Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, narrated by Ali Ahn Macmillan Audio Release date: May 17, 2021 ISBN: 978-1250804167
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.
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume; narrated by Candice Moll Penguin Random House Audio / Listening Library Publication Date: April 5, 2021 ISBN: 9780593400296
Masie is spending the holiday with her family and best friend Anna at a cabin, but she’s not looking forward to it. Her parents are fighting, her older judgmental sister is coming and she’s feeling self conscious about her body. When Anna starts flirting with her long-time crush Sebastian, Masie decides to join the annual beauty pageant and prove she deserves to be called beautiful too. With the help of Beamer, the cute goofball and Leila her new supportive friend, Masie takes on the pageant and her low self esteem. This coming of age story has alot going on under the surface including sibling rivalry, parental deceit and friendship implosion, but it’s all satisfactorily wrapped up in the end without being cliche.