ARC review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

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Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to New Jersey.  Seven days to say goodbye to her friends.  Seven days to say goodbye to her life.  Seven days before everything changes. She’s all set to have the time of her life before heading back to the States, but then Jamie comes back and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia used to be friends.  Back in the day, they were kind of inseparable.  Then something awful happened, Jamie went off to boarding school in the States, and Sophia tried her best to forget him. Now he’s back, and he’s the last person she wants to see. But what happens when Sophia’s best friendships start falling apart, and Jamie is surprisingly there for her when nobody else is?

I was really looking forward to this book. If you check back on my anticipated 2017 releases, I am pretty sure this one shows up multiple times. I was shocked when I got an email from Netgalley offering it as a Read Now since this was being hyped up quite a bit on Goodreads and many book blogs. I started reading it right away and was quickly drawn into the colorful, fast-paced atmosphere of Sophia’s Tokyo.

I could easily give this book five stars for the first half. You would never know that this is a debut – Cecilia Vinesse writes beautifully and creates such an atmosphere that you’d think she’s been at it for years.  Sophia and her friends all had such distinct and varied personalities that they could be real people. I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I felt like I was right there with them while reading about their adventures at karaoke, or the train station, or running around the city.  This book has a definite vibe, and I was really impressed.

The thing that made me change my rating was the ending. I don’t want to get into spoilers in this review, especially since this was an ARC, but I thought Sophia’s behavior toward Jamie and her other friend David was really uncalled for.  I understood why she did it, but that didn’t make it okay.  There was also no real discussion of what had happened.  It was just kind of brushed off and then everything was fine again.  (I guess?  I actually don’t know, since the book has no real ending, which also made me mad.)

Again, I don’t want to get into spoilers (and you’re probably mad at me for being so vague, just message me if the suspense is killing you), but what happened toward the end of Seven Days of You is very similar to what happened at the end of You Don’t Know My Name, another YA debut I recently read.  I’m not sure if this is a trend in young adult novels now (I really hope not), but it is kind of baffling.

I also didn’t really like the fight Sophia had with her friend Mika.  I know it set up Sophia’s whole reunion with Jamie, but I thought the whole girl-on-girl drama over a boy was kind of unnecessary and it played into overdone stereotypes about the kinds of things that females fight about.  I mean, I guess this kind of thing probably happens sometimes in female friendships (though it’s never happened in any of mine), but any reasonable friend would never do what Mika did. Ever.

So, some definite positives and definite negatives with this one.  Despite the problems I had, I still enjoyed reading it and would love to see what Cecilia Vinesse comes up with next.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the ARC!

#mmdreading: a book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit