My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life

Rachel Cohn / Sep 16, 2019

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life 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 forefron

  • Title: My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
  • Author: Rachel Cohn
  • ISBN: 1368008399
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 The 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 Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 352 pages Published December 18th 2018 by Disney Hyperion More Details ISBN 1368008399 ISBN13 9781368008396 Edition Language English Other Editions 7 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life, please sign up

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    Lists with This Book 2018 December Releases 53 books 67 voters Oooh Shiny December 2018 11 books 1 voter More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Dec 15, 2018 MissBecka rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley granted wishes, z2018 books i read, netgalley books read Thank you NetGalley and Disney Book Group for granting my wish I requested this hoping it would be good and it ended up being amazing The scenery, food, culture and of course cats made this a delight to read.It was so much fun and had a lot to it than I expected.Now I really must get back to Japan and actually see than just the airport.I really enjoyed this and hope all of you get a chance to check it out too flag 24 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Sep 12, 2018 Scrill rated it liked it Shelves arc This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously Voraciously ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.On Elle s 16th birthday, the father she never knew sends for her to be retrieved from foster care where she has been since her mother s incarceration She is whisked away to a life in Tokyo, Japan where she gets the Cinderella life she never imagined But all the glamour falls short as she struggle to adjusts to the customs of Japan and the distance she still has fro This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously Voraciously ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.On Elle s 16th birthday, the father she never knew sends for her to be retrieved from foster care where she has been since her mother s incarceration She is whisked away to a life in Tokyo, Japan where she gets the Cinderella life she never imagined But all the glamour falls short as she struggle to adjusts to the customs of Japan and the distance she still has from her new found father.The Story Despite my 3 star placing this book right in the middle, I was beyond disappointed by this book I expected a fun YA contemporary in Japan Yes we got a YA contemporary in Japan, but half the book felt like a long Japanese culture and etiquette handbook in disguise At the halfway point, the only thing that had really happened was that Elle had gotten to Japan The real story really didn t take off till 70% Up to that point was spent mostly on factoids about Japan So a majority of the book was establishing just the slight bit of culture shock, no real movement in the plot On top of all that, when the ending came through I felt like it wrapped up way too quickly, and still left a few loose ends Also, somehow the story left off with only adults making any real mistakes, no real correction for the actions of the main character.The Characters I really didn t like Elle Despite knowing all that she had gone through, I somehow didn t find myself sympathizing with her as she was pulled out of her awful situation that she managed to adjust to, and yet still had a negative outlook to new circumstances She made all the adults out to be the bad guys, and while her actions came out that she was coming to terms with her new lifestyle, she didn t really make much effort to understand the people she was now family with She just expected them to understand her because she was the child, and that since they were the adults they had to be the bigger people While often times there was a awed fascination of the Japanese culture, I felt an underlying negative vibe as Elle learned about it flag 18 likesLike see review Sep 14, 2018 Kayla Brunson marked it as dnf Shelves arc 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 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 I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review.Quotes were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Blog Instagram Twitter flag 12 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Jul 16, 2018 Catie rated it liked it Shelves fluffy books, for review, read in 2018, ya Don t read this for the characters, plot, or romance The main character is bland, inoffensive, and cute but not notable in any way The rest of the characters could be copied and pasted from any soap opera cast The romance inevitably happens but without much tension or corresponding release, and the conflict is resolved so swiftly and randomly that all logic must be abandoned at the door Read this, instead, if you plan to visit Tokyo Because that s what this really is a beautifully written Don t read this for the characters, plot, or romance The main character is bland, inoffensive, and cute but not notable in any way The rest of the characters could be copied and pasted from any soap opera cast The romance inevitably happens but without much tension or corresponding release, and the conflict is resolved so swiftly and randomly that all logic must be abandoned at the door Read this, instead, if you plan to visit Tokyo Because that s what this really is a beautifully written guide to Tokyo s sights, attractions, food, customs, and even some language, loosely held together by a completely unnecessary YA romance plot Did I care at all about Elle and her relationships with her family and friends No But, I did really care about cat island, the spotlessly clean subway system, food halls, Robot Restaurant, and how I absolutely need to visit Tokyo some day flag 9 likesLike see review Jun 22, 2018 Mizuki marked it as to read Pre review I d just read the premise and it sounds like a scream, will look forward for this book Link flag 8 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 18, 2018 Teresa rated it really liked it Shelves netgalley Thank you to NetGalley, Rachel Cohn, and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity to read My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life in exchange for an honest review.This is a spunky, fast paced novel geared toward teenage girls It is told in the perspective of Elle, a girl who just wants to graduate high school so she can get out of foster care She loves her mom, but ever since her mom started doing drugs, life has been a challenge, and she knows nothing of her dad.That is, until one day her uncle, who E Thank you to NetGalley, Rachel Cohn, and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity to read My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life in exchange for an honest review.This is a