Have you ever been in love where you are seen-really seen, understood and not judged? Welcome to the front row seat of Seven Days in June by Tia Williams.
Seven Days in June is about Eva Mercy and Shane Hall, broken kids who meet in high school and forge an intoxicating bond in seven days in June. The spell is broken and now they meet again as adults and the love is unleashed. Did I mention this is a romcom? Yes, it is! This is one of my best romance novels this year.
Eva has made a name for herself in the fantasy fiction world with her Cursed series. She is like a modern-day J.K Rowling with a fanbase wearing Sebastian-inspired looks sold on evamercy.com, getting tattooed S on their bodies as well as dressing like the female protagonist. She is now a mother of a teenager and rich courtesy of her writing. However, she feels creatively stuck although her writing is singing a tune to another world.
Shane is also a renowned writer with a big heart and an addiction. He is considered a recluse who has `barely spoken five (comprehensible) sentences in public.’
In a perfectly romantic way, Eve and Shane both write about each other in their books.
‘Ever wonder why you made it so hard to kill me?’
`Because I have a private school to pay for! Why do you keep writing about me?
`Isn’t it obvious?’
`I`m not just writing about you,’ said Shane. `I’m writing to you.’’
The dialogue is blunt, refreshing, biting and humorous- the perfect balance for a romcom if you ask me.
Tia raises pertinent questions about politics in the writing world. It is clear from the book that romance and fantasy genres are not considered ‘serious’ enough like literary fiction which Shane writes. The two are thought to be purely for entertainment purposes and not art. In order for your work to sell, it must be compromised for accessibility. Eva gets a film rights deal and a potential Cursed movie director states that the characters need to be whitewashed. Yet the work is built around black characters! How appalling. I wondered about the various compromises artists are forced to make at the altar of accessibility.
The novel also raises another powerful question: should writers and creatives, in general, create for themselves first and then the people? Or should they only create what they feel and want? Eva and Shane are at crossroads in their writing careers and must quickly decide which way to go. But they wonder how this will affect their audience. This is a common road trodden by many creatives who know they need a shift but are worried about what this will do to their audience.
Seven Days in June captures the modern-day writing landscape. And reading the novel felt like a front-row seat to the ins and outs of writers. I was in their world exploring their feelings for other writers, their insecurities and comparisons, their parenting styles, struggles. But also, I loved the idea of two writers falling in love and writing coded messages to each other with the whole world oblivious while making money at it. Genius!!
All in all Seven days in June is a refreshing romantic novel. I highly recommend it. You are guaranteed to get high on Eva and Shane.
What romcom are you currently reading?