Seven Days of You – Cecilia Vinesse – Little, Brown Books – Published 7 March 2017
Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.
Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?
If you like Tokyo and it’ll-never-work-out love stories, if you like crazy, complicated, mixed-up friendships then Seven Days Of You is the book for you.
The story starts with a countdown. Seven days until Sophia must leave Japan and her friends. Seven days to hold on to as many memories as she can, and maybe even seven days to fall in love. Sceptical?? Okay, I was a little, too. Could it really be pulled off? I liked the one-day romance in The Sun Is Also A Star and have disliked plenty of other short-time-period love stories, but while the climax of this love story occurs in seven day the relationship between Sophia and Jamie spans many years.
Sophia has lived in Tokyo for four years and she has just one week left. She wants to spend that time with her friends and soaking in everything that is Tokyo. But her remaining days are complicated when her old friend turned kind of enemy returns to Japan after three years away. She doesn’t want to see him and certainly doesn’t want to go over what happened all those years ago – but a lot can happen in seven days.
Something I just did not understand about this book is why Sophia is so sad about leaving her friends. Talk about complicated relationships. For example, Sophia has a crush on her friend David, who is dating Caroline. Sophia dislikes Caroline and is totally judgemental of her but pretends to be her friend. Mika, Sophia’s other friend, seems to dislike both David and Caroline. And David is a huge jerk to all of them, especially Sophia. Sophia seems to dislike every moment she spends with her friends. All they seem to do is whine and berate each other. That is not friendship!! So I definitely wasn’t connecting with the characters, nor feeling Sophia’s need to stay with these apparently amazing friends. But, I persevered. Sigh. And was rewarded because halfway in Sophia grows a backbone (cue the hallelujah chorus). And it greatly improved my impression of Sophia (and the book) despite some seriously questionable choices that follow.
Jamie, thank goodness, is the character that saves this book. Slightly geeky, younger than Sophia and with complicated family relationships he is honest and hurting and far more likeable than any of the other characters (in my opinion). He has liked Sophia for a long time, despite the hurt they caused each other when their friendship ended three years ago. Their relationship sparks anew as they get to know each other, discuss what happened three years ago and tromp around Tokyo in Sophia’s last seven days.
The setting feels authentic yet instantly familiar, no doubt due to the author’s own familiarity with the colourful city. Once I got past the convoluted friendships I enjoyed this slightly traumatic story. There is a good subplot of family complications that ties the whole book together and the ending was suitably hopeful and realistic.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Tokyo, friendships, relationships, parents, moving, transitions.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Alcohol use to the point of drunkness. Coarse language, sh**, f***. Sexual references.
Published: 7 March 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 336 pages.