spunky, fast paced novel geared toward teenage girls It is told in the perspective of Elle, a girl who just wants to graduate high school so she can get out of foster care She loves her mom, but ever since her mom started doing drugs, life has been a challenge, and she knows nothing of her dad.That is, until one day her uncle, who Elle greatly cares about, arrives to take her to live with her father in Japan She s never met the man before, and her uncle is far of a father than her real father, who she is comfortable with calling Kenji rather than dad It turns out that Elle s father is a major businessman in Japan, and his own father was not okay with his lover and having a hafu in the family half Japanese halfwhatever.As Elle falls in with the pristine crowd at her new, prestigious school that teaches in the American way, she learns that being popular is great and all, but not necessarily all it s cooked up to be Elle also finds romance with the son of a yakuza, something that her own father frowns upon as well There is definitely a message to be said that a child should not be brought down by the crimes of their parents, but Japan has its own way of viewing people in its social structure.One of the things I liked about this novel was the quick pace It was easy and fun to read It also introduces a number of Japanese phrases, colloquialisms, and cultural inferences that are a nice introduction for someone who might not know a whole lot about Japan, but it s a bit bland and basic for those of us who are very familiar with anime and manga The book itself felt like reading an anime, which was a nice touch I also enjoyed some of the references to iconic landmarks or known areas, suck as Shinjuku, or Cat Island, which I was just talking to one of my Japanese friends about.One thing that really made the score on this novel drop for me was the character development Most of the characters felt very flat, and the most interesting character, Ryuu, didn t have enough page or development time The noel could easily have gone on for another 50 100 pages to develop these characters in a show, don t tell way Many of the interactions between Elle and Ryuu, as well as between Elle and a number of other characters, were brushed off in a quick paragraph to highlight the expanse of a day or a week It would have been better to really show some of those scenes to help the development, considering there s still some room to expand the novel without overdoing word page count.Overall, this was a book that was still hard for me to put down There s a lot to say about family What does the word family truly mean to us as individuals How does family define who we are While this is the main premise of the novel, the driving point for me was Ryuu, a character that definitely did not get a lot of action, but I would like to see his story sometime, perhaps flag 6 likesLike see review Sep 11, 2018 Cindy Savage Queen marked it as to read The Publishers just granted my wish on Netgalley WOO flag 5 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jun 06, 2018 Olivia The Candid Cover rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 releases, young adult, arc, kindle, netgalley Any book about Japan or private school is a win for me, so My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn was an instant must read The book is both entertaining and emotional, and the main character is likeable I especially loved reading the descriptions of Tokyo This is a fun read that is also informative.Full Review on The Candid Cover flag 5 likesLike see review Sep 07, 2018 Tabi marked it as to read I expect 2% of mediocre greatness from this and literally only reading because Tokyo and that cover is rather cute flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 29, 2018 Kris rated it really liked it Shelves sent for review 3.5 STARS flag 5 likesLike see review Nov 30, 2018 Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader rated it really liked it Shelves advanced reader, netgalley books RTC for blog tour Dec 27th Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for my copy for review flag 3 likesLike see review Sep 27, 2018 Lindsay rated it it was ok Shelves arcs Elle is in foster care after her mom ends up in jail due to drug usage Her life is complete hell until her uncle appears with a social worker, telling her that her father has decided to take her in and she s moving to Tokyo Elle has never met her father nor does she know anything about him so the story focuses on Elle navigating her new life in Japan, making friends, and getting to know the family she never knew she had.This was a typical rags to riches story Elle went from poor to rich since Elle is in foster care after her mom ends up in jail due to drug usage Her life is complete hell until her uncle appears with a social worker, telling her that her father has decided to take her in and she s moving to Tokyo Elle has never met her father nor does she know anything about him so the story focuses on Elle navigating her new life in Japan, making friends, and getting to know the family she never knew she had.This was a typical rags to riches story Elle went from poor to rich since her father is a successful businessman who owns a hotel chain They live in a penthouse on the 49th floor in his Tokyo location and she attends an ICS school based in Tokyo with other expatriate kids She has room service, a maid, and lives a life of luxury while experiencing the Japanese culture The only downside is the lack of attention from her busy father and the stone cold attitude from her grandmother and aunt.I didn t like this story as much due to how childish Elle acted along with the lack of plot Elle s life kept getting better and better from the minute she was whisked away to meet her rich father There was no friction or bumps in the road Elle s life was smooth, despite the story not really having a singular focus For example, there are snippets of her writing letters to her mom, facetiming with her BFF in America, swimming on the swim team, making friends with the popular crowd, touring Japan, crushing on a forbidden guy, and having uncomfortable meetings with her new family I feel like this would have stood stronger as a diary entry instead of a story format.Thanks NetGalley for the ARC flag 3 likesLike see review Dec 14, 2018 Elisquared rated it it was amazing Shelves contemporary, coming of age, family, fiction, friendship, multicultural, owned, romance, ya middle grade I have been a Rachel Cohn fan for quite a while, so I was thrilled when I got to be a part of the blog tour for her latest book, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life It contains so many things I love private school, Japanese culture, and a sassy main character But above all, this is a story about family and finding out where you belong something everyone can relate to, in some way.This book examines a lot of tough subjects alcoholism, substance abuse, absentee parents, and cultural acclimati I have been a Rachel Cohn fan for quite a while, so I was thrilled when I got to be a part of