Elle Zoellner has not had the easiest of lives. She has just turned 16 years old and is in her 3rd foster home (where she can only take one hot shower a week). Her mom is in prison for drugs, she doesn’t know her father and she’s bullied at school. But things are about to take a big turn now.
When she gets home from school one day she learns that her father Kenji Takahara has found her and wants her to come Tokyo and live with her. She had never known who he was. He’s a rich, powerful man and she’s not sure what to do. She ends up going and finds her life turned upside down. Living there is a lot different than living in the United States. There’s customs and ways that people live there she must learn. Her father works a lot and she won’t get to see him much. Her Grandmother doesn’t want her there.
She ends up going to ICS-the International Collegiate School of Tokyo, where they teach in English and it’s for people not from Japan. She gets in with the cool girls and is part of the swim team. She meets a boy named Ryuu, who has been shunned for something he did. She likes him and it causes problems with her friends and family. Soon she learns her dad is in some trouble and she may not be able to stay in Tokyo. She will fight to keep her new life no matter what.
A great story of family, new beginnings and living in a new country and having to adapt. It’s also a great look at Tokyo and makes me want to go there and check it out. Author Rachel Cohn has written a great novel with a character Elle you will root for the whole way. She is a force to be reckoned with.
You can pick up the book in stores on Tuesday, December 18th.