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My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,554 ratings  ·  406 reviews
"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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
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Average rating 3.34  · 
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Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Pre-review: I'd just read the premise and it sounds like a scream, will look forward for this book!


Rating: 3.5 stars

Outline of the story: Elle Zoellner was a 16 years old girl raised by a single mother, when her mother was sent to jail for being a drug addict/seller, she was forced to live with different foster families. Then at her 16 years old birthday, Elle was told all of sudden, her bio father is a rich Japanese businessman and he wanted h
MissBecka Gee
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 more to it than I expected.
Now I really must get back to Japan and actually see more than just the airport.
I really enjoyed this and hope all of you get a chance to check it out too!!!
Thank you NetGalley and Disney Book Group for granting my wish!
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 more 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
Sep 12, 2018 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 from he
Kristina Horner
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sometimes I just wonder what revision processes a book went through.

I was stoked about this one. I love Japanese culture and I’ve never read a YA book set there. The cover is gorgeous. The premise is neat.

But this book was just a huge miss for me all around.

-the writing felt really juvenile, like middle school at best, and yet the book had some more adult themes that just sort of made the book feel like it didn’t know who it was for — lots of swearing, mentions of date rape and alcoholism, bu
Kayla Brunson
Sep 14, 2018 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 a
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
lmao dnf @ 14%. there’s a way to write culture shock, teenage trauma/feelings, and general japanese culture and this ain’t it y’all
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the writing which made me read this book quite easily. It was entertaining learning about this culture and a lot of stuff I didn't know. I just felt like the ending was a little rushed. ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: family, food, contemporary
This cover is basically the cutest thing ever. And I had such high hopes for this one! It's really a shame that I was so let down. The premise of this is really cute! It's a Cinderella-esque rags to riches story, about a poor girl in foster care being whisked away to live with her previously unknown fabulously wealthy Japanese dad in Tokyo! I've read so many books with a similar premise, but never before in Asia, so I was really excited for this book!

Alas...this really didn't feel so much like
Cassie | Lost In Tomes
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This was... a little disappointing.
I was expecting this to be a light, fun contemporary set in Japan. I love watching Asian Dramas and was very excited hoping this would have a similar feel. What I got instead was a lot of angsty teens with parental issues and a newbies guidebook to life in Japan. Our main character Elle is a pretty colorful individual however she lacked any real depth, I felt like her and the entire cast was pretty forgettable. The plot was not very intriguing and could have e
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Couldn’t put it down but I didn’t like the way everything was neatly wrapped up in the ending...even though i was glad with HOW it ended it just seemed veryyyy fast. Wouldn’t have minded a longer book instead.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
Elle Zollener is a young girl who is trying to survive school and being in foster care. When her 16th birthday arrives, her Uncle Masa arrives to tell her that her father would like her to go live with him in Tokyo, Japan. Elle says yes and goes on an adventure of a lifetime. Will she finally have the family she always wanted and can survive? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read. If you enjoy stories about Japan and family, then definitely check this book out at your loc
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
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
♠ TABI⁷₈⁷ ♠
Sep 07, 2018 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

Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-priority, japan
This was a mixed bag for me. Three stars because the writing just wasn't amazing, the main character's voice was too young & didn't seem to really fit, and the rushed ending.

I read this book because it's set in Japan. I lived in Japan for 7 years (school, work, got married) and I always am curious to see if YA books set in Japan are actually accurate. Anyone can do research, but unless you've actually be to Japan and experienced it, I think it's hard for the author to do the country justice with
Dec 18, 2018 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
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019
This was a cute contemporary sorta, though I felt as though this book was really surface level and pretty average. The story just blurs in my head with all the other contemporary books that I've read. The characters aren't anything special and the writing was okay. In fact, there were so missed opportunities to discuss substance abuse is a book regarding two characters that has a drug problem and the other being an alcoholic. There were also to other characters that were apart of the LGBTA+, and ...more
chloe ♡
3.5 stars
review to come.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Okay *inhales deeply*. Okay. This book was a waste of most of the time I spent on it, and the characters weren't even likeable. The only good part of this entire book was the last fourty or so pages. Would not recommend. ...more
Cindy ✩☽♔
Sep 11, 2018 marked it as to-read
The Publishers just granted my wish on Netgalley! WOO!
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
Sep 27, 2018 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
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, fiction, ya
ok first of all (view spoiler)

anyway uh...this 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 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
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
celi ♡
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoyed this! I loved the Tokyo setting and getting to experience it all along with our main character. She was funny and smart and knew how to stand up for herself and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. The love interest was adorable and I wish we’d had more time with him since it was such a slow burn and took most of the book for them to even kiss. I liked the development between her family and how they slowly worked towards accepting her. It was overall a super cute, feel ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book starts out pretty grim, and I was just settling into that tone when the main character, who's portrayed as sht and awkward, is whisked away to her fabulous new life, where it becomes a real Princess Diaries situation. Suddenly our heroine is sassy and bold and witty.. no real explanation for the abrupt change in personality other than the cliche rags to riches arc. The rest of the book essentially reads as a travel guide to Tokyo, which, being obsessed with Japan and their fascinating ...more
Stephanie Johnson
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.
Elvie Mae
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I rarely write a full on review but for a book like this it is unfortunately necessary.

Firstly, the book utilizes to the max the cliches of a near-perfect rags-to-riches story. Main character gets whisked away from their terrible life all of a sudden in a new world and is given a chance to live life anew. However, that is not my problem with the book at all. In fact, I welcome those things and feel-good stories like that should be welcomed if they are written well! However, I personally feel thi
Ghada Rabah
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Silly or backa-backa-she in Japanese ;)
but still, it was entertaining. The plot was weak and unconvincing. There was practically no ending. But as a former Japanese culture fan, I enjoyed reading it although some Japanese characters didn’t really act the Japanese way.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover for audiobook 7 15 Dec 19, 2018 06:07PM  

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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. ...more

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