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Lost in Tokyo
A girl travels to Japan to follow her missing mother's bucket list
"Full of heartbreak, loss and finding yourself while falling in love with your best friend. I would absolutely recommend this book." -- Amy, Goodreads ★★★★★

Nineteen-year-old Erin is hoping that her visit to Japan with her best friend, Adam, will be life-changing. When Erin was just four years old, her mother mysteriously vanished. Erin's only clue to her mother's possible whereabouts is a hand-written itinerary for a dream trip to Japan, a trip that Erin doesn't know if her mother ever had the chance to take. Erin has decided to carry out this itinerary, believing that it might help her find her mother.

But Erin's trip won't be going according to plan.

Hours after they arrive in Tokyo, in a jet-lagged fog, Erin and Adam end up in bed together. While struggling with the tension that now dominates their once innocent friendship and the trauma stirred up from Erin's painful past, Erin and Adam visit the places on her mother's list. As they explore the wonders of Japan, Erin finds herself haunted by strange "memories" that seem to belong to her mother. Could these memories be real? If so, perhaps her mother can be found.

LOST IN TOKYO will appeal to teens and adults who enjoy reading best sellers like JUST ONE DAY (by Gayle Forman), THIRTEEN REASONS WHY (by Jay Asher), SPEAK (by Laurie Halse Anderson), ELEANOR & PARK (by Rainbow Rowell), ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES (by Jennifer Niven), TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN (by John Green), IF I STAY (by Gayle Forman), FIVE FEET APART (by Rachael Lippincott), or GIRL IN PIECES (by Kathleen Glasgow). This unique ya novel provides a travel guide of wonderful things to see and do while on vacation in Japan (featuring attractions in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Nikko, and Kamakura) wrapped in a coming-of-age story of healing and hope, with an unexpected ending that you'll never see coming.

What readers are saying about LOST IN TOKYO:

"Beautifully written emotional adventure. Quite a few scenes brought out the goosebumps." -- Denise, Goodreads ★★★★★

"There were so many surprises I was on the edge of my seat." -- Kathryn, Goodreads ★★★★★

"Japan as a backdrop was such a unique story setting. It was both peaceful and exciting at the same time." -- Amanda, Goodreads ★★★★★

"I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down. The way the plot kept unfolding, I never knew what was going to happen next." -- Amanda, Goodreads ★★★★★

If you love emotional young adult romantic contemporary literature, don't miss this powerful new read!

LOST IN TOKYO is available in Kindle ebook and in paperback.

Kindle Unlimited members: Read the LOST IN TOKYO ebook for FREE.

 Author J.W. Lynne on the trip to Japan that inspired Lost in Tokyo:

An excerpt from Lost in Tokyo


The air inside our hotel room smells like bleach and honeysuckles; it’s not unpleasant, but it’s different. I make my way down an entry hallway so narrow that I have to carefully guide my suitcase so it doesn’t scrape against the scarred walls.

The bedroom is about half the size of my dorm room. It’s barely big enough to accommodate the two twin beds that take up almost all of its floor space. The beds are separated by a remarkably-skinny nightstand that’s dwarfed by the normal-sized alarm clock on top of it. It is 1:08 AM.

I heave my suitcase and backpack onto the nearest bed. Adam drops his suitcase and backpack onto the other bed and collapses next to them. I can’t imagine spending the next five nights cramped in this tiny room alone, much less with another person. Until now, I hadn’t really considered how strange it will be to share a bedroom with Adam. Although we are best friends, we’ve never been roommates before. I wonder if it will be awkward.

“Do you want to take the first shower?” Adam asks me.

“Sure. Thanks,” I say.

And then I notice neatly-folded, white, silk pajamas on my bed. There are some on Adam’s bed too.

“Japanese pajamas!” I exclaim, lifting what turns out to be a long nightshirt. “We should wear these!”

