Release Date: 5th February 2015
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
A week can change everything.
Beautiful and popular, Kez is a bully who doesn’t care who she hurts.
Overweight and awkward, Jess is an easy target.
But then Jess discovers someone who will stand up for her.
He’s Kez’s boyfriend.
Things are about to get nasty.
Eve Ainsworth’s debut, Seven Days, is a gripping and emotional novel about bullying that tells both sides of the story.
Bullying novels are a staple of YA because bullying is a worrying constant for lots of people growing up, but very rarely do you get to see the story from the view of the bully and the victim. It was so interesting to see the same confrontations and their after-effects from both sides, and especially the reasoning behind the bully’s attacks. Kez and Jess are both very complicated and very real characters; I knew quite a few Kez’s at school and in college, and I was a Jess myself. Everything that Kez prayed on in Jess – her weight, her scruffiness, her meekness – were things that provoked an emotional reaction in Kez and her discomfort in those things and how they reflected in her life. It actually shed a new perspective on the girls that treated me in the way that Kez treated Jess.
Jess’s experience with bullying hit a nerve but it really struck me in the differences between being bullied in the mid-00s and now. And the difference? The internet. It’s amazing how easy it is for people to be bullied without detection – it’s scary. But the bullying wasn’t restricted to Facebook and it was horrifying to me that it wasn’t noticed by teachers or Jess’ mum. But Jess’s mum really had very little time for her children.
Another big theme of Seven Days is the struggle of disadvantaged families. Part of Kez’s issue with Jess is the way she ends up presenting herself as a little ragged and un-put-together due to the way she has to care for her little sister a lot of the time and her mum not having enough money to buy her new clothes. It was always the same in my school – the people that didn’t have new, pristine uniforms and didn’t have all of the cool, new things were the ones ridiculed for it, and it was never their fault. And of course, there were others like me who were bullied for their weight, or intelligence, or general appearance. Thinking back on it, there were very few people who escaped bullying at school, and who knows how many of those were bullied at home as well, just like Kez.
Seven Days is an easy to read novel about a hard to read subject – thought provoking and important, I really hope this does the rounds in schools.
Thanks to Scholastic for the review copy!