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Swimming to Tokyo

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  98 reviews
My summer in Tokyo just got a lot hotter...

Getting a real-life chance with your old high school crush doesn’t happen every day. But then Finn O’Leary lends me five dollars and says I can buy him a coffee sometime to pay him back.

I don’t expect to be buying him coffee in Tokyo.

That’s what happens when your dad takes a job in Japan and drags you along for summer break. If I
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published July 28th 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  445 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
DNF at 38%

As this book was recommended to those who loved Last Will and Testament I thought to give it a try. The writing was solid and the setting of the story was exotic but there was ZERO chemistry between the main characters. Thus, the romance completely felt flat and one-dimensional for me and I got bored easily.

It's possible I will go back sometime and attempt reading this again, but for now, I'm going to move on.
The book cover, title and blurb don't really do this book justice. It was much, MUCH better than its packaging makes it out to be.

The thing this book does really well is something that I’m a total sucker for: I absolutely LOVE stories that center around a new friendship. I love watching it develop and grow, seeing how each person slowly learns more of the other and how feelings can deepen. And then throw in some playful banter and heady sexual tension? um, YES. I like. The author worked the slow
Jaime Arkin
Let me just start off by saying what a wonderful surprise this book was. I picked this book up and didn't put it down again until I turned the last page! Swimming To Tokyo is Brenda St. John Brown’s debut title, and I was completely blown away by it. I apologize in advance if my review gets a little flaily!

Zosia Easton, (or Zoe to the people who are NOT near and dear to her heart) is 19 and living at home with her father who works too much and attending classes at the local college. She’s still

I LOVED THIS! I didn't expect to. I expected it to be an overblown, melodramatic, tropey, sterotypical new adult novel. It wasn't.

I loved the way the conflict was written. I can't even describe it, but I'll try. Zosia and Finn have both had hard lives, Finn more so than Zosia, but they're both trying. They fail and freak out and do the wrong thing, but they're giving it a go and I loved that about this book. They didn't get in fights that lasted a week because of a mis-communication, they may w
Michelle [Helen Geek]
11/22/2014 --

It's very early right now and there are all kinds of lightening and thunder outside right now.

What does this have to do with this story / this review? Not a damned thing, but the cover/blurb/title relate about as well here too. I felt it an oversell of what we actually get.

Let's jump into my thoughts on this one .. shall we?


First, the things I liked about this story:

1 -- The characters. I liked Finn and Zosia. T
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I JUST finished this book maybe 2 minutes ago so please, just give me a moment here:



Wow..okay, *sniff*


I really wasn't expecting this kind of story and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. What I really only knew about this book was the synopsis and let me tell you, it's SO much more than that.

I thought that this was going to be "just another summer-fling" book, but these characters are way more complex for that type of story. I was sucked into the
A.J. Pine
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-adult
Brenda St. John Brown, it's your fault I'm at work today on only four hours of sleep! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

You know how the TBR gets, and this book has been sitting on my kindle since its release. It's only been out a little over a month, and I still want to kick myself that it took me this long to read.

Swimming to Tokyo is gorgeous, an emotional, heart-wrenching debut. Zosia was the kind of heroine I could relate to--unsure of herself as she navigates big changes in her life. N
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to read this book after hearing some good things about it and because I was intrigued by the cover. This was totally different then I expected, but I still enjoyed it. yes it is about Tokyo and swimming, but mostly it's a romance story set in Tokyo. I did love the setting, although I wished there was some more swimming.

At first i had some trouble getting into this book, the first few chapters where a bit slow and took place in the Us and
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I want to thank Spencer Hill Contemporary for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. I will let you know that, yes, I do work for Spencer Hill Press as a publicist and no, this did not influence my opinion or review. The book on it's own is fabulous and no matter the publisher it needs to be read!

Blurb from Goodreads:
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
Kayleigh {K-Books}
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Swimming to Tokyo Review on K-Books

"Honesty's easy. It's trust that's hard."

Holy crap!
Swimming to Tokyo may just be the best NA Contemporary I have ever read in my life. I am already a huge fan of NA Contemporary but I so find some of them so similar that you can completely guess what has happened in the characters past and what is going to happen in the end. Swimming to Tokyo completely and utterly dashed all of my perceptions and blew me away. It is utterly phenomenal!

