Review of The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston
I loved the aunt-niece bond, the peeks into the NYC worlds of publishing and restaurants, and the playing with time. I was irritated by the cutesy life quotes put forth by Clementine's aunt and some elements I found convenient but unrealistic.
Ashley Poston's newest romantic fiction is centered around Clementine, a harried book publicist who falls in love with her temporary roommate...then discovers he's living seven years in the past.
Her aunt always said the apartment was a "pinch in time," where timelines blurred together. Now Clementine must figure out if her heart is strong enough to cope with losing the unlikely love she's finally found.
I love when stories play with time (see my multiple favorites lists below), and I loved that the relationship between Clementine and her aunt is said to have been special and strong, and that it is clearly formative in Clementine's life. I loved that The Seven Year Slip was about the publishing world and also the restaurant world, and how much NYC life was showcased and celebrated.
But much of the story felt too convenient to me, and at times the book seemed like it needed a careful copyedit.
Clementine doesn't believe in the time slip, but when she's faced with its reality, she seems to somehow intuitively understand the rules--although they weren't clear to me. For example, she slips back in time, back to the present, then a few weeks later to the past again, and somehow the same amount of time seems to have passed in the present? And her encounters with others in the apartment at different points in time--as well as her ability to remain in that time--involve complex rules she seemed to somehow largely be aware of.
There's an initial “Lemon” nickname mention--admittedly, during a harried moment, yet later Clementine doesn’t remember this striking coincidence when faced with the nickname again, not does she recall the voice of the person who uttered it.
Some of her aunt's many sayings and life rules felt initially unclear. For example, Clementine's aunt "only ever had two rules in this apartment--one, always take your shoes off by the door. And two: never fall in love." But her aunt also says one rule of life is "to never forget to fall in love whenever you can find it because love is nothing if not a matter of timing." This seems like a conflicting, sweeping piece of general advice. Later, it's mentioned that this advice applies to life outside of the apartment. I was probably irrationally annoyed at having to sort out this seeming inconsistency.
Other life rules and quotes from her aunt frequently felt so whimsical as to be absurd.
“My aunt used to tell me that summer nights in the city were meant to be impossible." Uh...what? She also always said "to chase the moon." I feel like a little bit of a jerk at how much these cutesy "rules of living" annoyed me.
A small issue that was key to the plot: there seems to be a lack of Googling on Iwan’s part that was convenient to the story but perplexing to me.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
Ashley Poston is also the author of The Dead Romantics.
Several of my Greedy Reading Lists highlight some of my very favorite books that twist time: Six Riveting Time-Travel Stories to Explore, Six More Riveting Time-Travel Stories to Explore, and Six Second-Chance, Do-Over, Reliving-Life Stories.