Mini-Reviews: Seven Days of You and The Other F-Word

March 21, 2017 / 3 Comments / Mini-Reviews, Review

minireviews-seven-days-of-you-the-other-f-word-square-banner

Mini-Reviews: Seven Days of You and The Other F-WordSeven Days of You

Goodreads
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Find the author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr
Publication date: March 7th 2017
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada (thank you!)
Format: ARC
My rating:
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes | Google Books | B&N | Audible

A smart and swoony debut novel for fans for Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han. 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.

REVIEW: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

So much of what the main character of Seven Days of You, Sophia Wachowski, experiences in her last week in Tokyo before moving back to the States for her senior year, is steeped in what it means to be an international student in Asia. It’s a love letter to Tokyo and to the international student crowd.

Sophia doesn’t want to be leaving Japan, especially right before her senior year. She finally has her first ever real best friend, and a boy friend who she wants to be a boyfriend. At the same time, Jamie Foster-Collins is coming back right as she’s leaving. Jamie who used to be one of her good friends in eighth grade. Jamie who she now hates because of what happened before he left.

First of all, this situation. I can’t tell you how many times I experienced it through my entire high school life. The coming and going of friends at a blink. The feeling that most of the kids in my school were all fancy or rich diplomat’s kids. The freedom of being a teenager in Asia where you’re able to sort of do whatever you want because transit is easily available and cheap, and it’s not that dangerous to be out all night.

And yet at the same time, there’s also a feeling that your life is not your own because your entire existence could be uprooted at any moment by your parents’ careers. All of this combines to create a heady, frantic push-and-pull in your life. It’s heightened by being a busy, electric Asian city, and heightened even more when you are in your last week in a place you’ve called home for so long, like Sophia.

What I loved most about this book was how much it captured that feeling. There’s an authenticity to the experience that I think Cecilia Vinesse captured so beautifully. I really hope that people were able to get that while Sophia and Jamie wander the streets of Tokyo at night, marveling at things for the first and last time.

I know that there were some reviewers that found Sophia and her friends a bit immature. There is definitely a lot of drama, a lot of Shakespearean switching of partners. But for me, this all felt very real. Even though they have a lot of experience in a big city, they’re all so caught up in their own issues, and they’re high school students dealing with the constant loss of friends and place.

Honestly, though, I do understand why people didn’t identify with Sophia’s voice. Even though I found her funny and witty most of the time, there were moments when the characters made whoppers of mistakes that I would get exasperated over. It was realistic, but sometimes too much so?

My other issue with this book was that there really wasn’t enough Tokyo. I wanted Sophia to go EVERYWHERE, not just the very touristy areas. I was really hoping for more little haunts, so I was a little disappointed that the characters mostly ended up staying in pretty recognizable neighborhoods.

My favorite parts of Seven Days of You were the romance, and the family moments. Sophia’s sister Alison is dealing with a heartbreak after her first year in college, and she and Sophia have been butting heads all summer. They live with their mother, while their father lives in France with a new family. I’m not going into that part too much, but the family thread just worked so well in this.

And the romance. Oh how I wish we had more of Sophia and Jamie together. It’s bittersweet and wistful, but also realistic. There were definitely swoony moments, and the ending totally slayed me (PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!).

The Final Word:

I’ve been waiting for Seven Days of You for a long time because, like the main character, I also attended high school at an international school in Asia. I’ve always thought it was an experience that would make a great YA novel. So while it got a little too dramatic at times, Seven Days of You was a good debut that spoke to me as a former international student, and as someone who likes funny, witty characters. I’m looking forward to reading more from Cecilia Vinesse.

* * * * *

Mini-Reviews: Seven Days of You and The Other F-WordThe Other F-Word

Goodreads
Author: Natasha Friend
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Tumblr
Publication date: March 7th 2017
Source: Raincoast Books (thank you!)
Format: ARC
My rating:
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes | Google Books | B&N

Milo has two great moms, but he's never known what it's like to have a dad. When Milo's doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo's extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he's always wondered about.
Hollis's mom Leigh hasn't been the same since her other mom, Pam, passed away seven years ago. But suddenly, Leigh seems happy—giddy, even—by the thought of reconnecting with Hollis's half-brother Milo. Hollis and Milo were conceived using the same sperm donor. They met once, years ago, before Pam died.
Now Milo has reached out to Hollis to help him find their donor. Along the way, they locate three other donor siblings, and they discover the true meaning of the other F-word: family.

REVIEW: The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend

The Other F-Word started off a little slow for me – I needed to get used to the slightly prickly characters of Milo and Hollis and their narration styles. There’s a lot to learn in the first 100 pages, and as a result, it took me that long to get into the story.

That said, I’m glad I did, because The Other F-Word is a unique, honest, and smoothly written novel about teens dealing with their unusual family situation.

Hollis and Milo have known about each other for many years – they were born of the same sperm donor. They’re not friends, or even really siblings, but when Milo realizes he may never get to the bottom of his many allergies, he begins to wonder what it means to be born from a sperm donor. the consequences of the decision their parents made to have them, and what it means to be a family.

What I loved about this book was how well-done the research was, and how honest about the situation the characters were. From about page 87 on, I was completely hooked on this story, waiting for the next big thing to happen, whether it was deciding to look to see if there were other siblings, or contacting their sperm donor.

The Other F-Word also seamlessly weaves in friendship, bullying and other issues that teens are dealing with. It was a very complete story and character study of a family.

I think what stopped me from giving it a solid 4 stars was being worried that the characters were a bit forgettable.
Even though I really enjoyed the characters and I thought they were rounded, the realness of them made for somewhat predictable responses to an unpredictable story. I’m not sure whether Hollis and Milo will stay with me a year or two from now.

Still, The Other F-Word was pretty enjoyable. I liked the little side romances, and all of the different characters that come into Hollis and Milo’s life in their search. It felt realistic, honest, and effortless.

The Final Word:

The Other F-Word is a well-researched story about two teens who are born of the same sperm donor, and what it means to be a family. Even though it took me awhile to get into it, I did enjoy it in the end, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is looking for more information about donor insemination. It’s a surprising concept for a YA book, and one that I’ve never seen before. I’m glad to say that it totally works.

 


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Want more YA reviews and bookish fun? Get Mostly YA Lit in your inbox and be the first to get notified on new updates.

3 responses to “Mini-Reviews: Seven Days of You and The Other F-Word

  1. YOUR BLOG IS SO BEAUTIFUL TIFF! I just discovered it and it is so so stunning oh wow! And so great to hear these two books were enjoyable! I have heard some not so great things about Seven Days Of You regarding the main character but I’m looking forward to the other one! Great reviews!

  2. I’ve been wanting to read Seven Days of You because my husband is really into Japanese culture and I thought it would be interesting. But I took it off my TBR on goodreads b/c I kept seeing MEH reviews. This is the first very positive one. Do you think you enjoyed the writing style? Not just the plot, voice ect but like the way she put sentences together.

Leave a Reply