Published March 7th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format read: ARC via publisher
Sophia Wachowski has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States for her senior year of high school. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city she's called home for years, to eat at every ramen shop she can find, to sing endless karaoke with her wild best friend, and to finally tell her crush she's in love with him. Seven perfect days....Until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.
Three years ago, Jamie left for boarding school in the States, but not before he crushed Sophia's heart, and she hasn't spoken to him since. Now the last thing she wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. But hating Jamie is a lot harder than it used to be. For starters, he's a lot less awkward than she remembers...and a lot cuter. And as the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her, Jamie is the one person left for her to lean on. 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?
A funny and poignant debut novel filled with first kisses and second chances
Because that is the type of thoughtful, details world building that Cecilia Vinesse has put into Seven Days of You. It's obvious she went to school in Tokyo - because you feel fully immersed in the city, as Sophia and Jaime journey across the city, looking to reconnect and find each other. I've never been to Tokyo, but Cecilia made it feel like a living, breathing secondary character, as we were given the opportunity to know her primary ones.
Vinesse is especially adept at writing urgency into her scenes; we understand that Sophia is is up against a ticking clock as she says good-bye to her city and Jamie. Consequently, we understand how precious every encounter in these seven days are, and how each moment may bring them closer or further together. There's a certain delight in seeing how it all plays out, and Vinesse doesn't make you regret it for a second.
My only one tiny quibble with Seven Days of You, is that I would have loved to have heard more from Sophia's best friend. Sophia's best friend is from Tokyo, and I think hearing from her more would have rounded out the story slightly better. Moreover, she's awesome and we all need more awesome characters, right?
But bear in mind: this is only a personal preference on my part, and comes from a desire a more well-rounded out dynamic and see more Asians in YA literature. I absolutely understand why Cecilia made the writing decisions that she did, and appreciate that her decisions really help reinforce the urgency of a what Jaime and Sophia are going through.
(I was almost going to call it Lost in Translation syndrome, but I kind of highly disliked the movie, so... nah.)
All in all, I do highly recommend Seven Days of You. Just make sure you stock up on snacks/food first.
About the author:
Cecilia Vinesse is a dual citizen of the US and the UK, and, like the main character of Seven Days of You, went to an international school in Tokyo. She is a graduate of Barnard College in New York and holds a master's degree in creative writing from St. Andrews. Seven Days of You is her debut novel. She lives in England.