Review: Tokyo Dreaming (Tokyo Ever After #2)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free as part of a blog tour.

First off, I loved the first book in the series, Tokyo Ever After. It was one of my favorite books of 2021 which made me very excited to read the sequel. I still think that the first book was a tiny bit better, but for the most part I found the sequel to be a worthy successor. 

This book picks right up where the last book left off and from there continues Izumi’s story. It does not miss a beat and gets right into the drama of royal life. Like the first book, the writing style is easy and a breeze to read. 

I loved the character development, especially the development of Akiko and Noriko (aka the Shining Twins). I enjoyed seeing them get more of a spotlight and how dimensional they became. They could have easily stayed the villains, but instead got more depth. 

I also liked how the book explored growing up and maturing. The story explores Izumi’s post-high school life and contrasts it with her friends. The juxtaposition highlighted Izumi’s coming of age journey well. 

There was a love triangle, which I didn’t think was necessary. The book would have still worked without it. 

Overall, this was a sweet sequel and I hope Izumi’s story continues! 


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Review: Tokyo Ever After

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Flatiroin exchange for an honest review.

This was such a cute read! 

The premise is everything. A Japanese American girl discovering she is a princess? Yes please! As a whole, I thought the premise was well executed. There was a good balance between the humorous adjusting to royal parts and the more serious discovering who she is parts.   

I really liked that the book included a family tree with a brief description of everyone in the family. It made the book so easy to follow. 

Character-wise, I loved Izumi’s all Asian friend group (nicknamed Asian Girl Gang, or AGG for short). It was so nice seeing a female lead with a large friend group to support her. Also, one of her friends was half-Filipino just like me. I always love seeing Filipino representation in books, even if it’s just a small side character. 

I also enjoyed the writing style. It was engaging and flowed well. 

The Own Voices aspect was also really strong, especially in regards to feeling like a foreigner. The book highlighted how visiting Japan while being Japanese American feels strange since she’s not “Japanese” enough. That is so true. Being American is an added layer of identity and affects how others perceive you. I’m Filipino American and there is a difference in how people in the Philippines view you if you’re American born versus Philippines born. 

However, the book is on the predictable side. If you’re familiar with the lost royalty trope or have seen The Princess Diaries movies, then a lot of the plot points are nothing new. 

Additionally, the romance in this book is a little insta-lovey. I felt like the book didn’t even need a romance sub-plot; it was already strong on its own. 

Overall, I throughly enjoyed this Own Voices take on lost royalty! I recommend it if you love stories about royal families. 


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Review: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon A Con #2)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

Omg this book was incredible and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I read Geekerella about 2 years ago and loved it, but I don’t remember having this level of response to it. I’m obsessed. 

So first off, I loved the writing style. Sometimes when you read books about fandoms it can come across like a fan fiction. This book read like a nice YA contemporary with fandom references. 

I also loved that this book tackled the darker side of fandoms. A big focus was on how harsh fans (particularly in the sci-fi community) can be on actors. This is something that happens all the time and I’m glad the book gave the perspective of the actor on the receiving end of it. I also liked that this darkness was balanced by the positives of fandoms. It showed both sides well. 

As for the plot, I liked that it took place entirely at the con. I thought the romances were adorable and I loved the representation (LGBT and POC).

The fandom references were so on point. My favorite was the Blue Eyes White Dragon reference to Yu-Gi-Oh on page 251 (I was super obsessed with Yu-Gi-Oh as a kid). 

Lastly, if you miss Darien, Elle, and Sage from Geekerella, don’t worry. They all make an appearance in the book and I was so happy to see them again.

Overall, this was an amazing companion novel to Geekerella. If you loved that book, you’ll love this one! 

Review: Princesses Behaving Badly

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books). 

This was such a fascinating read. It contains mini-biographies of different real life royals (princesses, empresses, sultanas etc.) from around the globe, and throughout history. Some of the princesses are well heard of, but most are relatively unknown. 

I really liked how the book showed how complex and flawed these women were. They’re not necessarily depicted as being “good” or “bad”, just human. The context of their worlds were also given, which helped you understand their actions better. It also showed how being a princess was not as glamorous as one may think. 

Another thing I liked was how the book tried to separate fact from fiction. Historiography is complicated, especially when it comes to telling women’s stories. Women are vilified so much more easily and quickly than men. I appreciated how the author explained what was probably true and what was a myth. 

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However, the one thing that I didn’t agree with was the author’s view on Disney princesses (it was a negative one). It was only briefly mentioned in the introduction so it wasn’t a huge deal to me.

The biographies themselves were all very entertaining. The most interesting aspects of their lives were highlighted. 

Overall, this is a fun read for princess lovers. 

 

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