What they say:
Life is hard for Jess. School should be a safe place but at the moment it’s everything Jess dreads, and it’s made even more difficult by the threatening presence of Kez. Kez lives in a nicer part of town but her life isn’t any sweeter. The only place she finds comfort is knowing she is better off than Jess – or so she thinks.
What we say – review by Charlotte Foreman:
For a YA novel, this is an incredibly intense read.
Focusing on teenagers Jess and Kez, Seven Days initially presents itself as what society would deem a typical scenario of bullying: beautiful, popular girl picks on overweight, awkward classmate. However, Eve Ainsworth delves further into this widespread problem by examining both the mindsets and effects on the girls involved.
Public humiliation is almost a daily ritual for Jess and I often found myself tearing up in sympathy. She’s a lovely kid and a strong individual who takes the strain of her tough home life, whilst having her self image crushed beyond repair. The unfairness of the situation comes across loud and clear, as does the fact how easy it is for these situations to go unnoticed by adults.
Kez’s character is a slow burner. As the bully, your initial reaction is to dislike her but the further you embed yourself in the story, the more you begin to feel for her. She also has a difficult home life and carries an anger she doesn’t fully understand, nor how to expel it. Again, her situation seems to easily slip under the radar.
Rage, hurt, terror and the threat of violence drip from every page as the bullying escalates, and I could not put the book down until I had finished. Unfortunately we know that this is not just a problem lurking between the covers of a fiction book; it’s real and happening every day, sometimes with devastating consequences. Seven Days should be a staple in every classroom, for teachers and pupils alike, with its a frank look at bullying that suggests it’s not just the victim that needs help but the bully too.