the blog tour for her latest book, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life It contains so many things I love private school, Japanese culture, and a sassy main character But above all, this is a story about family and finding out where you belong something everyone can relate to, in some way.This book examines a lot of tough subjects alcoholism, substance abuse, absentee parents, and cultural acclimation But what Cohn does so well, is weave those tough subjects with funny or sweet moments, much like real life So you get a good balance of intense subject matter with a light contemporary, so when you re reading, you feel for the characters, but you re never weighted down I think there is a time and place for those hard hitting contemporaries, but I must admit I prefer my drama with some humor and romance.Elle is a great main character she s funny, smart, and adaptable You click with her right away, and get invested in what happens to her Elle was the main reason I blasted through this book so fast while that s the hope for a main character, honestly sometimes it s the supporting cast that makes a book sing I will say that Elle was the most developed, but as this is her story I didn t find that to be an issue So while the supporting characters contain some layers, they are there to help Elle along in her journey Of course, Elle isn t perfect She makes some dicey decisions friend group wise when she gets to Japan, but in her situation I find that totally believable I think the best way to describe Elle is as a girl you d want to be friends with.The school Elle attends is like something out of your wildest private school dreams I know when I was growing up, I wanted to go some place magical and exclusive, and the International Collegiate School of Tokyo delivered Competitive and exclusive, Elle has to really hustle to keep up with her classmates, but she succeeds on catching up Of course, she shines on the swim team, putting some balance into her life Here Cohn highlights the hierarchy of such a school, with the Ex Brats running the show, and Elle trying to fit in While the setting isn t somewhere typical teens go, the social dynamics will definitely resonate.Finally, one of my favorite parts of the book was the setting Taking place in Japan, specifically Tokyo, you get to see the city through Elle s eyes the busy parts and the quiet parts The difference between American and Japanese culture are highlighted, showing both the good and the bad Elle s fraternal relatives see her as not part of the family, and remind her that she is both hafu half Japanese, half something else and gaijin a foreigner But while they don t accept her, the ex Brats and other students at Elle s school show her the welcoming parts of Tokyo If you don t want to visit Tokyo and Japan after this book, I don t know what will convince you.The only issue I had with the book was the pacing Over half of the book is just setting Elle up in Japan, and then it all kind of fast forwards, with the resolution coming together much too quickly to feel as genuine as it could Luckily, as this is a character driven story, the plot being rushed doesn t negate the enjoyment of the story.A great mix of sweet and dramatic, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life delivers a good read Out today, go pick up a copy flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 21, 2018 Kristin rated it it was ok My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is the story of a foster kid who not only finds out that her father is some bigwig in Japan, but he s also asked her to come and live with him Elle gets whisked away to Tokyo to live with her rich father in his high rise building Not only does she go from rags to riches overnight, but she also goes through a culture shock as she tries to navigate the Japanese culture.I m not overly sure how I feel about this story On one hand, I really liked getting to see My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is the story of a foster kid who not only finds out that her father is some bigwig in Japan, but he s also asked her to come and live with him Elle gets whisked away to Tokyo to live with her rich father in his high rise building Not only does she go from rags to riches overnight, but she also goes through a culture shock as she tries to navigate the Japanese culture.I m not overly sure how I feel about this story On one hand, I really liked getting to see Japan through Elle s eyes However, the characters themselves left me wanting Elle s character, well technically all of the characters, were one dimensional I never found myself caring about what happened one way or the other There s a lot of stuff that goes on in the story I mean, Elle is whisked away to a foreign country to meet a family she never knew existed That should be exciting stuff, but the characters just seemed to over the top that it felt as if they were written in such a way to elicit a reaction, instead of it feeling genuine Honestly, that s kind of how the majority of the story felt for me.One thing I did really like was getting to see Japan through Elle s eyes I ve always wanted to visit Japan and getting to witness some of her adventures was pretty cool From riding the subway to paying for merchandise, there was a lot that Elle had to learn For me, those parts were always the most interesting.My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life was an okay read The plot and characters need to be fleshed out a bit , and I felt like the ending came rather abruptly I was really looking forward to this story, and while I did enjoy the little bits of Japanese culture, I wish I had connected with the story itself flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 17, 2019 Stephanie Johnson rated it liked it Shelves coming of age, contemporary, family, family dynamics, fiction, young adult Elle s journey offers a look into the foster care system, addiction, Japanese culture, and how all families are dysfunctional This book can be a great recommendation as a lighter teen read flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 16, 2018 Lisa Mandina rated it really liked it I really was intrigued by the premise of this one, so excited to get to read it early This was a page turner, and I zipped through it in no time I loved learning about life in Tokyo so much I m going to start calling my sodas dark sugar water I mean think about it, it s what they are, and who would think that a dark water would be something good Well, I guess everyone loves coffee and tea, and they re dark water in a way There was so much about Japan that I think would be awesome, and s I really was intrigued by the premise of this one, so excited to get to read it early This was a page turner, and I zipped through it in no time I loved learning about life in Tokyo so much I m going to start calling my sodas dark sugar water I mean think about it, it s what they are, and who would think that a dark water would be something good Well, I guess everyone loves coffee and tea, and they re dark water in a way