Many girls dream of becoming princesses when they are young. But what happens when you discover that you are a princess?
This is the jumping off point of the new YA novel, Tokyo Ever After. Written by Emiko Jean, the book was published last month. Izumi “Izzy” Tanaka is a high school senior living in a small town in California. One of only a handful of Asian-Americans students in her school, she is used to the not so polite questions and stares she receives from her her classmates.
Raised by her single mother, she never knew her father. That is, until her best friend does some digging. Izzy’s father is the Crown Prince of Japan. Before she knows it, she is in Tokyo, meeting her father and family that she never knew existed. The world of the Imperial family is an ancient one, bound by rules, traditions, and expectations that are a 180 from the middle class life she knew in the United States. Torn between the life she knew and the life that she could have, Izzy has to make a choice.
The narrative is somewhere between What a Girl Wants and The Princess Diaries. I truly loved this book and Izzy as a main character. The tension between her want to fit in with her new relations and being true to herself felt very relevant to me as a reader. I loved the details of the Imperial Palace, the images were so visceral that I felt like I was there with Izzy.
There are two types of child stars. There are the child stars, who despite their pasts, grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults and have long, successful careers. Then there are the ones who end up in the newspaper tabloids. These former child stars are known more for their nightly activities and their day trips to court more than their latest movie.
The latter is the subject of this flashback Friday post.
Hollywood is all about remakes. One cannot go to the movie theaters without seeing at least one trailer for a movie that is being remade. In 1998, Lindsay Lohan burst into Hollywood with remake of the 1960’s movie, The Parent Trap. Like Hayley Mills in the original 1961 movie, Lohan played identical twins whose divorced parents (Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson) split the girls up as infants. They unknowingly send their daughters to the same summer camp. When the girls realize that they are sisters, they hatch a plan to bring their parents back together.
The British are known for their stiff upper lip and strong adherence to tradition. But what happens when an American teenager, convinced that a British politician is her father, forces herself into his life?
Daphne (Amanda Bynes) was raised in New York City by her single wedding singer mother, Libby (Kelly Preston). Daphne has been told stories about her father, but has never met him. Without telling her mother, Daphne travels to England to meet her father, Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth). Henry has aristocratic lineage, but has given up to the title to run for Parliament. All is well in Henry’s world, until the American teenaged daughter he never knew he had crashes into his world and could possibly ruin his election.
These movies are so good. Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are naturally gifted performers. Sadly, we talk of their careers in past tense instead of present tense.