Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Review | Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 7th 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?

I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I always find it refreshing to read a book that takes place in a different country, one I don’t personally know a lot about. In this case, Seven Days of You takes place in Japan, but with an American as the main character. To Sophia, Japan is the what she thinks of as home,  so when the time comes for her to return to New Jersey with her mom and sister, she struggles with leaving the friendships she’s made behind and finds herself almost obsessively counting down until it is time for her to go. And she has only seven days to go…

A lot can happen in seven days. When I first started the book, I was nervous that it would either be rushed or drag out, but I feel as if Cecilia Vinesse perfectly executed the events of Sophia’s final week in Japan. While the idea of a book taking place in a weeks time captured my attention, I was more intrigued with the events that were to take place during the week, especially when Jamie, an old friend of Sophia’s, moves back a week before she leaves. It was obvious there was or had been something between them, but Sophia’s reactions and responses to his return left me puzzled. I almost felt as if she acted unreasonably immature about the whole thing and it wasn’t until the backstory of their “relationship” came into view that I was able to go aha. However, a few years have passed and a lot has changed, so when their lack of a relationship starts to develop into more, Sophia is left trying to figure out how to handle all of these feelings when she is about to leave. It’s a sucky situation to be frank.

It was interesting to read a book that takes place in Japan, but with no Japanese characters. Sure, all of the characters go to an International school, so lots of diversity to be had – I just found it interesting to not have a Japanese character. Perhaps that was on purpose as to not take away from the incredibly vibrant setting of Japan itself. I’ve never really been interested in traveling to Asia, but found the descriptions and the way of life there to be fascinating and beautiful in its unique way.

There were times throughout the story that I felt there was too much drama, but that could be because I found myself struggling to make a connection to Sophia. I actually found Jamie, at times, overshadowed her and made for a more interesting character. He was a nice balance between Sophia’s more subtle, yet not (if that makes sense) personality and Mika’s out there/in your face attitude. It was a nice reminder that in friend groups, we all make up one piece of the puzzle.

Overall, I loved the setting and the intriguing concept of the story – of home not necessarily being a specific place. The ups and downs of the story held my attention and left me captivated enough to keep reading to see what the outcome of Sophia’s seven days would be. (Which I found to be perfectly executed…btw) I do, however, wish I could have related more and found a liking for Sophia.

If you’re up for a cute contemporary that takes you all the way to Japan and it’s vibrant and fascinating culture, give it a go.

4 out of 5 stars

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