All the codes of Japanese culture in a teenage romance

Anne-So “Echos de Mots”, youth literature blogger and contributor to the reading group 20 minutes Books, recommend you Tokyo forever by Emiko Jean, published April 14, 2022 by Éditions Nathan.

His favorite quote:

I always knew I was different, but it was Emily who told me it was a problem. Of course I laughed with the other kids. Humor is always the best defense. I also took it upon myself when someone else asked if my family was celebrating the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or when I was asked to help with a math exercise. Supposedly, Asians would be good with numbers. Accident: I suck. Nevertheless, something curls up in me every time. I say nothing and swallow my shame.

Why this book?

  • Because Izumi, 17, is a young American of Japanese descent who will make a surprising discovery: she is the daughter of the Crown Prince of Japan. For this teenager, who has always struggled to find her place and who asks herself many questions about her identity, this revelation is an opportunity to understand who she is. So she decides to get in touch with her father and take a plane to Japan to meet him.
  • Because this novel is fresh, funny, sparkling and sour; a real literary candy that will delight fans Diary of a Princess by Meg Cabot (adapted for the movie starring Anne Hathaway) or even Crazy rich Asians. Here we first dive into Japanese culture and its codes, which are not always easy to assimilate for the heroine, especially when all the paparazzi in the country are determined to scrutinize her and show the smallest of her missteps.
  • Because Tokyo forever does not leave lovers of romance standing next to, on the contrary. Akio is part of the Imperial Guard and has been tasked with protecting the princess. If he and Izumi first get together as a dog and cat – both entangled in the first idea they have about each other – their relationship will gradually develop into a forbidden romance.
  • Because Tokyo forever is a modern young adult novel. The author’s pen does not lack humor and gives her characters an undeniable and necessary pep when living such adventures! Romance with a forbidden scent is addictive, the search for identity is a timeless and eternally effective theme, and diving into the heart of the Japanese Imperial Palace is a total change of scenery. In short, an easy story to devour to have fun at any age!

The most important thing in 2 minutes

The plot. When Izumi finds out that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan, she goes to the palace to find out about the imperial side of her family. Between furious paparazzi, protocol that is difficult to assimilate, attractive bodyguard and Japanese culture to discover, Izumi will no longer know where to turn …

Grades. Akumi is a teenager like the others with a assertive character without being a hothead. She seeks to make wise in finding her place in the imperial family. Akio is an upright and loyal young man who joined the Imperial Guard for his family.

Places. The heroine sails from the United States to Japan.

The time. The novel takes place in the present and begins when the heroine in her mother’s possessions discovers a poem written by the hand of a father of which she knows nothing.

The author. Emiko Jean is an American author and former entomologist living in Washington.

This book was read with pleasure of Anne-So Echos de Mots, blogger specializing in children’s and teenage literature. “For me, reading can be as much a personal pleasure where one runs to seek refuge, as an excuse to discuss and meet other readers. I am a lover of words, always interested in new discoveries. »

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