There was so much about Japan that I think would be awesome, and so much that would be no fun to get used to For instance, the way you put money on a tray and hand to the person taking your money It was definitely interesting to hear the rules for how to eat sushi I ve only had it once, and wasn t completely impressed with it I need to try it again though, I think I love the Christmas tradition of KFC and a date I love how there is a subway train that is just for women at certain times I love how orderly everything was, even when it was as crowded as you would see in places like NYC The banter between Elle and Ryuu was really fun The dynamic of Elle s family in Japan was very fascinating, and heart breaking at the same time I felt like the end was almost wrapped up really quickly But I like how it was done, so I still was happy with how it all ended up A fun, sweet, easy to read contemporary YA, that I will definitely be putting in my school library flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 07, 2018 Renata rated it it was ok Shelves ya, fiction, arc ok first of all view spoiler RIGHT AWAY THE CAT DIES, WHY hide spoiler anyway uhthis book mainly exists to be like, Gossip Girl style wealth porn but for Japan lovers, and that s a fine thing for a YA book to be, and indeed I did enjoy the lavish descriptions of fancy Tokyo high rises and sushi chefs and whatnot The plotis real flimsy and this is another book where the grownups mostly seem to exist so that you feel bad for how UNFAIR the teens lives are But also the tone is kind ok first of all view spoiler RIGHT AWAY THE CAT DIES, WHY hide spoiler anyway uhthis book mainly exists to be like, Gossip Girl style wealth porn but for Japan lovers, and that s a fine thing for a YA book to be, and indeed I did enjoy the lavish descriptions of fancy Tokyo high rises and sushi chefs and whatnot The plotis real flimsy and this is another book where the grownups mostly seem to exist so that you feel bad for how UNFAIR the teens lives are But also the tone is kind of uneven, like from the premise and title I expected it to be mostly the fluffy Tokyo life but there s some p grim side plots that are resolved abruptly I think a specific type of teen reader will still be into this but it s likenot great flag 2 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 04, 2018 Sylvia rated it liked it This wasn t a bad book, it was just a little cliche than what I ve been reading recently It was okay There wasn t anything special that made me think, it was just a nice easy read It was an okay book flag 2 likesLike see review View 1 comment Aug 05, 2018 Julie Daniels rated it liked it Shelves arcs, contemporary, contemporaries, earcs, netgalley, ya Actual rating 3.5I think it would be so much easier to rate books if gave the option of using half star ratings Quarter star ratings would be even better I really enjoyed this book and love that the author tackled some serious and important topics but at the same time I feel like she was trying to cover too many things in too short of a book so the romance seemed sudden when it really wasn t because it skips over months And the ending was very rushed and sudden Sometimes Elle did Actual rating 3.5I think it would be so much easier to rate books if gave the option of using half star ratings Quarter star ratings would be even better I really enjoyed this book and love that the author tackled some serious and important topics but at the same time I feel like she was trying to cover too many things in too short of a book so the romance seemed sudden when it really wasn t because it skips over months And the ending was very rushed and sudden Sometimes Elle did things that didn t seem right for her character too just to fit the plot I guess Overall I enjoyed it but it still had some kikks that would have been worked out to make it even better Full review to come Thanks to Disney Books Hyperion and NetGalley for the eARC for review flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 27, 2019 Vicki rated it did not like it Shelves asian and asian american lit, young adult, diverse cast, couldn t finish, poc leads DNF at 68% Because when I wasn t pissed off, I was bored I don t even know where to start with this I guess I m glad I borrowed the book from the library instead of buying it Which based on GR reviews, I figured I d be better off doing when everyone says it s like a tourist s guide to Japan than a novel with substance, they are not wrong.I picked this book up because I was curious Tokyo is home to me I was born there, throughout my childhood I spent all of my breaks there I grew up DNF at 68% Because when I wasn t pissed off, I was bored I don t even know where to start with this I guess I m glad I borrowed the book from the library instead of buying it Which based on GR reviews, I figured I d be better off doing when everyone says it s like a tourist s guide to Japan than a novel with substance, they are not wrong.I picked this book up because I was curious Tokyo is home to me I was born there, throughout my childhood I spent all of my breaks there I grew up in Misawa, a town up north , and I return every 2 3 years to visit my family there Honestly, I was reading this for the homesickness and the nostalgia factors And I might have felt even a smidgen of that too, had it not been for Elle, the main character, whose point of view we live in through the story.How can a multiracial half Japanese, half Native American black miscellaneous white European girl in the foster care system come across as so entitled and spoiled and selfish How can her introduction to Japanese culture smack of so much white privilege and savior syndrome Maybe I m just ultra sensitive to it, having grown up as both Japanese and American, but seriously, her culture shock screamed rude and insensitive, borderline racist, criticism to the point where I was offended I m not saying that Japanese culture is perfect, and that there aren t things to criticize But come on, whining about every last little cultural idiom that differs from white American culture, even the benign things No, sorry, I cannot.This isn t even getting into her treatment of her family, which smelled like Bella from Twilight I m hesitant to rant too much into this, because I get a lot of this is because of her brief stint in the foster care system, and I m cognizant enough of my own privilege to recognize that there are some things to this point that I just don t get That s fine Benefit of the doubt given But no points for Elle s cultural insensitivity.Now, let s talk language Rachel Cohn s research into Japanese culture and Tokyo culture is definitely something to be commended, and almost enough to merit a 2 star DNF rating from me as opposed to a 1 star But the language.First of all, Akemi is NOT pronounced ah kay mee like Elle explains Yes, an American would pronounce her name like that But a Japanese person WOULD NOT And Akemi herself would not pronounce her name ah kay mee Otherwise, it would be spelled, Akeimii So Wrong It s ah ke mi I bet Cohn thinks Ryuu