Review: Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

by Heather Caliendo
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Editorial note: I received a copy of Seven Days in June in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams is a smart and sexy novel about fate and soulmates.

So far, I’ve read every Reese Witherspoon book club pick of 2021. She’s definitely picked a mix of all kinds of genres and subject matter. My favorites so far are: Northern Spy by Flynn Berry, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave and now Seven Days in June by Tia Williams. This was the exact kind of book I needed to read right now!

May was a bit of a bust for me reading wise other than The Last Thing He Told Me. I can tell many books published this year were written during the pandemic and they just have a bit of a down vibe. But Seven Days in June broke that trend—it’s compelling, romantic and complicated, with some humor but also tough scenes. It’s not simply a love story. But about survival and accepting who you truly are—flaws included.

What’s the Book About

The story follows Eva and Shane. Both are writers and they share a romantic past. For a week during their teen years, they were inseparable. It’s that intense, maybe even a bit dramatic, love that only being a teenager can bring. But circumstances force them apart and they both try to forget about each other. Expect for the fact that they’re both using each other as inspiration for their bestselling novels. Eva writes fantasy erotica stories (Twilight meets Fifty Shades of Grey) while Shane is more of a literary author who wins prestigious book awards. A chance encounter brings them back together fifteen years later.

So now it’s another seven days together. They reconnect but Eva has plenty of questions and doubts when it comes to Shane. What happened fifteen years ago? And can they give it another go as adults?

Eva and Shane

I love love love Eva and Shane! It’s been a while since I’ve read such strong characters in a love story. I went into this novel believing it would be more of a lighter read but there’s actually quite a bit of depth. We follow their journey from reconnecting as adults to their first meeting as teenagers.

Both come from traumatic backgrounds. Eva is forced to move from city to city thanks to her mom’s instability and reliance on shady men. Eva also has a disability—she gets crippling migraines—that impacts her relationships and ability to live a more “normal’ life. While Shane grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home with no real family to call his own. Shane is broken in many ways and turns to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.

When the two meet in high school, it doesn’t take long for sparks to fly. While many have run away or fail to understand Eva’s condition, Shane is sympathetic and concerned.

I thought it was fascinating to read how much the two had changed from lost teenagers to successful adults. Reading about their first week together provided so much more context to where they are as adults.

I couldn’t get enough of their reconnection as adults. I so enjoyed how they both were writing to each other in their successful novels. Both both are a crossroads when it comes to their writing. While Eva is ready to write a more serious book inspired by her family’s past, Shane is now sober and has never written a book without a drink.

The second week together is very different as adults. They still have that spark. But there’s plenty of unanswered questions they have to work toward answering if they have any hope of lasting for the long haul.

Romance and Steam

The book opens up with Eva almost choking to death on a piece of gum during an attempt to masturbate. So yeah, the steam content is definitely there! It actually wasn’t as much as I expected with that kind of opening. But there is plenty—especially when Eva and Shane reconnect as adults. If that is something you don’t like in novels, it might bother you here. I’m rather indifferent to it—I don’t seek it out (which is why I don’t read much romance) but I think some is necessary as it is part of the human experience. Thrillers are so graphic on murder, blood, etc. so I’m not sure why it’s a big deal if a book details two characters having sex.

That said, sometimes it can be too much and drag away from the storyline. But that’s not the case in Seven Days in June. I think it’s just the right amount of steam.

Overall, this is truly a romantic read that will make you want the TV version to come out ASAP.

Verdict

I really enjoyed Seven Days in June! It’s a beautiful story about black love and overcoming past traumas. It actually has quite a bit of humor too. I loved Eva, her daughter Audre and Shane. This is a fantastic book to read in the summer. Great choice, Reese!

For book clubs, check out my discussion questions here.

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