20 August 2009

Turning Japanese

Turning Japanese is a very sweet book by Cathy Yardley from the perspective of a Japanese-Italian American who loves manga and travels to Tokyo to turn that love into a career after winning a contest. It could have delved deeper into her feelings about feeling lost between two cultures, as well as the relationship with the main character, Lisa, and her boyfriend, but it does an excellent job of showing the development of Lisa's attention to details. Before Lisa leaves for Japan she doesn't describe the things around her, and when she's there she develops the ability to do so. It is also a good lesson in never being too old to try. Although Lisa is nearing 30, she turns her world upside down in order to change her life; hopefully for the better.
Squid in pasta alfredo, clubbing in Tokyo, spending a night in the red-light district, and of course the inner workings of the hierarchy of Japanese manga which may prove to be the end of Lisa's career; this makes for a great summer read. Just add (iced) green tea!

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