is pronounced ri yuu too Ordinarily, I chalk that one up to English speakers lacking the capability to pronounce the ryu syllable correctly, buuutAlso, the slang for arigato gozaimashita , or thank you very much , last I checked, is not go zai mas Gozaimasu is the very much part of thank you very much, and is in fact used in various other contexts than just arigatou To be fair, MAYBE in the 2010s, that s what the kids in Japan are using I can barely keep up with the Gen Z slang in America and I live here, I m not going to fuss over the equivalent generational slang in Japan, because it s not relevant to me when I visit , but in the 90s and 00s, if you wanted to be casual than just plain arigatou which is actually REALLY casual , the slang was sankyuu Again, slang changes all the time, so maybe it s different now, I don t know, but it s throwing me off I would say that maybe go zai mas is the ICS Tokyo slang, but Elle pointedly mentioned that she read it in the handbook her father s assistant gave her, so I m not awarding that benefit of the doubt, either.These are the ones that stood out to me I had to dull myself from any possible other offenses before too long And not all of the language things are incorrect to be fair, most are pretty accurate But I have a feeling that while Cohn researched the language, she probably didn t even bother to actually study it, and it shows.As for the story itself, I don t know, a lot of reviewers are saying that the plot doesn t kick up until the part where I gave up Maybe it s an accurate assessment But the parts of the book that I did read are seriously a whole lot of nothing, and I just couldn t imagine whatever plot exists making up for everything that was pissing me off in the parts I did read, so, yeah Basically, if you re Japanese, don t read this If you re a Japanophile, don t read this If you re looking for a good YA story, don t read this Just don t read this The writing is solidly good, the research is mostly great, but there is no plot until near the end evidently, I didn t stick around long enough to find out and Elle is an infuriating protagonist Again, I m so glad this was a library read and not anything I spent money on flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 24, 2018 Katherine Paschal rated it really liked it Shelves teen Elle has had a very rough few years once her mom became addicted to drugs, eventually ending up in foster care after her mom was arrested When a person from her past shows up on her completely unremarkable seeming birthday and says she will be moving to Japan to live with the father she has never met, Elle has no idea what to think After taking the leap and going to Japan, Elle is thrown head first into a situation unlike anything she could have ever imagined and she may not be prepared for a Elle has had a very rough few years once her mom became addicted to drugs, eventually ending up in foster care after her mom was arrested When a person from her past shows up on her completely unremarkable seeming birthday and says she will be moving to Japan to live with the father she has never met, Elle has no idea what to think After taking the leap and going to Japan, Elle is thrown head first into a situation unlike anything she could have ever imagined and she may not be prepared for any of it I processed those words penthouse apartment on the forty ninth floor I d never been in a building so tall, much less lived in one What if I had vertigo On the other hand, I d just survived a fourteen hour flight and time traveled to two days in the future, so maybe I had superpowers I d not been aware of previously I hate to confess this, but My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life is my first read from Rachel I have picked up many of her other books, saw the movie adaptation for Nick Norah s Infinite Playlist, even met Rachel at a book signing for her last book, Kill All Happies, but this is the first time I have read a book written by her I was really happy with this story, it was everything I did not even know I was hoping for when I picked up the title Elle was such a cute, charming without any trying on her part character that I instantly connected to her She has spent the last few years of her life in a terrible situation that was not her own making, yet she staid an upbeat kid who was truly appreciative for any opportunity or niceness bestowed on her Not only that, but she was tough, determined, hard working, reslient and inherently sweet I appreciated her sense of snarky humor and her internal dialogue made me laugh hey, anyone who references her newly discovered parent as this handsome father person thingie instantly gets brownie points from me.I feel like this was the perfect YA contemporary read, dealing with the main character s developing personality, school drama and family conflicts, with just a touch of romance I enjoyed seeing all the complicated relationship dynamics unfold on the pages, like how to magically have a father especially one she barely sees and doesn t really connect with Oh, and the drama of an elite boarding school was intriguing I also loved learning about all the Japanese customs right along with Elle, I never expected to be educated while reading a YA fiction novel, so that was a pleasant surprise My Almost Tokyo Dream Life ended up being a cute feel good read which was surprising while there were some heavy topics such as drug addiction, alcoholism, abandonment, foster care, abuse, and not belonging I have no idea how Rachel managed to make those topics into a lighthearted read, but she did while still making them important I will for sure check out another book from Rachel in the near future.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title Come visit me at flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 26, 2019 Samantha Trillium rated it really liked it This book is actually really refreshing The story is your typical rags to riches YA trope, but I thought it was so much better than the typical because the main character, Elle, was just so Grateful What a concept There is still all the teen angst, but it was so much easier to accept it when you could see just how much everything meant to her Elle is just trying to get through high school without any references to the fact that she may or may not smell bad considering that her foster fam This book is actually really refreshing The story is your typical rags to riches YA trope, but I thought it was so much better than the typical because the main character, Elle, was just so Grateful What a concept There is still all the teen angst, but it was so much easier to accept it when you could see just how much everything meant to her Elle is just trying to get through high school without any references to the fact that she may or may not smell bad considering that her foster family only lets her shower once a week Her best and only friend is in another foster care on the other side of the state, and her mother is in jail The only saving grace about that is that her mother is forced to get clean One day