SWIMMING TO TOKYO
by Brenda St John Brown
Releases July 29, 2014
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.
GUEST POST: Eat at Your Own Risk
Everyone’s heard of sushi. But beware the green stuff. Wasabi will clear your sinuses faster than you can “Oh my God, that’s hot!”
In SWIMMING TO TOKYO, Zo is a little bit of a control freak when it comes to food. And, well, no wonder because, while the food in Japan is amazing, it can also be a little…surprising.
Then there’s takoyaki. It looks pretty good. What can be bad about deep-fried…octopus balls? Besides, um, the octopus? (It’s actually not that bad once you get over the surprise.)
Of course, for those who like their octopus straight up, there’s nothing like a tentacle or two in a bowl of ramen.
Sometimes, though, you just want your noodles sans sea creatures. Yakisoba, a popular takeaway item, is perfect. It’s especially great for lunch at your desk, as it’s good warm or cold.
Another popular lunch item is the bento box. It’s a “set lunch” that usually involves some kind of fish, some kind of noodles/rice, and some kind of vegetable.
For those who need more substance and a little bit of spice, katsu curry is a big hit. The curry is a little sweet and veers more towards the Chinese curry than Indian curry flavors (imagine that). This was one of my faves when I lived in Tokyo.
When in doubt, drag your waiter/waitress to the window and point at something. What could possibly go wrong?
Brenda St John Brown
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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.