Book Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

sevendaysofyouTitle: Seven Days of You
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover: 336 pages
Source: BEA 2016
Anticipated Publishing Date: 7 March 2017
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

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 a free copy of this book from the publisher from BEA 2016. All opinions are my own.*

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First, I have to say, that I was a little wary going into this, as I’m not a huge fan of young adult romances that are only romances — I think they either become vapid or too melodramatic, and I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case with this one. Luckily, it very much wasn’t, and I give Vinesse all the credit in the world for writing an incredibly grounded, realistic portrayal of a relationship that might happen at that stage of someone’s life.

The balance between Sophia dealing with her departure from Tokyo and also exploring her new relationship is beautiful. It’s nice to see that both of these situations are fully dealt with within the book — Sophia’s anger at leaving, confusion, and fear for what is to come next, and then her happiness for finding this new connection with Jamie, and the fear of what’s to come if she falls too far in. I think, in a way, most relationships start out with that fear, even without the imminent threat of what would very much be a long-distance relationship, so I think that feeling is incredibly relatable. Where is this going? Can we be feeling this so quickly? What if I really love this person, but it doesn’t work out? Even within the span of seven days, Jamie and Sophia don’t seem to fall for each other too quickly, although it helps that they knew each other before that week.

Mostly, though, this book is about self-discovery and self-awareness. In departing from the country she’s lived in most of her life, Sophia is able to take a closer look at her relationships and how she’s being treated by her friends and family. It’s a lovely coming-of-age sort of thing where she realizes that some people she’s been fighting hard to have relationships with are really not being good people to her, so she has to re-evaluate what’s really important spending effort on. Again, while Sophia’s situation is at an extreme, I think we can all relate to being put in a situation where we need to re-think what’s going on in our lives, so reading about Sophia’s journey of self-discovery is satisfying and rewarding in that we can self-reflect and compare her decisions to ones that we are currently making, or once made.

I very much appreciated this book for what it was — a second chance for two people to reconnect and forgive each other for past miscommunications and to explore their feelings for each other. The tension is kept strong through the short timeline of the seven days that Sophia has left in Tokyo, and it makes it a fast read, because everything is so condensed and there’s no time for anything to be drawn out. At the same time, nothing is rushed because of that, and I give Vinesse a lot of credit for not feeling the need to rush Sophia and Jamie’s relationships. It’s taken at a reasonable, moderate pace, and ends on a hopeful note, which I very much enjoyed. I can’t recommend this book enough for being everything you want in a young adult romance and containing none of the common cringe-worthy or exasperating tropes. Pick it up when you get a chance.