Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn is one of my new favorite YA books!
This summer, sixteen-year-old Violet is staying wither her dad, who is an up-and-coming Seattle Area artist. Violet is over the moon when her father’s biggest client, the Yamadas, commission him to paint a mural in their corporate headquarters in Tokyo. Being a huge fan of all things Japanese, including manga (she is in the process of inking her own book; she’s an artist herself) this is a dream come true. Plus she can hang out with her friend, who is also in Tokyo all summer! However the trip takes a darker turn when the Yamadas’ house is broken into and three Van Gogh sketches are stolen. Emulating her favorite manga detectives, Violet begins to investigate the theft, leading her thru the streets of Seattle, Tokyo and Kyoto; meeting artists, businessmen and Yakuza members. This is a trip she will never forget!
This is a fantastic book. Leading the reader through an action packed series of clues, events and blind alleys, Violet is a strong character, relying on herself to find solutions to the problems facing her, as well as showing passion for her art and the evolution of her own story line. Showing how every day events can influence and inspire someone when writing a story. Even when she is down, she is never a shrinking violet.
I also enjoyed reading the street scenes in Japan, the interactions between the characters (which are not always what they seem to be) and viewing Seattle thru someone else’s eyes. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun, fast and action-packed read this summer. This is a great book. (YA 12 - 16).