Swimming to Tokyo

Swimming to TokyoSwimming to Tokyo by Brenda St. John Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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 walk away from each other and act like idiots, but they eventually made it right.

I loved the tension between the two leads and the slow burn of the romance.

The only thing I felt that was lacking was the development of the supporting characters. Zosia’s dad was a weak “villain.” He’s definitely not an actual villain, per se, but he doesn’t agree with her choices and seems to only exist to create conflict in that respect. I woudl have like to have seen his relationship develop more with Zosia, Eloise, and Finn.

There’s a lot of Japanese and Polish words in this book and I love how the author didn’t explain every little thing to the reader as if they’ve never read a book before and don’t know how context clues work.

Finn is totally a believable damaged character. These characters are so well written. This book is actually good contract to Lost and Found. Where Lost and Found’s damaged characters seemed 2-dimensional and not well thought out, Swimming to Tokyo’s Zosia and Finn were the opposite.

You know how many times I rolled my eyes while reading this? Zero. And I’m an eye roller.

Spoilerish: I loved how the author didn’t tie everything up in a pretty bow at the end. Sometimes leaving something to the reader’s imagination is the way to go. Instead of making the end of it a cheese-fest, she tied it up enough without crossing the line into saccharine.

I adored this novel and am really sad that it won’t be available in paperback until December. I placed my pre-order though and am excited to receive it!

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