Seven Days in June: A Scattered Review

This makes it way up my hall of Fame on one way to open a novel. I chuckled when I read the first line and instantly took a screenshot and sent it to Mquzama 'cause he couldn't stop waxing poetic about how good this book was and ultimately, he is the one who convinced me to read it.

The story follows the romantic history between our two protagonist, Shane and Eva. Given the cover and the blurb it did com as a disconcerting surprise at how humourously written it was. I thought it would be more serious, and even though it deals with very very serious issues, I'd still argue that it's sort of a light and easy read.

Image stolen from Mquzama Reviews

Right off the bat you know that Tia Williams can write well. The woman deserves her flowers. I can only dream of writing like this one day. However I found it jam crammed with every single black pop culture and millennial reference known to man. If it wasn't mentioned offhandedly in the text it was then told to us by Eva's very woke and very- not-sounding- twelve- twelve year old daughter. I loved the mommy-daughter relationship but man, the girl was too much. Even her name was a lot: Audre Zora Toni Mercy- Moore. Like come on? Might as well add in Bell and Angellah to that name while you're at it. This and all the woke speak was a bit much for me. There was also a lot of brackets and that almost put me off too (which is saying something cause I too love to scatter these things everywhere).

The first time our main couple meets, and I mean the very first time in that week in June, I find their interaction slightly unrealistic. But then again I have the love life of a marbled crayfish, so maybe stuff like that do happen and I'm just yet to experience a boy pinning my hands together after we've spoken a few sentences and telling me "to stop calling myself a freak." This also brings me to how extreme they were as teens without much flesh to their characters. They met, had one drugged out week together, called it love and pined about it for the next fifteen years. And maybe it's cause my teenage years are now behind me but there was no part of me that was convinced this was anyway romantic and I fully thought, "you kids need some therapy." To the point that I don't really blame Eva's mom for what she did (if you know, you know). Honestly I have no clue why they even fell in love and we're so hang up with each except "we're not normal."

However, it does set the stage for one of my favourite things in any romance - something The Flatshare failed to do- which is, a man obsessed with a woman for no indiscernible reason I can fathom from the story. And listen, I like Eva's character and sure she's also really really likes him, but Shane pines for her in a way that fulfils all my fantasies. She literally breathes and he adores her- that's it. That's the dynamic. That's all I ever want and that's the saving grace of this book. I mean just read this:

“I know what I was like.” “You don’t.” Shane went dead serious. “You burst into my solitude, demanding to be seen. You were overwhelming. Just wild and weird and brilliant, and I never had a choice. I liked everything about you. Even the scary parts. I wanted to drown in your f*cking bathwater.”

I was just like:

Adult Shane and adult Eva are a couple I like - both independently and as partners. I like that they got over their edgy and self sabotaging ways and became semi decent responsible adults. I love their banter and their angst. They are fun to read about. Like every single character in this book, I fully shipped it.

With that said, I found the - I think - third act conflict to be so unnecessary especially with the resolution that felt unearned (???). I don't see the reason for them breaking up again just to get back together over a bunch of texts. Like why? And for the resolution to be an epilogue? Like double why? I didn't understand why those writing choices were made, but then again I am not a best-selling, award winning romance author, so what do I know.

As you can see, a lot of mixed feelings for this book. But it was easy enough to read and sometimes it caught me smiling off guard. Overall it's a 3/5 stars for me.

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