Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seven Days Of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Seven Days Of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Release Date -  March 7, 2017
Publisher Website - Hachette/Little Brown
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  336 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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?
Seven Days Of You is pitched as Anna and the French Kiss meets Before Sunrise which immediately meant I had to read it. I was expecting something cute and sweet with a little drama mixed in and I was not disappointed. This romance set against the backdrop of Tokyo manages to be both familiar and fresh.

Sophia is a hard character to describe. She has most likely been referred to as reading 'younger than her years' by others who have read this book. I felt she read as a sheltered teenager. She read as someone unused to stepping outside their comfort zone. She was resistant to change, and felt anxious with a sense of stability. She may have read younger than her years, but it feels right for her character. She is growing, and changing during the events of the novel. A large part of this story is her finding herself, and finding out what home really means to her. It is Sophia's journey that is the focus and the character growth is there by the end of the novel.

The setting of this book could, sadly, almost be anywhere. This was the only draw back for me of the story. I left the book with a vague impression of Tokyo, but I wanted something more. I wanted to feel immersed in the setting, particularly because it was different that the typical contemporary settings. The where in this novel was not important to the overall story. This is a story of a girl feeling anchored as a result of moving around a lot. She never really felt like she belonged until her family settled in Tokyo and she always knew it had an end date. Sophia's journey was not dependent on the novel taking place in Tokyo as it really could have been any city, and that meant the setting didn't shine as brightly. There are some things about the setting that will inspire some travel lust, and the descriptions of the snack food in Tokyo will ignite serious cravings and for those elements I am thankful.

The romance is one that starts when the two characters already have an established connection. They were friends first. This makes the quick nature of their romance feel more authentic and real. There is a backstory and history that these characters share and that comes through on the page. It's not something that is just told to the reader, but shown. The overall feel is one that is pretty realistic considering the idea is pure rom com fantasy.

The side characters (which include Sophia's friends and family) are all equally important to the story. I appreciated the time taken to expand upon all of Sophia's relationships and how they relate to what she is going through during this one week. Her friendships stand as a marker of those she is leaving  behind, and her past family issues are a large part of why she feels so unsettled. All of the relationships make Sophia who she is, and it was nice to see that reflected in the writing. There are plenty of subplots outside of the romance, and I appreciated each of them and the fact that time was given to flesh them out within the plot.

An undeniably cute story of a girl finding out that home can sometimes be a person (or people) and not a place. It's a story of making the moments you have count and ensuring you make the most of the time you do have. I think young adult contemporary fans will enjoy it for the cute fluffy read that it is and recommend it for a lighter read after something especially dark and heavy.

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