Zosia is still gettin
Ashley Blake
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Super sweet & steamy read! Oh, I do love the tortured boys...
Dark Faerie Tales
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Emotional, gorgeous new adult romance that I devoured. All romance fans need to pick this one up!

Opening Sentence: I wipe my nose on the sleeve of my T-shirt, right across the pink Nike swoosh. Disgusting, but it can’t be helped.

The Review:

Zosia Easton’s mother died a couple of years ago and she’s never quite been the same. She hasn’t taken any risks because she felt like she’s had enough heartache in her life and she doesn’t think she would be
Find this review and more at kimberlyfaye reads .

I can't even begin to tell you just how much I loved Swimming to Tokyo – and I'm pretty sure my review won't do it justice – but I'm gonna try. From the minute I saw it on NetGalley and read the blurb, I knew I had to read it and that I would very likely love it. I was so right.

Zosia's life is turned upside down pretty early on in this book. Her mom passed away a few years ago and she's still dealing with that loss. Now her dad tells her he's m
Swimming to Tokyo wasn’t what I was expecting. I’d heard great things about it and many of my blogger friends loved it, but for some reason I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I don’t think the synopsis does it justice; this book is emotional, funny, sexy, sweet, and swoony. It incorporates all the things I love best about New Adult books, and does it in a fascinating setting that’s different from the typical European or US summer vacation books.

This is a story that starts out quiet and
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I stayed up half the night to finish the story. Zosia’s Mother died 3 years earlier and sometimes her life feels like it is on hold. She plans to start college in Rhode Island in the fall after a year of community college back home in New Jersey. Leaving home and the memories of her Mother that linger there is one of the hardest things she will have to do since her Mom’s death. So when her Father tells Zoe he is transferring to Tokyo for work and suggests Zoe accompany ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Swimming to Tokyo is a debut contemporary novel by Brenda St. John Brown. The book is told from the perspective of Zosia Easton. Zo has yet to move on from her mother's death. She finds it harder to cope when her dad decides to rent out their house for his job transfer. And so, Zo has to spend her summer in Tokyo.

The beginning of the book was a little hard for me to get into the story. Brenda's writing was great but I found it a little slow. I enjoyed it a whole lot better once the characters we
4 stars

I really enjoyed this one! It's a refreshing new adult title that's much more about slow and careful relationship building than hot smexing all the time. There is serious hotness and chemistry though, and although there's a certain level of trauma haunting both characters, I found myself rooting for them without delay.

The other bonus: it's set in Japan. I freaking adore Japan, and I feel like this was a great execution of the setting. You could tell the author knew her stuff without it ge
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was AMAZING.
Wow, I want to go to Tokyo now.
Please, God, if you're out there, send me a ticket to Tokyo.
I loved this book. I want more. I don't want it to be over. Why did it finish??? Couldn't it just last forever and ever.
I want an epilogue.
I want a second book.
I want more Finn and Zo.
I did not get my fix.
I want to know more about Finn, I feel like we didn't even touch the surface with his character, he has so much depth to him.
And Zo, beautiful Zo, you are a ray of light in his da
L.J. Scar
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Swimming to Tokyo is one of the best new adult romances I have read this year. The characters of Zosia and Finn are well developed, the dialogue between them excellent, and the events that transpire are engaging. The unfolding of the story as they go from acquaintances/friends who spend the summer as American tourists in Japan visiting their parents to a couple who forgoes their doubts/insecurities and other’s warnings is filled with page turning emotion and eventual explosive chemistry. This bo ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014, review
Zosia has had her world fall apart around her more than once. First it was her mother’s death – cancer – and now it’s her father’s work transfer – they’re off to Tokyo (well, Yokohama to be exact.) She’s 19 and high school is over, soon she’ll be off to university. It’s a time of change.

To make matters interesting there’s the hot guy, Finn, who the whole school was interested in back in their high school days. Zosia sees him around once or twice but puts thoughts of him behind her now that she’s
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Nov 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: goodreads. Whywhywhy.
There's only so much of stupidity I can take, yo.

