My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
by Rachel Cohn
My Rating: 🌟🌟
“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.
So this book wasn’t terrible, but let’s just say it wasn’t for me.
The characters felt very one dimensional. I didn’t connect or care for any of them really. Her so-called family on her father’s side were very unlikeable. Her father was cold and distant, Don’t even get me started on her grandmother!
I’ll leave pieces of a conversation here for you:
“Why is your skin dark?”
“My mother’s father was part Native American and African American,” I explained.
Mrs. Takahara did not try to hide her shock and displeasure. “Like black?”
“Mother!” Kim and Kenji both cried at Mrs. Takahara, who ignored them.
Mrs. Takahara said, “You know about the Nigerians in Roppongi? They’re bad, not honest.”
Ya’ll I get that they were supposed to be rich and in another country, but that doesn’t excuse this. I really had problems with her family.
There was something that I did like about it. I loved the description of Tokyo. I was so enamored with the world and the author’s descriptions. You can also tell the author done her homework on Japanese culture.
All in all, it was okay. Just not for me and not very memorable. If anything, read it for the look into Japanese culture.
**I received an arc via NetGalley for an honest review.
Quotes were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.