a trip to Japan to meet her long-lost family, for whom image is everything. On her travels, she meets her bodyguard Akio, who comes across as a cold-hearted person, she swore to never develop feelings for. She definitely failed in that department. While trying to come to terms with her own feelings and figure out where she fits in, she also has to learn a completely different culture. Will she ever be able to come to terms with who she is or will she be swept away by her newfound status as Princess Izumi? 

This book was pretty good. If I had to rate it on a scale from one to ten, then I would give it an eight. While the book was written well, I was not a fan of how some details were slightly forgotten about or changed. It will be pretty cool to learn more about the functions of a Japanese society when I read more of Emiko Jean’s books.