Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Seven Days - Eve Ainsworth
"This bold, compelling and topical story about bullying is told from the perspective of the bully and the bullied. You won't be able put it down until you've reached the conclusion. Jess's life is difficult enough without Kez picking on her – it’s turning school from a safe place into a nightmare. Kez has plenty of problems too but she finds comfort in knowing she is better off than Jess - or so she thinks. A hard-hitting and even-handed look at bullying and the issues facing teenagers today." - Goodreads
A story of bullying, but not as you'd expect it. Whilst reading this book I had my problems, but looking back on it now, I can begin to see the other side of things, the side the author wanted us to be able to see. I just didn't agree with it at the time. I enjoyed reading this book, and read it near enough in one-sitting as it's pretty short, but it wasn't like anything I was expecting and I did find it lacking in some places.
Let's start off with the main issue I had with this book, and my thoughts on it now. This book has more than one bully, which we don't really expect going into it. But there is and I've only just realised it now. Although whilst reading this book, I found that the author was trying to make me feel sorry for the bully, Kez. I didn't want to feel sorry for her, what she and her friends were doing was wrong on so many levels and in my eyes, there's never an excuse. I feel this book re-iterated the idea that's been drilled into us since Primary school, which is, the bullies are always jealous or unhappy, but in my experience, that's never the case; it's quite a cliche to have that as a basis for the story. Too many books about bullying make the bully a victim and I don't think that's right.
Saying all that, I did enjoy the story of Kez and her family life and would have much preferred to have the novel focus on that more, rather than Jessica. I feel bad for saying this, but I didn't much like Jessica's character, she felt extremely one dimensional, and I had a hard time connecting with her- which is a major problem for me, as her situation was so so close to mine that I should have felt a lot more for her, and been rooting for her more than I was.
The dual POV wasn't a terrible idea, I like reading both sides, the bully and the bullied, but the way this one was done was slightly repetitive and, in my opinion, pointless. The events would happen in Jessica's point of view, and the next section it would happen again from Kez's point of view and that just didn't work for me. It was boring, it was repetitive and it didn't add anything to the story. I feel the book would have been much better if each girl's POV told different parts of the story, instead of repeating the same parts twice.
Leaving all the negativity behind, I did get through this book super fast, which is a miracle considering my reading slump is in full swing right now, and I think it might have been the book to pull me out of it, so nevertheless I have a lot of respect for the story. Jess's character was so relatable and I found myself nodding along as she described her problems, I completely agreed with everything she was feeling and had found myself in similar situations to her, I commend the author on her portrayal of an overweight girl being bullied and how she would be feeling as it was so realistic. It's not often the feelings and emotions of teens who are/have been bullied as so realistic.
Overall, this book was entertaining enough but not nearly as dark as I would have liked it to be, along with the points mentioned earlier, it wasn't what I was expecting and did manage to fall a little short. But there were some funny bits that made me laugh, and obviously the sad bits that horrified me so I wouldn't say that this is a terrible book, but maybe a little too lighthearted for what I was looking for. I gave this book 2.5* on Goodreads!
What did you think of this book?