From the Tokyo Ever After series , Vol. 2

A solid sequel about a princess finding her voice.

A newly minted royal navigates her way between royal protocols and her own heart.

Soon after Japanese American Izumi and her mom reconnect with her father, the crown prince of Japan in Tokyo Ever After (2021), Izumi feels as uncertain as before. While her best friends at home in California prepare for college, Izumi debates taking a gap year, questioning whether she even wants to attend college. Her recently acquired title of princess brings even more pressure to attend the prestigious University of Tokyo like her father. When Izumi’s reunited parents announce their engagement, the family is informed that the marriage must be approved by the Imperial Household Council, and their prospects don’t look good; the tabloids have long been critical of Izumi’s and her mother’s manners and commoner status. On the cusp of having her family finally come together, Izumi decides to become the perfect princess to support their cause. This is not without its challenges, however, as her boyfriend and former bodyguard, Akio, breaks up with her to help her family avoid more scandal. Heartbroken Izumi finds unexpected allies while navigating her lingering feelings for Akio and embroiling her cute, officially approved tutor—a young man from a noble lineage—in a fake dating scheme. Themes of family relationships and incremental growth take precedence over romance in the evenly paced plot. The true appeal here is watching Izumi rise to royal expectations while reaffirming her personal values.

A solid sequel about a princess finding her voice. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-76663-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.

A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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