“I think I’ll wear shorts and a t-shirt,” Adam says.

“Suit yourself.” I unzip my suitcase, grab my toiletries, and head into the bathroom.

As I brush my teeth, I examine the toilet. It looks like any ordinary toilet back home, except that, on one side, it has an armrest-like thing with numerous buttons that are labeled in Japanese. There are symbols on the buttons also, but I don’t know what they mean.

After I rinse the toothpaste from my mouth, I sit on the toilet. “Whoa!” The seat is warm! It’s comforting in a weird way to sit on a warm toilet seat—unless it’s still warm from the person before you, which I’m sure is not the case here. I push the first button: a big orange circle with a square inside. Nothing happens. And then my foggy mind realizes it’s the stop button. Good. If I push a button with an outcome I don’t like, I can put an end to it quickly. I push the next button: a blue person sitting on a blue stool. “Aaah!” Warm water tickles my bottom. Strange. I push the button with the square. The water flow instantly stops. The next button is a red person on a red stool. The red stool is angled slightly differently than the blue stool. “Eeee.” I feel a little like I’m peeing in reverse. “Adam, you’ve gotta try this toilet,” I call out. I’m sure it feels different from a guy’s perspective, but it’s probably still an interesting experience.

“Based on what I’m hearing, I look forward to it,” he calls back.

I laugh, pee, wipe, and flush. Then I poke my head out of the bathroom. “Do you need to use the restroom before I get in the shower?”

Adam smiles sleepily at me. “No, I’m fine.”

The shower is less complicated than the toilet. I get it going, strip off my clothes, and step inside. As the warm water washes over me, it takes with it the stress of the past twenty-four hours.

But it can’t budge the anxiety over what is to come.

* * *

I open my eyes, feeling disoriented. It takes me a moment to realize that I’m not in my dorm room, but rather in a hotel room in Japan. I think I slept some, but not much.

The clock on the nightstand reads “02:05.”

Adam is climbing into bed. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” he whispers. “Go back to sleep.”

For some reason that I don’t completely understand, I climb out of my bed, lift the covers on Adam’s bed, and slip under them with him. I’ve only been in bed with Adam once before, on the night my dad died. I needed someone next to me that night. We didn’t cuddle. We didn’t even touch each other. We slept in his bed with a pillow between us. But it was comforting in exactly the way I needed to be comforted. Now, I don’t need to be next to Adam, I want to be.

“Is something wrong?” Adam asks me.

“No, nothing’s wrong,” I say. And then I notice, “Hey, you’re wearing the Japanese pajamas.”

“You seemed so excited about them. I didn’t want to let you down.”

The way he says that makes it clear he’s joking, but his words resonate with me. I’ve been let down many times in my life. By people I loved. People I trusted. But Adam has never, ever let me down.

As I stare into his eyes, I feel something stir inside me. Something I didn’t think I’d ever feel again. A longing. I wrap my arms around Adam, and he pulls our bodies together, holding onto me so tightly that I feel his warmth through the two thin silky layers that separate us.

“Can I sleep here tonight?” I whisper.

He swallows. “Of course.”

* * *

Read more of Lost in Tokyo by J.W. Lynne at Amazon.com!

About this novel:

Genre or genres of literature: romance, ya (young adult), mystery, thriller, coming of age, travel, adventure, women's fiction
Point of view: first person
Gender of protagonist: female
Page count: under 300 pages
Featured geographical locations: Set in Japan (Tokyo, , Kyoto, Nara, Nikko, and Kamakura)
  J.W. Lynne is the author of eleven novels popular among teen, YA (young adult), and adult readers. Lynne's works of fiction feature preteen and teenage main characters.

Books best for kids in middle school through adults: The Unknown, The Simulation Game, Kid Docs, and Wild Animal School

Books best for teenagers in high school through adults: Above the Sky, Lost in Los Angeles, and Lost in Tokyo.

(Last updated February 2022)