Sweet, funny, and affecting… Absolutely captivating.
Friendship and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams form the basis of Greene’s fun latest. Sixteen-year-old Lily Jennings is excited to study in Tokyo, Japan for a year. But an unexpected occurrence forces her host family to cancel at the last moment, and Lily has no option but to start school in the small town of Ajimu. With a neurotic host sister, vile classmates, and a small community watching over her every move, Lily must do everything in her power not to abandon her course midway. A dash of romance between various characters creates an alluring undercurrent. Greene’s writing is assured as Lily’s resilient personality helps her to overcome all the difficulties the trip throws her way. Secondary characters reveal unexpected aspects of their personalities as the narrative moves forwards. Greene convincingly portrays the sights, rhythms, and relationships of both Japanese life and the teenagers’ world in the high-pressure Japanese school system. This coming-of-age tale about friendship, perseverance, and the perils of teen life is as fun as it is thoughtful.
By Loren Greene
Pub date May 17, 2021
Price $10.99 Paperback, $2.48 Kindle edition