“Tender and profound, Emiko Jean’s writing had me laughing, crying, and cheering for Mika in Real Life.” — Lauren Kate, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Emiko Jean is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of Mika in Real Life—a GMA book club pick (and Jean’s adult debut,) and witty young adult novels Tokyo Dreaming, and Tokyo Ever After—A Reese Summer YA Book Club pick. Her forthcoming novel, The Return of Ellie Black, will release in May 2024. Writing more is exactly what Jean wants to do, no matter the age group.

Growing up, Emiko Jean was always a big fan of fantasy novels. Dominated by white characters and heavily influenced by Western mythology, those books both drew her in and kept her at a distance. With her second young adult novel, Empress of All Seasons, Jean, who is half-white and half-Japanese, set out to address the issues that had once convinced her that writing fantasy simply wasn’t in the cards for a girl like her. But Jean was very intentional in her decision to write about such universal experiences through such a specific, Japanese-tinted lens.

Mika in Real Life is about love—particularly the variety between mothers and daughters. Again, Jean says, “I’m very careful to qualify that Mika represents one version of the Japanese American experience…there are so few authors of color, and there are so few novels that feature characters of color, that there’s such a strong desire for that novel to represent all of the experiences of a group… It’s kind of exciting, though, because it really means that I get to write more.”

When Emiko is not writing, she is reading and says most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington, where she loves the rain, with her husband and children (unruly twins).

Emiko's Featured Titles

The Return of Ellie Black

Simon & Schuster |
Murder Thrillers

The Return of Ellie Black is a page-turning suspense novel, a shrewd character study, and a captivating mystery, all at the same time. The last fifty pages are magnetic. I couldn’t put it down until I’d experienced every last twist and turn.” —STEPHEN KING

Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s life is turned upside down when she gets the call Ellie Black, a girl who disappeared years earlier, has resurfaced in the woods of Washington state—but Ellie’s reappearance leaves Chelsey with more questions than answers.

It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s sister vanished when they were teenagers, and ever since she’s been searching: for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. But happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

Then a glimmer: local teenager Ellie Black, who disappeared without a trace two years earlier, has been found alive in the woods of Washington State.

But something is not right with Ellie. She won’t say where she’s been, or who she’s protecting, and it’s up to Chelsey to find the answers. She needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Ellie: for herself, and for the memory of her sister, but mostly for the next girl who could be taken—and who, unlike Ellie, might never return.

The debut thriller from New York Times bestselling author Emiko Jean, The Return of Ellie Black is both a feminist tour de force about the embers of hope that burn in the aftermath of tragedy and a twisty page-turner that will shock and surprise you right up until the final page.

Mika in Real Life: A Novel

William Morrow |
Adult Fiction


In this brilliant new novel from Emiko Jean, the author of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Tokyo Ever After, comes a whip-smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and utterly heartwarming novel  about motherhood, daughterhood, and love—how we find it, keep it, and how it always returns.

One phone call changes everything. 

At thirty-five, Mika Suzuki’s life is a mess. Her last relationship ended in flames. Her roommate-slash-best friend might be a hoarder. She’s a perpetual disappointment to her traditional Japanese parents. And, most recently, she’s been fired from her latest dead-end job.

Mika is at her lowest point when she receives a phone call from Penny—the daughter she placed for adoption sixteen years ago. Penny is determined to forge a relationship with her birth mother, and in turn, Mika longs to be someone Penny is proud of. Faced with her own inadequacies, Mika embellishes a fact about her life. What starts as a tiny white lie slowly snowballs into a fully-fledged fake life, one where Mika is mature, put-together, successful in love and her career.

The details of Mika’s life might be an illusion, but everything she shares with curious, headstrong Penny is real: her hopes, dreams, flaws, and Japanese heritage. The harder-won heart belongs to Thomas Calvin, Penny’s adoptive widower father. What starts as a rocky, contentious relationship slowly blossoms into a friendship and, over time, something more. But can Mika really have it all—love, her daughter, the life she’s always wanted? Or will Mika’s deceptions ultimately catch up to her? In the end, Mika must face the truth—about herself, her family, and her past—and answer the question, just who is Mika in real life? 

Perfect for fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years, Mika in Real Life is at once a heart-wrenching and uplifting novel that explores the weight of silence, the secrets we keep, and what it means to be a mother.

Tokyo Dreaming : A Novel

Flatiron Books |
Young Adult Fiction

Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s New York Times bestseller Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to beloved rom-com Tokyo Ever After!

When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true. Only. . .

Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.

But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?

Tokyo Ever After: A Novel

Flatiron Books |
Young Adult Fiction

Emiko Jean’s New York Times bestseller and Reese Book Club Pick Tokyo Ever After is the “refreshing, spot-on” (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan!

Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.

Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?

Look for the bestselling sequel, Tokyo Dreaming, out now.

Empress of All Seasons

Clarion Books |
Young Adult Fiction

Winter 2018-2019 Kids’ Indie Next List

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yokai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit.  As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yokai outcast. Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

We’ll Never Be Apart

Clarion Books |
Young Adult Fiction




That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths. Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.


Writing Workshop (grades 6 – 12)

A 60 to 90 minute writing workshop based on George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” poem. Students will explore finding their voice and story by tapping into their own experiences and how that may be used to inspire writing.


Diversity and Inclusion in publishing

A personal, heartfelt lecture on my experiences in diversity and publishing. From my childhood exclusion in literature to embracing my Japanese American identity and exploring what it means to be a yellow body in the United States through writing.


Life of an Author

A 60 minute general presentation on author life including: how to become an author, the daily life of an author, how a book is published, and challenges of being an author.

Tokyo Ever After: An Evening with Emiko Jean and Katharine McGee

Join Alexandra, Tiffany, and author, Emiko Jean, as we discuss her latest novel, Tokyo Ever After.

Editors Unedited: Lucia Macro interviews Emiko Jean, author of Mika in Real Life.

Emiko Jean, Toyko Ever After: A Novel | Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books

Emiko’s News & Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

New York Times Best Selling Author
#1 Indie Next Pick
Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
Junior Library Guild selection
School Library Journal’s Best Book of the Year
Entertainment Weekly’s Best Book of Summer
Amazon Best Book of August 2022

Tokyo Ever After Declared a Must-Read Book of the Year by
Marie Claire
Entertainment Weekly
Good Morning America
Boston Public Library
San Francisco Chronicle
Publishers Weekly
and more!

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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