Saturday, 29 August 2015

Review - Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth

When I picked up Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth one evening after work I was not expecting to become so hooked on it that I would be unable to put it down until I’d read it from cover to cover. However, this is exactly what happened and I cannot start to tell you how much I fell in love with this beautifully written, heartfelt yet completely emotional contemporary read about bullying. 

As the title suggests Seven Days takes place over the course of a week and is one of those books in which the reader is exposed to the thoughts and feelings of two characters - Jess and Kez - on each day with chapters alternating between the two. It’s a book which very successfully, in my opinion, tells the story of bullying from the perspective of both the bullied and the person that is doing the bullying. 

For Jess life at home is anything but easy as she takes on a far bigger role than any young person should ever really have to in looking after her little sister Hollie following her dad walking out and her mum having to work some long and antisocial hours to put food on the table. School should be a happy place for Jess and a place where she feels safe and secure but unfortunately this is not the case as she becomes the victim of Kez’s horrific actions. As the novel progresses we learn that things are not as perfect for Kez as she makes them out to be and that there is far more to her than meets the eye although, of course, this is no excuse for what she inflicts on Jess. 

I think what kept me so hooked on this book was a combination of two things with the first being the fact that it never at any point lacked pace and the second being that I could instantly connect with the way Jess felt and was, therefore, desparate to stay with her and carry on reading to find out how things would turn out for her. One scene which particularly stood out for me and is still in my mind as I write this review today is the way Jess describes what’s going through her mind as she has to get changed for P.E - oh do I remember having similar thoughts when I was at school and I’m reasonably sure many other readers will also. 

I think that this book is hugely important and one that everyone should read - young people, parents, teachers or just those who want to understand more about the subject of bullying. Overall, I also feel the book conveyed a few very important messages that young people who are being bullied could learn a lot from - firstly that it is never their fault, secondly that things do get better and thirdly that it is absolutely, 100% right to speak out and tell someone about what is going on. 

It’s evident from having read this book that Eve is an author who really understands the issues that young people face and I will most certainly be reading her next book, Crush, which will hit the shelves of bookstores in the UK in 2016.