Size Doesn’t Matter (132): Seven Days of You; City of Saints & Thieves

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (132): Seven Days of You; City of Saints & ThievesSeven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Published by Little Brown BFYR on March 7, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

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?

It is a truth universally acknowledged (not that anyone cares) that Christina cannot resist a Jane Austen-inspired novel. Seven Days of You ostensibly was something to do with Persuasion, and I had to have it. Modernized Persuasion set in Tokyo? I mean HELLO. Based on the actual book, it’s at most loosely inspired by Persuasion. That’s not the real problem, though. Seven Days of You is boring and not romantic.

I really should have DNFed. I was bored through the whole start, and the voice wasn’t doing a whole lot for me, but I wanted to wait and see if the ship could save the book. Spoiler: it could not. By the time the ship actually got together, I was on page 200, and I figured I might as well finish. Seven Days of You was a quick read, but I didn’t find it particularly enjoyable.

Sophia and Jamie are not Anne and Wentworth. They were never a couple; Sophia has a crush on her friend David, and Jamie has a crush on Sophia. Before Jamie moves to the States, they have a big fight and stop talking. Flash forward three years and Sophia still has a crush on David who still dates people who are not her. Sophia’s about to move to New Jersey and Jamie’s moving back to Tokyo. The non-spoilery version is that Sophia seems to settle for nice guy Jamie because she can’t have the guy she actually wants.

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The most interesting thing about this book is the setting. After that, I’d say the best complexities come out of Sophia’s relationships with Caroline, David’s girlfriend, and Sophia’s sister. In both cases, Sophia doesn’t like them much but ends up realizing that she’s had her head up her own ass a bit (which, girl, I know). David’s a flat, smarmy character, and I couldn’t get a handle on Mika whatsoever. Also, David and Mika call her Sofa, which is the worst fucking nickname ever. Jamie rants about it, and he’s so right, but Sophia even calls herself that and it’s never actually addressed.

As a romance, this book fails. As a character arc for Sophia, it’s meh at best. Seven Days of You doesn’t deliver Persuasion either. This book just isn’t remotely what I signed on for.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (132): Seven Days of You; City of Saints & ThievesCity of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Narrator: Pascale Armand
Length: 11 hrs, 12 mins
Published by Listening Library on January 24, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn't exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city's most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill's personal study, she knows exactly who's behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City's local gang. It's a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she's been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she's overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother--and why--keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

City of Saints & Thieves was such a pleasant surprise. I’d heard absolutely no hype for this debut novel, and I’d not even been planning on reading it, since I’m not typically into mysteries and the Gone Girl comparison made it sound like not my kind of book. Thankfully, I couldn’t resist the review audiobook, because I absolutely loved this audiobook.

From the first, I was totally enraptured with this audiobook. Pascale Armand does great accents for the various characters, and I adore her performance of Tina. She really captures how prickly and intense and strong and caring Tina is. Tina’s one of those morally gray characters, but she’s so lovable. She does some bad things, but she’s always just trying so fucking hard to survive and to protect her little sister. Tina and Katniss would totally understand one another, though their lives in District 12 and Kenya aren’t the same.

City of Saints & Thieves opens with Tina, master thief, breaking into the Greyhill estate to copy the hard drive of a wealthy white businessman with the aim of taking him down in revenge for the death of her mother. Tina’s a gang member and a thief. Of course, this particular break-in doesn’t go as smoothly as she expected; Tina gets caught by her former best friend, Michael, child of her enemy Roland Greyhill. Tina and Michael make a deal to try to figure out who actually killed Tina’s mother. I shipped it immediately.

Without getting into the plot, there’s not a whole lot more I can really say about this book, but I love the way everything unfolds. The ending really feels right for Tina, and it’s not one of those endings where everything resolves super neatly. Anderson also manages to deal with a lot of the fucked up shit going on in Kenya and the Congo, while also capturing beauty there.

This story works really well on audiobook, because it’s very cinematic. It would be a fantastic film. I really bonded with Tina, Michael, and Boyboy. I didn’t make much progress on my other reading, because I really just wanted to listen to this book.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:



2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (132): Seven Days of You; City of Saints & Thieves”

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  2. Kristin says:

    I felt the same exact way about Seven Days of You. I had been so looking forward to it because Japan(!) but I was so disappointed 🙁
    Kristin recently posted…A Court of Thorns and Roses + A Court of Mist and Fury Re-Read Event!My Profile

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