By Cecilia Vinesse
To Sum It Up: In seven days, Sophia is set to return to the United States, leaving the life she’s led for the past four years in Tokyo behind. Before going, however, Sophia must first face the return of Jamie Foster-Collins, a former member of her group of friends. Sophia still isn’t over the hurt he caused her before being sent to an American boarding school three years ago, but the more time she spends with him, the more she realizes that he’s not the same Jamie she remembers. With the days ticking away until Sophia’s departure, saying goodbye becomes increasingly difficult.
Review: Seven Days of You caught my attention because of comparisons to Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss, which was a lovely surprise way back when I read it about four or five years ago. The latter’s sweet romance made me, a reluctant reader of YA contemporary, more willing to try other books like it. And so I gave Seven Days of You a shot, but unfortunately, it did not work out for me.
I had a really tough time trying to find protagonist Sophia and her friends Mika and David likeable. For friends, they turn on each other quite easily, and there’s a lot of drama between them. David is acknowledged to be an arse, and yet everyone continues to hang out with him and Sophia continues to crush on him. The only OK character for me was Jamie, who was part of the group before his parents sent him to a boarding school back in the United States and whose return to Tokyo at the beginning of the novel sends Sophia into a tizzy. She’s still not over an incident that happened right before he left three years ago, and while I could understand why she was upset with him initially, I didn’t feel the situation warranted the amount of time she spent stewing over it. I actually expected the misdeed to be much worse considering how much Sophia went on about it. On top of that, I couldn’t help thinking that there was some truth in what Jamie had said to set Sophia off.
Sophia was not an easy character for me to scrape together much sympathy for. She’s very woe-is-me, and I’m sorry, but I can’t exactly pity someone who’s lived not once but twice in Japan and has been to Paris. I also found her condescending and judgy; I especially took issue with her rather looking down on Jamie’s geekish tendencies. Sophia totally lost me here because there is nothing wrong with reading Harry Potter twenty times. Not now. Not ever.
While other readers might find the conclusion to Sophia’s character arc satisfying, her character development throughout the novel was too choppy to convince me that she had matured significantly by the end. If Seven Days of You hadn’t been a quick, short read, I’m not sure I would’ve stuck it out until the last page. I just wasn’t into the frequent melodrama between Sophia and her friends, and for me, it overshadowed everything else about the book.
All in All: Sadly, this did not measure up to the delightful Anna and the French Kiss for me, but don’t let me discourage anyone from seeing for themselves how the two books compare.