Thank you so much to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
THIS IS THE SEQUEL TO TOKYO EVER AFTER! SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK BELOW!
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
I’ve been looking forward to reading Tokyo Dreaming ever since I finished Tokyo Ever After. I was so glad to see that the first book would be getting a sequel as I wanted to know more about Izumi and her journey in Tokyo. I went into this one without any expectations just hopeful I would get more of Izumi’s story. A warning that this review will have spoilers for the first book throughout so make sure you avoid if you have not read that yet!
Tokyo Dreaming takes place shortly after the events of Tokyo Ever After. We follow Izumi as she navigates being a Princess, in the media constantly and figuring out what she wants. Not only does she have to figure out if she wants to go to college but also being a princess and how she is viewed by the media, her parents and her friends.
I loved that this book showed more of Izumi’s relationship with her mum. It was one of my favourite things from the previous book and I was hoping it would be shown again in this one. Not only do we see more of the mother / daughter relationship, we also see more of the father / daughter relationship and the growing relationship between Izumi’s parents. Their relationship is at the centre of the decisions that Izumi makes throughout the book and we get to see how much Izumi wants her parents to be happy.
I enjoyed watching Izumi take ownerships of her actions and grow from her past throughout this book. We get to see her mend the relationship she has with her cousins. It was nice to see a kind of redemption arc for the cousins and I enjoyed seeing more of them. All of this and more make it evident to the reader that Izumi has grown up a lot since the events of Tokyo Ever After.
A large amount of time in Tokyo Dreaming is given to showing how media plays a huge role in our daily lives and how harmful that media can be. We get to see how the media shows a relationship versus how that relationship actually is. It shows the readers that no matter how famous someone is, behind it all is a real person who has feeling and how words can affect those feelings.
I loved the new characters we get introduced to in this book. Eriku quickly became a favourite character of mine. He is charming, sweet and has excellent character progression throughout the book. He stands up for himself and it was lovely to see him encourage Izumi to always do what is best for her. Eriku definitely brings an interesting dynamic to the relationship between Izumi and Akio. I may not have been a fan of the love triangle but I did love the drama it caused.
I do wish we had seen more of Akio in this book. I get why it was important for Izumi and Akio to spend time apart during this book but I would have loved to see even more of the pair together and the cute moments like we had in the first book.
Overall, Tokyo Dreaming was a fun, coming-of-age story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was lovely to be back in the world of Izumi and learn more about her. If you are a fan of The Princess Diaries and stories following royalty, then this is the book for you!