Exams are over, graduation is fast approaching: time to read again to ignore the impending results! And Cecelia Vinesse’s Tokyo love story was a pretty good way to do so!
[Photo from Goodreads]
Sophia has lived with her mum and sister in Tokyo for years now, but once again the looming deadline of having to leave one country for another is growing closer. In her last 7 days in her favourite city, a ghost from her past returns to Tokyo and she has time to reconcile with what happened with Jamie and what the future holds.
Now admittedly, I read this book about a month ago and so the details are but a haze in my memory (unfortunately, it didn’t have enough impact on me to be particularly memorable), but I’ll do my best to give an overview. To begin with then, the plot of this story is an obvious one: the title tells us from the start that it’ll be a romance, and the return of Jamie early on solidifies what we know will happen. This made a lot of the action and subplot feel slightly redundant at times, such as Sophia’s crush on David, and the subconscious emotional abuse she suffered as a result of it. I feel like this could have been combated by giving more time to exploring Sophia’s family – learning more about her sister and mother, who seemed like interesting figures but were largely on the periphery.
Nevertheless, Seven Days of You (2016) is partially saved by it’s beautiful Tokyo setting which Vinesse captures – I imagine, having never been myself – perfectly! From the winding urban streets to the peaceful temples and cultural sites, along pathways of blossoms and coffee shops, the city came to life on the page, and it was easy to see why Sophia was so attached to this vibrant, compelling city. Vinesse’s drops of the Japanese language into the prose enhance this effect an we get the sense of Sophia as a member of this society, and even ourselves, as we put ourselves into the first person narrative.
So Tokyo is now firmly near the top of my ‘To Go’ list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Seven Days of You is top of my recommendation list. Nor would I say it’s a great summer romance read, which is what I expected it to be, being set in summer and all: you never get much sense of summer or heat or fun, but it’s more of a heavy, subdued read.