Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, narrated by Ali Ahn
Release date: May 17, 2021
First book of the Tokyo Ever After series, the story begins with a report from a newspaper about an unnamed princess. Juxtaposed between each news article, Izumi struggles with the “cultural punches” of beauty standards, not knowing her father, and being a unilingual Pan-Asian. When her friend Nora accidentally stumbles across a scrapbook with a name, Izumi has to decide whether she wants to learn more about her father, her father’s family, and herself.
The narrator does an exceptional job of capturing the different voices of the characters while being able to speak the Japanese words within the story. The audiobook captures the humour and twists of the story well.
Similar to the Princess Diaries and Crazy Rich Asians, this story builds on the rags-to-riches trope while delving into the feelings of being a person looking for a place to belong while being of multiple cultural backgrounds. For readers who enjoy texts about finding one’s self, try Middletown by Sarah Moon, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, and I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre.
– Caitlyn Seale
Other Nominated Titles
- K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee; narrated by Joy Osmanski (October 9, 2020)
- Middletown by Sarah Moon; narrated by Hope Newhouse (April 5, 2021)
- A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton; narrated by Vikas Adam, N’Jameh Camara, Frankie Corzo, Kevin R. Free, Kyla Garcia, Deepti Gupta, Rosie Jones, Nikki Massoud, Anthony Lee Medina, Ali Nasser, Anthony Rey Perez, Shayna Small, Michael Crouch, Guy Lockard and Nancy Wu (December 8, 2020)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.