When I signed up to review this book, I wasn’t aware that it was going to be a graphic novel. I just thought it was a regular novel that my two teen daughters and I will enjoy reading. So, when it arrived I was taken by surprise that it was actually a graphic novel, something I don’t normally read. But I’m glad I did.
The book’s author, Christine Mari Inzer, is also the artist behind the illustrations in the book. This being a graphic novel, there were a lot of drawings inside, together with dialogues and/or descriptions, that illustrated Inzer’s adventures in Japan. The illustrations made the book an interesting read, especially since they were also accompanied by actual photos. The book is also almost as big as a letter size paper which made it easier to appreciate all the big drawings and photos.
The book has 9 chapters starting from an introduction about Inzer and her plane ride from the US to Japan, then ending with her going back home after an eight week vacation. The story is divided according to Inzer’s major adventures in Japan, much like how one would really write a travelogue.
As someone really interested in travel, I loved this book because it’s so educational and teaches its readers a lot of helpful information about Japan. It doesn’t only include information about the popular destination spots but also tackles a lot about pop culture, which is something teenagers are really interested in. There’s a lot of discussion about food, fashion, festivals and even Japanese TV. My daughters even said that they know a lot more about Japan now after reading the book. It made them more interested to visit the country someday.
My daughters also liked this book because it’s a light and funny read. The language used was very conversational. I can actually imagine Inzer talking in such a way in front of me. There are a lot of funny anecdotes from her, which makes her very relatable to teens. But even I, the mom, was also amused while reading the book.
The only thing I didn’t like was that part of the book about talking to strangers, wherein “Filipino” was referred to as “Philippino” in one of the dialogues. I know that some foreigners really have a hard time spelling the word correctly. However, this was something that could have been corrected by the editors.
Overall, my daughters and I really liked the book and would recommend it to other teens as well.