Mika in Real Life

Emiko Jean

Contemporary Asian Lit

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, Gayle 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.

In this brilliant new novel by 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.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) At a very low point in her life, Mika receives a phone call from the daughter she gave up for adoption 16 years earlier. While getting to know each other, Mika pretends she is the person that feels she should be; successful and put-together.

Beautiful! Truly, I loved this one! I tend to waiver with contemporary novels. Sometimes they’re too real or too heavy and it’s not enough of an escape for me. But then I find a book like this that is written so well and makes me feel all the feels. 

I couldn’t relate to a lot of Mika’s life but at the same time I could relate to her. The feelings of inadequacy and always striving for more hit a nerve. I love, love that she found herself and found what she wanted in life. She found what it was she wanted then drove with all her might to achieve it. That, is my kind of MC.

The pain, heartache and happiness was so real. It tugged at my heart and made me laugh!

“…You go in full of earnest conviction and hope for the best and plan to pay for their therapy later.” Parenthood to a tee, amiright?

General content summary: F words: 25, birth and adoption, f/f relationship, drugs, references to intimacy but no details, alcohol, large statue with genitalia, date rape, drugged drink, anxiety and panic attacks, m/m relationship (a kiss), passionate kissing and somewhat detailed intimacy.

Thank you to BiblioLifestyle and William Morrow Books for the gifted copy!

The book is out now!

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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