she gets off the school bus to find her social worker and the man she thought of as an uncle when she was younger waiting for her She is told that her father is ready to take responsibility for her, and that he wants her to come live with him In Tokyo Torn between trying to be loyal to her mother, and wanting a fresh start for herself, she agrees to go Soon she learns that not only is her father Japanese, but that he is also CEO of a very prominent company She is flown first class Her home is on the 46th floor of a hotel She attends a very prestigious school for expats Not everything is rosy though Her father is also a recovering alcoholic, and although is clearly trying to become a good father, very distant and unavailable Her grandmother and aunt barely even want to acknowledge her presence When she gets to her school she feels overwhelmed with how much school work is expected of her But what I really loved about Elle is that she didn t throw a tantrum and curse everyone and everything She looked at this as a second chance and amazing opportunity, and rolled with it Tried to make the best of everything She was a good student before her mom started making really bad choices She was determined to make her new family proud, and have them want her to be part of the family Not that Elle is a perfect teen She made some big mistakes She found herself included in the popular group at her school, and even though she didn t like them very much the temptation of being included was too much to resist, despite alienating others in the process She allowed herself to be pulled into their bad decisions even when her gut told her it was a bad idea If there was anything I would complain about, it would be the ending wrapped up waaaaaaaay to conveniently, too quickly Like literally a page wrapped it all nice and neat in a bow It almost undid all the good the entire book had done for me Almost The romance was super cute though, and I loved the tour of Tokyo and all the food Fun, quick read flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 14, 2018 TheReadingCornerforAll rated it it was amazing With works like Nick Norah s Infinite Playlist and Pop Princess, author Rachel Cohn has firmly established herself in the world of young adult literature In her latest work, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life, Cohn captured the essence of a contemporary American teenage girl who is trying to find her way in the world and fend for herself in a foster system that cannot begin to measure with her mother s care After facing bulling, mistreatment from her foster parents, and her inability t With works like Nick Norah s Infinite Playlist and Pop Princess, author Rachel Cohn has firmly established herself in the world of young adult literature In her latest work, My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life, Cohn captured the essence of a contemporary American teenage girl who is trying to find her way in the world and fend for herself in a foster system that cannot begin to measure with her mother s care After facing bulling, mistreatment from her foster parents, and her inability to forgive her mother s incarceration because of the Beast, Elle Zoellner s is driven by the need to overcome this unfortunate phase of her life Then, on her sixteenth birthday she receives some unexpected news Her estranged father is a Japanese hotel mogul who wants her to live with him in Tokyo After her mother expresses her wishes for Elle to have a better life than the one she can provide for her at the moment, Elle decides to take a leap into the unknown Cohn described the cultural assimilation process with insight, wit, and detailed observations that will leave readers dreaming of Tokyo skyscrapers My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life was a comedic gem with Elle s humorous forefront that had me smiling and laughing out loud from the very beginning I found myself really connecting with Elle s experiences and struggles with learning customs from a different country When I was seventeen, I was accepted into a university in England and, after a lot of thought and emotional support from my parents, I moved to England and lived on my own for six years While American English and British English slightly differ, I was thankful that we at least didn t have a language barrier and we could form the basis of a conversation Because of my experiences, I was just delighted with Elle s narrative and how inclusive Cohn was in describing all of Elle s capers from learning different kinds of bowing to eating a bowl of ramen not of the instant noodle variety I d rate My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life as a five star read because it is a very charming story that captured Elle s exploration of identity and depiction of family dynamics My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life delves into the energetic spirit of young adult literature that will appeal to fans of Mia Thermopolis from Meg Cabot s The Princess Diaries flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 21, 2018 KarenJo Custodio rated it really liked it This book was surprisingly really good My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn was a lighthearted and delightfully fun read that kept me entertained until the very end.I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to see Japan through Elle s story I think that was my favorite part of this book I liked the gorgeous sceneries, learning a bit about the culture and traditions, and just reading everything about Tokyo Without a doubt, this novel definitely made me want to visit Japan n This book was surprisingly really good My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn was a lighthearted and delightfully fun read that kept me entertained until the very end.I really enjoyed reading this book and getting to see Japan through Elle s story I think that was my favorite part of this book I liked the gorgeous sceneries, learning a bit about the culture and traditions, and just reading everything about Tokyo Without a doubt, this novel definitely made me want to visit Japan now than ever and the food don t even get me started on that I was literally so hungry the entire time I was reading.I liked the author s writing style a lot It was illustrative and engaging I liked that I could picture myself being at certain places and almost tasting the delicious food I also really liked the plot I thought it was fast paced, entertaining, humorous, and emotionally affecting The story moved pretty quickly and if I didn t have to sleep, go to work, and take care of my newly spayed pup, I absolutely could have finished this in one sitting It s totally one of those books that easily get you hooked and you re so into the story that you don t even realize when you re almost finished At least it was for me and I love when books can do that.The characters were all pretty great I thought they were realistic, genuine and relatable Elle was a fantastic lead and I really enjoyed her character development From the beginning, I just had this