Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth was a book that was recommended to me after I asked for UK based YA books (or UKYA as they are more commonly called). So when I got the book out of the library I wasn’t sure what to expect (apart from knowing that it would be set in the UK). However the cover gave me some indication of what the book was about: bullying. The cover is cleverly designed and it creates a ‘seven’ out of Kez’ insults to Jess and this helps the book stand out on a shelf.
The novel is divided into two parts of view; Jess (the victim) and Kez (the bully). Over the course of seven days we get an insight to both Kez and Jess’ lives, both of whom have daily struggles. This is conveyed very well in the novel and it shows both sides of the story very clearly as the novel progresses.
Even though when I was reading this I was a bit disappointed that Jess didn’t stand up for herself, after reading this I realise how strong Jess is especially for her younger sister who she ends up looking after while her mum’s at work.
I can only imagine how strong she is to deal with bullies’ day in day out not wanting to cause any trouble for fear that she’ll get a detention and be unable to pick her sister up. I was glad when she had some friends giving her moral support throughout the novel, Philip was a brilliant character and I was so happy that he stood up for Jess (along with Hannah).
Whilst reading the novel I thought that the novel dealt with the theme of bullying really well and showed how quickly it can get out of hand and what consequences it has on the victim. However I thought the whole bully is the victim was a bit of a cliché and it wasn’t particularly needed in a book with just over 200 pages which resulted in the ending being rushed.
I found the ending rushed and I found that everything got resolved a bit too quickly for my liking. I think the ending was written so that the readers would get some form of a happy ending within those seven days. I personally would have preferred a realistic ending where the bullying stops but they still aren’t best friends.
Another problem that I had with this book were the clichés i.e. we find out the bully (Kez) is in fact being bullied, and the other main character (Jess) considers herself ugly which then prompts her mother to tell her how she isn’t ugly but in fact beautiful (turns out in YA ugly is another word for beautiful). I was half expecting a makeover scene and for Jess to suddenly become popular.
However even though we find out Kez’ reasons behind bullying, I still believe that there is no excuse for bullying, bully is never okay and there is never a reason to bully someone.
Recommendations: I would recommend this novel to the younger end of YA especially those still in secondary school. Rating 3/5