Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on March 7th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
My content rating: YA (Characters have sex but it's not shown, Some drinking, etc)
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?
Apparently, I’m on a Japan reviewing kick right now since just yesterday I featured the Miso Cozy Mysteries, which have a Japanese MC and take place in Japan. This book takes place there too (but it’s just a fun coincidence I’m reviewing them back-to-back). Still it’s not a coincidence that I’m reading a lot of books that involve this country lately—I’ve become sort of fascinated with all things Japanese lately!
This book is a super cute read that tugs at your heartstrings and digs into some deeper issues without getting too heavy. It features friendships and family relationships and romance all set against the backdrop of Tokyo.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Japan! Like I said, I’m fascinated, so I kind of loved this little peek into an ex-pat’s life in Japan. We got seven days and nights of karaoke, train rides, Japanese food, and more—it was a fun glimpse at life in Tokyo. I also enjoyed learning a bit about how the school system works for foreigners in Japan and how an ex pat teenager’s life might look (and since Vinesse actually was one, I feel like we probably got a pretty realistic POV). I pretty much loved the setting for this book!
- Evolving friendships. Sophia feels like she knows where she stands with her two best friends. She and Mika and David have known each other forever, and they have their own unique dynamic—and the fact that Sophia’s been crushing on David forever is just a part of it. But as the book goes on, Sophia begins to realize that not everything about her relationships has been perfect or even healthy. She realizes that it’s possible she’s been fooling herself, and others have been stringing her along. The question is, how broken are the relationships really, and are they worth salvaging or are some people better off being left behind? I like that the book explored this because I think this is a typical issue that many teens deal with—as they grow up, they might also grow apart from the friends they’ve counted on. They might realize that parts of their friendship were not healthy—that felt real to me.
- Family matters. Sophia also had to deal with her complicated relationships with her parents (who are divorced and live in completely different countries) and her sister. Navigating this territory sometimes gets difficult!
- Jamie. I kind of fell for Jamie right along with Sophia. He was sort of nerdy adorable, and I could see why Sophia had a hard time getting him out of her mind once he returned to her life. I also really felt the awkwardness that was created by the way that Jamie and Sophia had left things before Jamie moved. It was sort of fun to see Sophia’s dread turn to fascination turn to romantic feelings.
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Just seven days? So, the whole premise of the book is that Sophia only has seven days to reconnect with Jamie. This is a little quick to build up a believable romance, even given Sophia and Jamie’s history (it’s not like they were dating). About three days in, I was starting to wonder how we were going to get to romance at all—so I had to suspend disbelief a little bit when it came to the timeline. This could have been a recipe for instalove disaster, but somehow Vinesse managed to convince me to be invested in Sophia and Jamie as a couple anyway—which is quite a feat. So, while the unrealistic timeline was definitely a drawback, it wasn’t nearly as frustrating as it could have been.
Overall, I thought this book was a really cute read. I do have to say that some people might not appreciate the ending, but I thought it was fitting considering how everything played out. (Of course, I don’t want to say much more than this, but if you want a tiny hint of a spoiler, feel free to click the link. View Spoiler »It’s a pretty open ending. We’re left with possibilities but nothing even close to promises. But considering the circumstances at the end of the book, that’s probably the most realistic ending you could ask for. « Hide Spoiler I give this book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via #BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Take a look at Cecilia Vinesse’s top ten addictions. I learned that the two of us have the same favorite show of all time—I just knew we were kindred spirits!
Cecilia Vinesse’s Top Ten Addictions
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans
I keep a tin of these on my desk, and honestly, I’m not sure I’d get much done without them. They’re that perfect combination of chocolate and coffee that I can anxiously crunch while staring at the same sentence for hours on end. 10/10, would buy all the time.
- My pup
My life would be so dull without my little half-pug, half-Jack Russell mix named Malfi. He’s the sweetest, goofiest nerd I’ve ever known.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
BTVS is, hands down, my favorite TV show of all time. It’s funny and smart and every season, the characters grow and change in ways that are incredibly skillful and well thought out. Also, Willow and Tara are my OTP.
