Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review- Tokyo Dare by Anne Van

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old artist, Erin Van Horn, doesn't know an Unagi Roll from a Kaiser Roll. But on a dare from her best friend, Tori Mukigawa, she wins a coveted spot as an exchange student at a prestigious Tokyo high school. Once in the Land of the Rising Sun, Erin struggles to learn the culture and deal with a host family from hell. Papasan, the father, stops speaking to her after she mistakenly "murders" his favorite bonsai tree. The mother, Mamasan, believes Erin’s evil because she's left-handed and their son is an Elvis impersonator who is convinced Erin's the spitting image of Priscilla if only she'd dye her blonde hair black, and become his child bride.

But Erin has a bigger problem than her crazy host family when she faces the ultimate dare from Tori—a to-do list she slipped into her backpack. Racked with guilt for winning the spot that should have gone to her best friend, Erin is determined to complete the list. Simple right? All she has to do is find a rock star boyfriend, (sure, there's one on every street corner), apprentice under a famous Japanese artist, (no problem, they'll be listed in the Tokyo Yellow Pages) and visit Tori's long lost relatives to find out what's hidden in the family closet. So what if the only words she knows in Japanese are, "Excuse me eat pretty idiot.”

How hard can it be?


*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of Tokyo Dare from author Anne Van in exchange for an honest review. We thank Anne for the book! 

I had no idea I'd enjoy Tokyo Dare as much as I did. It was an absolutely fantastic read! There is something very fun about Tokyo. Ever since the protagonist in author Daisy Whitney's When You Were Here (my review) took a trip to Tokyo, I've been more fascinated by the city and author Anne Van's email came to us at the right time when I was actually searching for more books based in Japan. 
The best part about Tokyo Dare, aside from it being set it Asia- which is so refreshing and such a relief to see- was that it wasn't just about the funky city of Tokyo, but it encompassed a lot of interesting information on Japanese culture and tradition, something I love exploring. All I want to do now is go to Tokyo, but reviewing the book is more important at the moment simply so you get an idea of how awesome this book really is! 
Erin and Tori are best friends living in Idaho. Tori has Japanese roots and when she applies for a scholarship to study at the Seda Academy in Tokyo, she asks Erin to apply as well. Erin applies just for fun but then her competitive side strikes and her hard work lands her the scholarship instead of Tori. Tori is happy for her BFF and gives her an "Erin's Japan must-do list" that has a bunch of some absurd and some totally cool stuff on it. 
Have you ever been lost in a foreign country? My travels abroad have always been with family, but I've seen a lot of single tourists with a confused and lost look on their face and I've also had a couple of foreign students as my friends and I could completely understand Erin's confusion, fear, loss and growing love in a new city and it's way of life. 
The moment Erin lands in Tokyo, she is lost. She has no idea what to do, where to go, whom to ask. what to ask and most importantly how to ask. It was so much of fun to read. There were tons of light moments in the book and with Erin's awesome sense of humour and her dashing personality, everything became cheerful and chirpy. She experiences love, eats moving food, is made to clean the toilet by her host family and even falls sick right before her exams. Nothing ever goes in Erin's favour, but she still manages to take it all in good spirit. She was a fab protagonist whose company I enjoyed. 
Let me tell you that the plot of Tokyo Dare is fantastic. There was a point when I doubted the significance of the book, but when I came smack in the middle, a lot of stuff started happening and I found myself actually getting into the story. There were a bunch of side characters who were each amazing in their own way and played a significant role in making Erin's school life in Tokyo fun and full of life and I loved getting to know them all. 
Author Anne Van's writing is really good  and quite simple which actually makes the book easy to read and the last line of every chapter literally kept me at the edge of my seat with the mystery behind it. Overall, I enjoyed reading Tokyo Dare a lot and I hope there's more to come in The Sushi Chronicles because I'd love to read it. 



  1. Got it girl. First time I get a chance I'll read this one. I'm really curious as Japan is a huge mystery to me and I don't think I want to get lost there :D Great review Sarika :)

    1. I really hope you can read it sometime, Tanja. I have a feeling you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you! :)

  2. Oh, I know, When You Were Here totally made me wish I could visit Tokyo! And no doubt this one would only enhance that, as well. It would be so neat to read about the protag's adventures in Tokyo, adjusting to life there. It would definitely be a culture shock! Nice, great review, I think I would love this one too!

    1. Yes, I knew you'd catch that one, Aylee! Do take part in the giveaway we have going on for this book (Summer Giveaway Hop). I think you'll like this one. Thank you! :)


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