Title: Seven Days of You
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown (Hachette)
“Sophia Wachowski has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States for her senior year of high school. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city she’s called home for years, to eat at every ramen shop she can find, to sing endless karaoke with her wild best friend, and to finally tell her crush she’s in love with him. Seven perfect days….Until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.
Three years ago, Jamie left for boarding school in the States, but not before he crushed Sophia’s heart, and she hasn’t spoken to him since. Now the last thing she wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. But hating Jamie is a lot harder than it used to be. For starters, he’s a lot less awkward than she remembers…and a lot cuter. And as the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her, Jamie is the one person left for her to lean on. 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?”
Towards the end of last year, I went through a phase of watching JVloggers, or people who live in Japan and document their lives on YouTube. I’ve since realized there’s a lot of discussion and controversy regarding that community, but for a couple of months I gleefully watched hours and hours of other people’s experiences in Japan. It was with that fondness for a country I’ve never visited that I picked up Seven Days of You.
The draw of a YA book set in Japan is really all that compelled me to read this book. The premise of a weeklong hate to love romance with all the trappings of a YA contemporary cliché had me a bit concerned, but I figured that at least the infusion of Japanese culture would carry my interest. Well, I was wrong.
In terms of YA contemporary, Seven Days of You is just fine. You know exactly how this book plays out: girl hates boy, girl hates boy less, girl ultimately falls for boy despite all of the outside forces working against them, and there are some very serious professions of love after only spending a handful of days even liking each other. Plus the requisite family drama, friend drama, and TWO love triangles.
As you can tell, I did not enjoy Seven Days of You. Aside from a handful of references to Tokyo landmarks, this book could have taken place anywhere. Sophia doesn’t even speak Japanese, despite living there for years, and to the best of my memory there are no actual, native Japanese people represented. Further, Sophia is one of the most annoying protagonists I’ve come across in quite a while. The constant whining, selfishness, and choices that made me want to physically shake her were just too much. Why does Jamie, by all accounts a nice but bland white boy of the standard YA caliber, even like her? By the end of the book, I didn’t even want them to end up together, and thought Jamie was stupid for forgiving Sophia’s ridiculous behavior. Unfortunately, Seven Days of You was a reminder of why I’m distrustful of YA contemporaries. Too sickly sweet, too unrealistic, this simply didn’t work for me.
ALSO, Sophia’s “friends” call her Sofa. This is a small detail in the overall scheme of things, but it annoyed the ever-loving crap out of me. Sofa. SOFA.
Rating: 1.5 stars
*I received an ARC of this from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free and honest review.