by Eve Ainsworth
Published: 5th February 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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.
The problem? He’s Kez’s boyfriend.
Things are about to get nasty.
I picked this book up on a recent trip to Waterstones, and firstly the cover caught my eye. Really I shouldn’t mention the cover because it doesn’t affect how good the contents inside would be, but this one really struck me. It is covered in slanderous, hateful sentences such as ‘she is the most trampiest girl in school’. I whipped it over to read the blurb and was intrigued.
As you can see from the blurb, this story deals with the very sensitive topic of bullying, and I thought the author did a spectacle job of conveying a strong message.
Firstly, the book opens with a letter, which is really heavy to read. I think that letter was a perfect opening to this book. You understand straight away what the tone of this novel will be. I must admit, I found it really difficult to swallow at times – but it’s well worth the emotionally ride it takes you on.
We all know I love dual narratives, or dual perspectives, so I was thrilled to see that this book has that. It’s split up into seven days, as per the title, and within each day you can see incidences from both the victim and the bully’s perspectives. I wasn’t immediately drawn to either character straight away – for example, Jess is really self-loathing, which can be difficult to relate to when you just want to shake them and say ‘you’re beautiful, stop!’
I quickly got over that, and really became engaged with what was happening with these characters. Kez is outwardly really confident and hard as nails, but she also has a lot going on. One thing I really rate with this author is that she made me sympathise and relate to a character that most people would find intolerable.
Plot wise, I mentioned before the dual perspectives, so whenever the two characters meet we can see the experience from both of the characters point of view. I found this worked perfectly in this book, as it really deepened the connection to the characters. Their inner monologues were surprising, and at times heart breaking.
The dialogue was spot on, in particular the facebook statuses that Kez and her friends write. It really added a lot of authenticity, and I felt like I was back at their age again. Back when the smallest thing could be obsessed over, and when everything was so dramatic. I liked that this book was quick paced, I felt like I raced through it. I really couldn’t put it down until I found out what happened at the end. For obvious reasons, I won’t go into detail about the ending – but just know, I was really surprised by it. It wasn’t predictable, and it stuck with me after I turned the final page.
I hadn’t heard much about this book, and I think that’s a shame because it definitely deserves some love. It’s quite powerful and really got me thinking about relationships between people, and how we treat those around us. Not only that, but to think that those people that tick you off or are nasty to you, probably have a reason to be the way they are.
Gripping read. A powerful debut. Recommended!