No, I did not DNF it, on account of how I literally forced myself to finish it since it's actually pretty small, but that 210+ pages worth of foolishness nearly made me bang my head against the wall. I had more maturity at the age of 12 than these people have at 19. It crazy.

The main character, Zosia, is a complete idiot. Weeee! A new place! Tokyo! Weee! Lets stay out at 2 am in the morning with this completely random guy who I used to have a crus
Jess (the cozy reader)
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Big thanks to Brenda for an ARC copy for review.

What a wonderful debut novel that Brenda has written. It had a nice storyline, refreshing and honest characters, and great locations of scenery. Zosia's journey is one filled with loss, bonds of both friendship and family, new discoveries, but also finding love and happiness. This was a pleasant surprise and definite must read for those who love New Adult romance.

Zo (Zosia) is a Polish/American high school senior, who has recently lost her mother t
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-adult
For a good while I was thinking the only thing that set this book apart from the slew of other New Adult books currently flooding that market, was the location - Tokyo. It's a good hook - a completely different culture, full of interesting customs, to catch the reader's attention. But that's not all Swimming to Tokyo has to offer.

Zosia, with her Polish heritage, is a little gem. Honest and brave, she's been through a lot and come out of the other side stronger. I only wish I had her level of in
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a little hard for me to get into at first. An 18 year old girl trying to deal with the death from breast cancer of her mother, has her father take her to Tokyo for the summer. She finds out that a boy she really likes at home is also going to Tokyo for the summer. The boy has been in and out of trouble for years and the girl's father warns her not to get involved with him (the boy is the son of dad's new love interest). But, of course, they do. This part was a little boring to me a ...more
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won a kindle copy of this book
Love! Love! Love it!!
Can I just take a moment to say how I LOVED this book and every single part of it. This book is like on my top favorites list that I would read over and over again. I am so glad I read this book because everyone was saying how amazing it is and I have to agree. This book is perfect in so many ways like the characters are my new best friends. I love Finn and learning about his past. Tokyo was just a perfect place for these characters and no
Heather andrews
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First I had to read this book because I love the cover, second not many notes because I was to into the story to make any. My heart broke when Zo talked about Finn like he's available, "yeah, he's...I don't know. He's available as far as I know." My stomach churns a little as I say it. It's true. He is. And aside from an occasional sizzle, things between us are totally platonic." When things heat up between Zo and Finn it's totally hot, "and when Finn cups my butt and my leg wraps around his, I ...more
Stina Lindenblatt
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: na-books
I'll admit when I first picked this book, up I was expecting a light beach read (mainly because I had forgotten what the blurb had said). It's exactly the kind of NA book I love to read. Finn is my favorite type of hero--damaged. Like Zosia, he's dealing with his own personal demons, and struggling to do so. He makes mistakes--they both do--which adds to the conflict. I couldn't put the book down because I had to know what happened next. And there are plenty of steamy scenes in the book.

One of
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I really liked this book a lot! Zosia and Finn have, in different ways, led difficult lives. Both are determined to overcome them.  Zosia ends up in Tokyo because of her father's job promotion There she meets Finn. Their relationship begins with just friendship.  Then turns into a love affair. And it's a beautiful journey.

So, I kinda thought, because of the cover, this was going to be a "fluffy" read.  Don't get me wrong...I
Man, this was a pleasant surprise. It gets off to kind of a quiet start - a lot of focus on family and background, a sweet intro to the love interest - and then somewhere around the midway point it gets swoony, and hot, and intense, and I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime to finish reading after that. Loved the unique setting and how much St John Brown did with it, and loved the fully realized characters of Zosia and Finn. There's something about Zosia that kept appealing to me really strongly in ...more
Beckie Lawson
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! A must-read!
I loved the characters so much and was totally absorbed in the story. Perfectly captures that feeling of first love but in a real way. Their love grows in the story in such a beautiful way despite or maybe because of all their past challenges.
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Brenda is a USA Today bestselling author living in the English countryside. Originally from New York, she's lived in the UK long enough to gain dual citizenship, but still doesn’t understand Celsius. However, she has learned the appropriate use of the word “pants”. And how to order a proper bacon bap/barm/buttie. Because, well, bacon.

Brenda writes contemporary romance to make you giggle and swoon.

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