Book Review: Seven Days of You

Seven Days of You
Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC from ALA Midwinter
Young Adult - Contemporary

Sophia has been living in Tokyo, Japan for the last several years as her mother works at a local university. Tokyo is in her veins and she can't believe that in seven short days she will be on a plane back to New Jersey; Sophia's mother will be returning to Rutgers to teach and Japan will become a fond memory. Sophia doesn't want to leave her best friends Mika and David and she certainly doesn't want to spend her senior year of high school on another continent thousands of miles away from them, but she has little choice in the matter.

To make things worse, Sophia isn't sure she can even enjoy her last week in Tokyo because Jamie Foster-Collins is moving back to the city. The pair used to be close in middle school, but things fell apart when they both said and did some pretty hurtful things before Jamie left for boarding school in North Carolina. Sophia was hoping she'd never have to see Jamie again or think too long on his hurtful words, but fate intervenes and gives them exactly seven days together to mend their friendship.

A lot of stuff happens to Sophie over the course of the seven days covered in the novel. She learns secrets about friends and family members that shake the foundations of her reality. She finds that love can be found in unlikely places and can be ripped away in an instant. She learns that first kisses and kisses goodbye are the sorts that sear the soul with their memory. I don't want to provide any spoilers, but there were several times where I felt sorry for Sophia and enraged on her behalf. Other moments made me want to shake her into action; she allows far too many people to use her as a doormat.

I think what makes or breaks this novel in many ways is the reader's perception of Sophia. In the beginning, I found her to be somewhat childish and whiny. She seemed much younger than her friends in some ways, but things shifted a bit the more she was around Jamie. She starts to grow a backbone and embrace reality a bit more. I loved watching their friendship evolve. They are both good for one another in many ways.

One of my biggest complaints with this is the setting. I was so excited to read something set in a more exotic locale. I have never been to Tokyo and was hoping that the novel would give me a mental vacation to the fascinating city, but aside from a few place names, I didn't truly feel like I was in Tokyo. I craved more Japanese culture and influence on the novel. I think this had potential to be awesome, but fell short. It failed to capitalize on something that could have set it apart from other YA contemporaries with a romance.

I also found this one easy to put down. It took me almost a month to finish it because other novels and tasks clamored for my attention. I ended up enjoying it, but it took awhile to fully lose myself in Sophia's story.

One Last Gripe: The ending felt unfinished to me. It was realistic, but unsatisfying in many ways.

Favorite Thing About This Book: The relationship between Sophia and her older sister 

First Sentence: At the beginning of the summer, I tried to get on top of the whole moving-continents thing by reminding myself I still had time.

Favorite Character: Jamie

Least Favorite Character: It's a tie between David and Sophia's Dad

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?