feeling that I would like her, and I honestly really did Even though I didn t always agree with Elle, I liked that she was determined, strong, and had a great sense of humor For a teenager who went through so much, I admired her strength and perseverance, choosing to better her life, and fighting for what she wants.So, this book was mainly focused on family, but there was a bit of romance As a romance addict, it surprised me that I was not a fan and I honestly could care less There were some good moments, but it didn t work for me and I wouldn t have minded if there was none of it in the book But, if you do like stories with romance, then you re in luck It just wasn t my cup of tea in this book.There were some minor flaws and the ending was a bit rushed, but overall, I really liked this book My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life was a beautifully written, satisfyingly entertaining, and wonderfully heartwarming tale of family, forgiveness, friendship and love It s sweet, short, charming, and a fun novel that will engross readers from beginning to end Definitely recommend you check this book out.I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher and Rockstar Book Tours via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review All thoughts and opinions are my own flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 31, 2019 Lindsi Do You Dog ear rated it it was ok Shelves dnf, arc DNF at 18% I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review My thoughts and opinions are my own Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.It s been awhile since I ve read something by Rachel Cohn really love her books with David Levithan , and I was excited to start My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life Regrettably, this one didn t work for me I disliked the main character, Elle, which made it difficult for me to enjoy the rest DNF at 18% I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review My thoughts and opinions are my own Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.It s been awhile since I ve read something by Rachel Cohn really love her books with David Levithan , and I was excited to start My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life Regrettably, this one didn t work for me I disliked the main character, Elle, which made it difficult for me to enjoy the rest of the book Her attitude and personality left a lot to be desired.Elle s relationship with her mother didn t feel authentic, and the one interaction I read about wasn t believable It didn t feel like they were having conversation between mother and daughter, but one between two people that happened to know each other Her mother has kept a lot of secrets, but she did very little to explain herself when given the opportunity Even their banter felt forced and fake.Elle has been in foster care for a few months now, and she s experienced some truly terrible living conditions I felt bad for her at the beginning, and thought she d be happy at the very least curious or relieved when her father asked her to come and live with him, but she was bratty about everything She complained about the clothes, the way people greeted one another, how they ate their food, and various other customs I hated how disrespectful she was of the culture and traditions even her inner thoughts were obnoxious I know her circumstances weren t ideal, but ugh I wish she had at least tried to understand and accept her new surroundings.Originally posted at Do You Dog ear on January 31, 2019 flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 08, 2018 Lost in Book Land rated it it was amazing I am so excited to be writing this review, I got this book as an ebook ARC a little while back which thank you so so so much and I started reading it on one of the last days of Thanksgiving break and I got hooked I wanted to do nothing but read this book, unfortunately, that is not how life works for me at the end of a break and I had to put the book down and go back to work but every spare moment I had, I went right back to it.SPOILERS AHEADThis book centers around a girl named Elle who has I am so excited to be writing this review, I got this book as an ebook ARC a little while back which thank you so so so much and I started reading it on one of the last days of Thanksgiving break and I got hooked I wanted to do nothing but read this book, unfortunately, that is not how life works for me at the end of a break and I had to put the book down and go back to work but every spare moment I had, I went right back to it.SPOILERS AHEADThis book centers around a girl named Elle who has had it really rough the last few years She was living with her mother in America until one day they were in a car accident and her mother was injured After the accident, her mother became addicted to pain pills and eventually, Elle got put into foster care She has been to three foster homes and things have not been great in any of them She can no longer do the stuff she loves like being on the swim team or seeing her old friend Reg , she also gets picked on a lot at school because her foster family only lets her shower once a week Needless to say, things could be a lot better for Elle.On her 16th birthday, Elle arrives home from school to find a car she has never seen before in her foster parent s driveway and her social worker as well as her kind of uncle he was a close family friend when she was growing up Her social worker tells her, that he is here because he would like to take her to Toyko to live with her father who she has never even seen before After going to see her mother one last time, Elle agrees to go live in Toyko and meet her father From here her life changes forever She learns her father is very wealthy, so she now lives in a totally new lifestyle she could have never dreamed of She attends a prestigious school and works very hard to bring her grades back up and to help her have a decent shot at college, meets new family, makes new friends, learns a new culture and so much.I absolutely adore this book and I could have kept reading it forever if there is a sequel or 8 I would read it all This book is not just Elle s story but it is also a love letter to Toyko It comes out on December 18th, which is super soon so go get it ASAP or check it out of the library I am giving this book five stars on flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 13, 2018 Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves fairy tale re tell, fluffiest fluff, japan I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.When Elle s mother is sent to prison for drugs, she is put in the foster care system Elle learns quickly how to live with few material possessions and how to count on only herself On her sixteenth birthday, Elle is contacted by a long lost family friend, who intends to take her to Japan to live with her father Thinking that anything could be better than where she currently lives, Elle goes to learn about her new father She I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.When Elle s