Title: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
Author: Rachel Cohn
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: December 18, 2018
“I’m here to take you to live with your father. In Tokyo, Japan! Happy birthday!”
In the Land of the Rising Sun, where high culture meets high kitsch, and fashion and technology are at the forefront of the First World’s future, the foreign-born teen elite attend ICS-the International Collegiate School of Tokyo. Their accents are fluid. Their homes are ridiculously posh. Their sports games often involve a (private) plane trip to another country. They miss school because of jet lag and visa issues. When they get in trouble, they seek diplomatic immunity.
Enter foster-kid-out-of-water Elle Zoellner, who, on her sixteenth birthday discovers that her long-lost father, Kenji Takahari, is actually a Japanese hotel mogul and wants her to come live with him. Um, yes, please! Elle jets off first class from Washington D.C. to Tokyo, which seems like a dream come true. Until she meets her enigmatic father, her way-too-fab aunt, and her hyper-critical grandmother, who seems to wish Elle didn’t exist. In an effort to please her new family, Elle falls in with the Ex-Brats, a troupe of uber-cool international kids who spend money like it’s air. But when she starts to crush on a boy named Ryuu, who’s frozen out by the Brats and despised by her new family, her already tenuous living situation just might implode.
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is about learning what it is to be a family, and finding the inner strength to be yourself, even in the most extreme circumstances.
This was a great story. When I first started reading it and I saw that Elle was in foster care, I thought it was going to be a stereotypical story of a girl who has to survive foster care. However, she had a “Princess Diaries” style discovery when her biological father sent for her to come to Tokyo.
The rest of the story was reminiscent of Crazy Rich Asians. Elle went to an elite international school in Tokyo, and she lived in a hotel with a gorgeous view of the city and 24/7 room service. I had never had a desire to go to Tokyo, but after reading this book, it looks like so much fun!
I was a little disappointed at the ending. It felt rushed and sudden. There were some important issues that were mentioned, such as teen pregnancy and alcoholism, but they weren’t explored very much. I would love to see what happens to Elle after the ending of the story.
What to read next:
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (Dash & Lily #1) by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1) by Meg Cabot
Have you read My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life? What did you think of it?