- My Favorite Murder
I adore podcasts, and My Favorite Murder is my most recent obsession. Steer clear if you don’t like discussions about true crime, but if you do, and if you also like anxious, funny BFFs making each other laugh and hanging out with cats, this might be the podcast for you.
- Thé des Songes by Palais des Thés
Despite my devotion to chocolate-covered espresso beans, I try not to drink much caffeinated coffee or tea. A friend first bought me this decaf tea as a present, and I think it’s the best one I’ve ever tried. It’s so flavorful and super calming.
- Sigur Rós
A few years ago, I watched Heima, the documentary about this Icelandic band, and fell head over heels for them. I’ve seen them in concert several times and often listen to their albums while writing. Their music is atmospheric and emotional and perfect to tell stories to.
- Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
When I first read this book in 2009, I remember thinking, this is it—this is exactly the kind of thing I want to write. I used to carry it around in my purse and skim through a few pages whenever I needed a pick-me-up. I guess my truest addiction is books that feel like best friends.
I bake a lot, because a) the process is so relaxing and b) giving my friends and family delicious cake is how I show them I care. One of my go-tos is this excellent—but very simple—brownie recipe by Smitten Kitchen: https://smittenkitchen.com/2012/08/my-favorite-brownies/
I’m really liking the Yoga with Adriene series on YouTube right now
(https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene). Thirty minutes a day helps clear my mind, especially when I find writing stressful or overwhelming.
- Spirited Away
I’m a huge, Studio Ghibli fan and could probably watch all of their movies over and over. Totoro was the first one I saw and probably the closest to my heart, but I think I’ve seen Spirited Away the most number of times. This story about a girl leaving home and figuring out how to face the world and be brave by herself is one I always watch when I want to get swept away and find my own strength.
About the Author
I was born in France but then moved to Japan. And then to the States. And then back to Japan. And then back to the States. When I was 18, I moved to New York where I was homesick for nearly seven years. After that, I got a job in a cold, snowy city in northern Japan and, from there, I headed to Scotland where I got my master’s in creative writing and lived off tea, writer tears, and Hobnobs.
I still live in the U.K. and spend most of my time writing, reading, baking, and getting emotional over Tori Amos albums. Hobbies include pretending Buffy the Vampire Slayer is real, collecting a lipstick to match every Skittle flavor, and listening to a thousand podcasts a day.
A pup named Malfi and a Renaissancist named Rachel are my favorite things in the world. That, and books. I should probably mention the books again.
I love seeing other people’s addictions– and now I really want to check out the podcast she talked about because I love True Crime!! Although, after seeing Scream the TV show, I don’t think it bodes well to get too into true crime podcasts!! LOL.
I’m glad you liked the book. I love books with friendship dilemmas. And Jamie sounds like book boyfriend material 🙂 Thanks for being part of the tour!!
I really love these top ten addictions post because they’re such a quick and fun way to get to know a little bit about an author!
This book sounds adorable! I’m not sure how I would deal with the timeline, but I’m so tempted to go buy this book like right now! I love the guest post as well! I LOVE BUFFY! I never got past the last two seasons though- I’m not sure what happened. Great post! 🙂
Buffy is amazing! You need to go catch up right now!! (Seriously, you NEED to!)
I thought this book was adorable and really loved Vinesse’s depiction of Tokyo. The ending left me a little wanting. I would have loved an epilogue.
Yeah, I figured some people wouldn’t love the ending. I was okay with it, but I can definitely see why some people aren’t.
I’m tempted to read this because it’s set in Japan and I love it there! Glad to see there’s good friendship too and that it’s a cute read! Lovely review, Nicole!
I would so love to visit Japan one day…
Seven days does make it sound like this book probably moves incredibly fast. I like that this one is set in Japan as well, for I am all for traveling while I am reading. I also really like the premise, and how involved the family aspect is with this one. But a lot of other reviewers have been disappointed… so I kinda have mixed feelings.
Another great book set in Japan is SJ Pajonas’s Summer Haikus. She has it free on her website right now so you should check it out!