Haruka and Takashi are devoted to shopping and going out in Tokyo. She loves her Louis Vuitton handbags, Hermès scarves, and Louboutin shoes. He enjoys eating out and looking through the department stores in Ginza and Shibuya. Together they make a cute couple, but love is never easy.
Takashi's world starts to turn upside down when he realizes Haruka has started seeing Jun, her wealthy ex-boyfriend from Kyoto. When Haruka travels to Kyoto to meet up with Jun and his mother, a series of earthquakes hit Tokyo, and Takashi is injured. Haruka is unable to contact him, and it looks like she'll never see Takashi again - the boy who truly loves her.
Filled with cultural significance, this story will appeal to listeners who have an interest in Japan and the mind-set of the Japanese people.
©2012 Renae Lucas-Hall (P)2015 Renae Lucas-Hall
Yes I would, I really enjoyed the story. I also seem to pick up things I missed the first time around when I listen to audio books more than once.
Takashi and Haruka equally. I like Haruka because the story seems to follow her the most, especially when she is thinking about marrying Jun her ex bf who now lives in Kyoto. I do feel like Takashi takes her back so easily but I think he know's that the whole Jun situation was arranged by her parents and respect to your elders is mandatory in Japan. I really did like Takashi and Haruka together, Luckily the job she was going to try to get in Kyoto fell through and she semi comes to her senses and returns to Takashi (Also helps that Haruka's mother was put off by the way Jun's mother treated them.)
Oh my goodness, all of them! I loved the pronunciation of all the Japanese names (I watch a lot of anime and hear these names often). Pronouncing Japanese town names I bet I wouldn't do so well myself. Also the Australian accent was really well done. I feel like Billie Fulford-Brown did a great job with narrating, the characters voices as well as accents for different regions. I know that's a skill I don't posses and noticing somebody else who has that skill is worth mentioning.
I did, I was kinda panicked when Takashi fell off his moter bike during the earthquake and broke 3 ribs and was gashed up all over. I was feeling a new set of panic when Haruka couldn't contact him and he could be dying and she would never get to tell him how she really feels and the mistake she's made.
There is a lot of culture introduced in this book: Takashi and Haruka's date in Kamakura where they visited the famous temples and shrines. Haruka and her parents stay in Kyoto and their visit to Kinkakuji - the golden temple, as well as Ryoan-ji temple and Nijo Castle. Haruka and Jun's dinner date at a kaiseki ryori (traditional Japanese) restaurant. A New Year's celebration in Izu waiting for the sun to rise, Takashi's love of convenience store meals that you can only find in Japan, the arranged marriage situation between Haruka and Jun. The traditional funeral of Takashi's grandmother.
What an amazing story!!! It's only about 6 hours long, so this is a wonderful companion during a lengthy commute or on a flight. Tokyo Hearts blew me away! Renae Lucas-Hall does an amazing job of weaving together a story that is both visually descriptive and emotionally charged, giving lovers of a great romance a feast for the senses. I found myself rooting for poor Takashi as he yearned for Haruka.
I really don't want to leave any spoilers here, but trust me when I say this has a WONDERFULLY refreshing ending!!! There are a number of characters in the story and Billie Fulford-Brown does a great job of navigating between both female and male characters and the soothing tone of her voice made it very easy to listen to the story for long stretches.
I'm SO GLAD I took a chance on this one. I'm an African American woman, but there are numerous lessons for any culture about materialism and seeking after true love instead of the superficial. Great job, ladies! You make great team! This could EASILY be a film!
The reader's voice was perfect for this story. Her tone was soothing, and her pronunciation was clear and precise.
The story accurately reflects, as I understand things, the challenges younger Japanese men and women face when it comes to finding where love fits in their complicated lives. University, work, materialism, technology, and the desire to travel all vie against love and relationships. Loyalty to family and company complicate things even further. The result is that a lot of younger Japanese just end up saying "Mendokusai!" (It's just too much trouble!) Renae Lucas-Hall does a wonderful job of drawing on all of these realities in a way that touches the reader's or listener's heart.
I haven't listened to any of her other performances, so I really can't compare them.
Can a dozen reasons why they can't be together trump the one powerful reason why they must?
Congratulations to Renae Lucas-Hall on writing a captivating story of love in modern Japan. It brought me hours of listening pleasure.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
This is probably one of those books where I was just the wrong audience. I simply do not care what other people wear or possess, and I have no interest in fashion and designers. So you can hopefully see my predicament when I came across all these characters who were totally obsessed by shopping, clothing, brands and designers, bags, cars, wealth, possessions and outer appearance. I just could not warm up to them at all. The main character’s father somewhere along the lines mentions: “Marry for love but love where the money is.” Well, that about sums up the characters and the story.
There’s Takashi, a hard working university student from a modest background, who fancies Haruka, who used to be a fellow student of his, but dropped out to help look after her sick father. Still, the two keep meeting regularly in Tokyo for coffee. But then Takashi finds out that Haruka is also in contact with Jun, who is very wealthy. Who will Haruka marry in the end?
Love triangle? Not so much. Emotional? Nope. Romance or love? Well, the love of all things materialistic. Lots and lots of talk about who bought what and who is driving a BMW or a Mercedes. Classified as a young adult book and a coming-of-age story, there was also some weird obsession with acne, which made me cringe. The dialogue felt terribly stilted. Do young Japanese people really talk like this to one another?
On the positive side, it was a relatively short listen at just under 6 hours. Probably a nice listen if you are keen on the geography of Japan and some Japanese culture. Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got.
The narration by Billlie Fulford-Brown was not much better either. It was hard to tell the difference between female and male characters. The narrator sounded robotic and dull. It felt like listening to somebody reading off a paper rather than listening to a performance of an audiobook.
There were no issues with the quality of the production.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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