Title: Seven Days Of You
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Published: March, 2017 by Hachette Children’s Group
Purchase: The Book Depository
It’s Sophia’s last week in Tokyo, and she’s going to make it count…Sophia has spent her life ping-ponging between different countries and schools, so, in theory, saying goodbye should be easy. But now she’s leaving Tokyo – the place that finally felt like home. The only way she can get through this is to make her final week perfect. Then Jamie Foster-Collins shows up, just in time to ruin everything. Jamie and Sophia used to be friends …and his return stirs up feelings she thought she’d forgotten. Suddenly, hours and minutes become meaningless. Only time spent together, exploring the hidden streets of the city they love, is real.
Fun at times, and at others, a bit of a snore, this one took me three weeks to finish. I was drawn to the idea of reading about Tokyo, and got a bit of that in the beginning, but eventually it became all about the romantic drama. I’m usually down for that. If the characters strike a chord with me, the book could be about anything and I’d still devour it. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel connected enough to Sophia (Sofa to her friends), Jamie or David to get on board with either of the pairings the book tried throwing at me. Basically, I just wanted to be in Japan and leave these people behind.
It felt like some Japanese names for things were thrown about, and the occasional scene set in a karaoke room was inserted to remind us we were in Japan, but really, it felt like it could have been set anywhere. I didn’t get the immersion that I went into this hoping for. Sofa didn’t even speak Japanese despite her many years of living there. I think the letdown of this really carried through to my overall lack of enjoyment of the book. If you’re going to be different, BE DIFFERENT. One of the characters was meant to be Australian, but it just didn’t come across. He said ‘chunder’ at one point, and I rolled my eyes. It felt like a failed attempt of making him sound Aussie. I feel like I’m more likely to say ‘barf’ than ‘chunder’.
That aside, I could have overlooked the lack of Japan in Japan if the character interactions were great, but they weren’t. Sofa lacked maturity. She began the book obsessing over one guy and hating on another, then switching. One of the guys came across as self-obsessed, making his way through nearly all of the girls, and the other, he was meant to be the swoony one, but was too underdeveloped. It felt like no one really spoke to each other, allowing a lot to go unsaid for the sake of maintaining angst. Their actions just made me feel like more of an adult, as I wondered if anyone actually did things like this in their teens. I know I never stayed out all night. I would have been too worried of my parents. Here, it feels like the parents just fade into the background.
After a while, the book’s purpose does too.
Are we meant to feel sorry for Sofa being forced to leave her non-descript Japan behind? Are we meant to lament the end of her love triangle or the rocky friendships? I wanted to know what to cheer for, what to hope to get out of this. I put the book down wondering just what to think because it didn’t leave me with much. There were a lot of threads thrown about, but I don’t think they led me anywhere.
Those who enjoy angst and love triangles.