mother is sent to prison for drugs, she is put in the foster care system Elle learns quickly how to live with few material possessions and how to count on only herself On her sixteenth birthday, Elle is contacted by a long lost family friend, who intends to take her to Japan to live with her father Thinking that anything could be better than where she currently lives, Elle goes to learn about her new father She quickly finds that he is a well connected and affluent business man in Japan While she sees very little of him and her other newly found family members, she is desperate to learn about this side of her history Elle attends a prestigious boarding school with other high power students, she will need to adapt quickly if she hopes to be successful and please her father This novel updates the classic Cinderella story and takes it to Tokyo I enjoyed this novel and wish that it would have lasted longer The ending came together too quickly I did enjoy exploring the characters and their connections with each other flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 29, 2018 Jill Jemmett rated it really liked it 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 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.I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 22, 2019 Taylor Frayed Books rated it it was amazing Shelves need to review 5 5 stars.QUICK THOUGHTS I loved this book I ve never read anything by the author before but this was refreshing I ve been reading fantasies so a contemporary was needed Elle was an adorable main character Her struggles were real, assimilating to a new country and culture that was completely out of the norm for her I liked learning a little about Japan and Japanese I would like to travel here someday so it was neat to learn about cool places and some phrases I appreciated the inclusi 5 5 stars.QUICK THOUGHTS I loved this book I ve never read anything by the author before but this was refreshing I ve been reading fantasies so a contemporary was needed Elle was an adorable main character Her struggles were real, assimilating to a new country and culture that was completely out of the norm for her I liked learning a little about Japan and Japanese I would like to travel here someday so it was neat to learn about cool places and some phrases I appreciated the inclusion of mental health addiction and LGBT themes in this story They weren t forced and done well This was very Crazy Rich Asians but in YA I loved that series so this worked for me too flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 08, 2018 Mary Evers rated it really liked it Shelves young adult I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was sooooo excited to read this book As soon as I heard about it, I knew it would go straight to the top of my to read list It did not disappoint Personally I would describe this book almost like a mash up of Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians There was cuteness and fluff, but also drama and some pretty serious issuesd cats.lots of cats While I haven t been lucky enough to personally go I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was sooooo excited to read this book As soon as I heard about it, I knew it would go straight to the top of my to read list It did not disappoint Personally I would describe this book almost like a mash up of Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians There was cuteness and fluff, but also drama and some pretty serious issuesd cats.lots of cats While I haven t been lucky enough to personally go and visit Tokyo yet, the descriptions alone were enough to make me seriously consider if I was able to afford it for an upcoming vacation.My one issue with this book is that it really wasn t long enough for me There were quite a few ambitious issues story lines going on, but given the length of the book things seemed to get wrapped up to neatly and didn t really have enough time to get fleshed out properly Maybe if this had been book one in a duology or series, we would have been able to see the author really dive into some of the issues and not rush through them I also really would have loved to see of how the characters lives played out and what happened to them next I just wanted of the characters, of the setting, of everything flag 1 likeLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Librari Please add cover for audiobook 7 14 Dec 19, 2018 06 07PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

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    About "Rachel Cohn"

      • Rachel Cohn

        Rachel grew up in the D.C area and graduated from Barnard College with a B.A in Political Science She has written many YA novels, including three that she cowrote with her friend and colleague David Levithan She lives and writes when she s not reading other people s books, organizing her music library or looking for the best cappuccino in New York City.


    200 Comments

    1. Thank you NetGalley and Disney Book Group for granting my wish I requested this hoping it would be good and it ended up being amazing The scenery, food, culture and of course cats made this a delight to read.It was so much fun and had a lot to it than I expected.Now I really must get back to Japan and actually see than just the airport.I really enjoyed this and hope all of you get a chance to check it out too


    2. This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously Voraciously ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.On Elle s 16th birthday, the father she never knew sends for her to be retrieved from foster care where she has been since her mother s incarceration She is whisked away to a life in Tokyo, Japan where she gets the Cinderella life she never imagined But all the glamour falls short as she struggle to adjusts to the customs of Japan and the distance she still has fro [...]


    3. 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 [...]


    4. Don t read this for the characters, plot, or romance The main character is bland, inoffensive, and cute but not notable in any way The rest of the characters could be copied and pasted from any soap opera cast The romance inevitably happens but without much tension or corresponding release, and the conflict is resolved so swiftly and randomly that all logic must be abandoned at the door Read this, instead, if you plan to visit Tokyo Because that s what this really is a beautifully written Don t [...]



    5. Thank you to NetGalley, Rachel Cohn, and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity to read My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life in exchange for an honest review.This is a spunky, fast paced novel geared toward teenage girls It is told in the perspective of Elle, a girl who just wants to graduate high school so she can get out of foster care She loves her mom, but ever since her mom started doing drugs, life has been a challenge, and she knows nothing of her dad.That is, until one day her uncle, who E T [...]



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