Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St John Brown #BlogTour #BookReview #GuestPost

Title: Swimming to Tokyo
Author: Brenda St John Brown
Releases: July 28, 2014 from Spencer Hill Contemporary

The rules for swimming are simple:

Rule #1: There is no lifeguard on duty.

Since her mom died three years ago, nineteen-year-old Zosia Easton’s been treading water. Living at home. Community college. Same old Saturday nights. So when her father breaks the news he’s taken a job transfer—and by the way, it means renting out the house that’s been her refuge—a summer in Tokyo feels like it just might be a chance to start swimming again.

Rule #2: Beware of unexpected currents.

Finn O’Leary has spent God knows how many years trying to drown out his past. Juvenile detention. Bad decisions. Worse choices. He’s managed to turn it around – MIT, Dean’s List, a sexier-than-thou body with a smile to match – at least on the surface. When his mom asks him to spend the summer with her, Tokyo seems as good a place as any to float through the summer.

Rule #3: Swim at your own risk.

Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St John Brown really blew me away. I fell in love with it from the very beginning and found it to be a very addicting read. It’s definitely one of my favorite contemporary novels. The writing is fantastic and the plot is terrific. The characters in this book are not perfect and they are not trying to be perfect. I felt like so many things that are normally glossed over are not and it gives it a gritty real feel. At the same time it’s fun, swoony and sexy.

I have always had a fascination with Japan. I was a huge Manga/Anime nerd from middle school until, well I don’t think I’ve ever stopped. Just ebbed a bit. So I absolutely loved the setting. There were lots of places that I recognized and have heard of from my own dive into the culture, even though I’ve never been there. (my cousin has so jealous). It was so fun to read, I love reading books that happen in a different country. It’s hard not to be interesting. Plus Brenda did such a wonderful job of making you feel like you are really there.

Zo is such a great character and completely makes me laugh most of the time. I love that she asks a million questions because I’ve been accused of that myself. I’m not alone in this world! I just like how she was so no nonsense about the things she thought and said. Zosia isn’t going to be the one that pities you. Nope, she’s gone through her own crap and she might be sympathetic to your situation but she is no means going to sugar coat something. She has learned that sometimes something really sucks and people telling you it will get better isn’t going to make it suck any less in that moment. She isn't going to fix you but she will be there to hold you up while you try to fix yourself. It made me want to reach into the book and high five her then ask if she wants to hang out. She is also a swimmer which I think is cool. I love girls who are athletic but still have that flirty cute girl in them.

Finn is such a sweet and swoony guy but the poor boy is so damaged. He has been hurt in ways that breaks your heart and not just physically. It’s also not just from the things that have gone on between him and his dad but also the fact that he felt like his mom failed him too. I want to cuddle him and his sexy tattoo.

The romance is swoony, intense and filled with chemistry. The thing I like about Zosia and Finn is they are who they are. They don’t expect to change one another either. They are only there to support and love. They see that love is not all flowers and rainbows. It also progresses slowly for them. They start out as sort of strangers (classmates), to best friends and finally to a relationship. We see them go through all the normal stages. I also like how when they get in a fight Zosia doesn’t mope, okay maybe a little, she always picks herself back up quickly though. She decides she won’t go quietly and goes after what she wants. I love the banter between the two of them too. It was such fun dialogue to read.

I’m completely fangirling over Brenda St John Brown now and can not wait to read more of her work. Swimming to Tokyo was well written, interesting and fun. Plus it had the right amount of angst and reality mixed in. Definitely run, flail your arms in excitement and pick up this book!

10 Things Readers Don’t Know About Me

1.       I could make a meal out of any kind of bread and sauce. My favourite is naan and tikka masala sauce.
2.      I could also make a meal out of Doritos and coffee, water or wine, depending on the time of day.
3.      I had lasik but sadly wear glasses again. However, those 11 glasses-free years were totally worth it!
4.      I used to hide under my bed during thunderstorms when I was a kid. I’m still tempted to do exactly that today.
5.      I booked a holiday once for the wrong YEAR, which I found out when we arrived at the place to check in. Cue crying. Mine and The Boy’s! Everyone I’ve ever mentioned this to tells me that they now always double check the year when they’re booking, so it’s like my public service to the world to mention it.
6.      I have pages of a dystopian written and a pretty solid idea, but I’m so terrible at the world building, I doubt it will ever see the light of day.
7.      I obsess about climate change and the impact it will have on The Boy’s generation.
8.     I’d rather spend my money on travel and books than anything else.
9.      I played the trumpet all through middle school and high school.
10.  Even after several years of driving in the UK, I still have to remind myself to drive on the LEFT!
Brenda St John Brown is a displaced New Yorker living in the English countryside. She hasn't quite adapted to the idea of fireworks in November (despite now being a dual US/UK citizen), but she knows not to call trousers pants & often finds herself saying things are lovely...a word that never crossed her lips until she passed through UK immigration. She writes YA & NA fiction. When she's not writing, Brenda loves running, reading and traveling, & talking about Greek mythology with her son.


Blog Tour Schedule

7/21: Lisa @ Fic Talk - Guest Post 
7/22: Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads - Guest Post 
7/23: Liza @ Who R U - Excerpt 
7/24: Jen @ Library of a Book Witch - Guest Post 
7/25: Kristine @ Kristine Wyllys - Guest Post 
7/28: Brooke @ The Cover Contessa - Interview & Review 
7/29: Fidah @ Met In Eleven - Review & Interview 
7/30: Meredith @ Pandora's Books - Excerpt 
7/31: Jaime @ Fic Fare - Review & Interview 
8/1: Lola @ Lola's Reviews - Review