Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn | Book Review

Pages: 384

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Age Group: Young Adult



When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she’s walking into. Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger–including Violet’s and her father’s.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery–before it’s too late.

Rating: A Light-Hearted, Fun Read!

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I read Tokyo Heist back during summer and I really enjoyed it! It was a great nicely paced mystery that really kept me entertained.

Violet is our socially awkward, magna obsessed main character that is determined to figure out who stole the missing Van Gogh sketches. I liked how Violet had the same insecurities that the everyday teen has because it made her a very relatable character. Plus, I loved how passionate she was about art and she was a really fun character to read about.

A unique part of Tokyo Hesit is that Glenn, Violet’s dad, plays a big role in the story. Usually in YA’s novels, parents are mostly absent, so it was a bit strange to see one play such a big part in the book. Glenn is obsessed with his artwork and he doesn’t really know how to act like a father. It was cute to see Violet and Glenn’s relationship grow to the point where they understood each other much better.

I really loved the mystery aspect of Tokyo Heist. I was in the mood for a fun, YA mystery and that’s exactly what I found with Tokyo Heist. I loved how Violet incorporated her magna, Kimono Girl, with the mystery. It was a fun, unique way to tell the story. Also, throughout Tokyo Heist I was always coming up with new suspects which I love in a mystery! You don’t quite know who the real culprit is, but there were a few hints along the way to the real thief. Even though, I had a guess of whom the culprit was it still was a good twist. I loved the way Renn allowed the mystery to unfold and I would not have been able to guess where the Van Gogh sketches were hidden.

Another big part that I liked about Tokyo Heist was the setting. I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I’d love to visit it now! I learned lots of new, interesting information about Tokyo itself and the Japanese culture. Tokyo sounds like such a beautiful place and I hope I get to visit it sometime in the future.

Although there was some romance in Tokyo Heist it wasn’t a big chunk of the plot line. I actually really enjoyed that there was barely any romance in the story. It was a refreshing breath of air to read about just a girl solving a crime without any romance complications.

Overall, Tokyo Heist was a nice-paced, fun mystery that I would definitely recommend to fans of Nancy Drew. If you enjoy books with a strong, passionate, determined main character without much romance, Tokyo Heist is the book for you! Plus, if you’d like to learn about Tokyo while being entertained, you should give Tokyo Heist a try!


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