I’m so excited to be a part of the Seven Weeks to Forever Blog Tour. When I read the summary of this story, I just knew I had to read it! I’m also very thankful to be given the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour as well as to have Jennifer Farwell join me here to answer a few questions!
*I was provided a free copy of Seven Weeks to Forever in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*Seven Weeks to Forever by Jennifer Farwell
Published by Starry Girl Publishing on 20 April 2014
Genres: YA Romance
Source: Given for Review
Cassidy Jordan won't open her heart to anyone, and with good reason. She's a second-timer, returned from the afterlife after a devastating romance caused her death. All that stands between her and eternity is finding Riley Davis and helping him get his life on track. But nobody told her helping Riley would mean dating him.
When Cassidy realizes she's falling for Riley, she's faced with a choice: give him the life he's meant for and leave this life when it's time, or give up eternity for the true love she's never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.
Love can be unstoppable, but will it be enough for Cassidy and Riley?
Seven Weeks to Forever by Jennifer Farwell follows Cassidy, a newly high-school graduate spending the summer in LA before going to college at Harvard in the fall. Well, at least that’s what her Aunt & Uncle think she’s doing. In reality, Cassidy is a second-timer sent back to “The Before” in order to help someone so that she can return to “The Life-After.” Riley, her assignment, is a nineteen-year-old boy Cassidy finally finds with seven weeks left to save him. Cassidy has to get his life back on track in order to save him from dying too young and for her to return to the “Life-After.” She just never realized that would entail having to date him. Cassidy hasn’t dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen.
On top of that, Cassidy also has a run in with her ex-best-friend, Selena Jensen. Selena hasn’t forgotten their past and is protective of Riley. Plus, Cassidy has to also deal with her Aunt & Uncle once they find out that she isn’t going to Harvard in the fall. They have no idea that Cassidy isn’t a normal college-bound girl.
But the biggest obstacle Cassidy faces is the fact that she’s falling for Riley and is now faced with a choice: give Riley the life he’s meant for and leave when it’s time or give up eternity for the true love she’s never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.
What will she choose?
What I really enjoyed about this novel the most is the overall them of love. Interwoven themes of death, vulnerability, and growth also appear throughout the novel, but the focus of love overcoming many obstacles is what I really enjoyed reading about. Cassidy has a lot of decisions to make throughout the novel. Some decisions are not just life-altering for her, but also for Riley. Seeing how love played a part in some of these decisions as well as in the growth and characterization of Cassidy was not only enjoyable, but thought-provoking as well.
Cassidy has a lot to learn during her second time back. She has closed herself off to making connections with people because of her heartbreak in her first life as well as the knowledge that she’ll be leaving for the “Life-After” soon. When she meets Riley she’s a little blindsided that she likes him and it’s so great to watch their relationship develop. Cassidy grows a lot in this novel and I always enjoy great characterization and growth in any novel 😉
I also enjoyed how “fate” seemed to play a role in this novel. Like some things were meant to happen or how once decision can lead to certain outcomes: Cassidy running into Riley for the second time. Of course Cassidy and “fate” had some help from Noah and the mysterious white feather leaving being, but it was still cool to watch this concept and theme play out within the novel. I’m a huge believer in Karma and fate, so it was great to see something similar play out within a story.
The secondary characters within Seven Weeks to Forever also played some key roles. Noah, Selena, and David all play a role in Cassidy’s mission and decisions. Noah was definitely a favorite of mine 🙂 Strong secondary characters aren’t always present in a novel and I feel like Farwell did a great job of writing hers.
Overall, I definitely recommend picking up this novel. It’s a great YA worth reading and has both character growth and romance. If you’re looking for a good contemporary read with a little bit of paranormal, I’d definitely add this to your TBR pile or bookshelf!
Read on for the Q&A with Jennifer Farwell and leave your thoughts on Seven Weeks to Forever below in the comments!
The Q & A
1. Where did you draw your inspiration for Seven Weeks to Forever?
The idea for Seven Weeks to Forever came to me in a daydream, believe it or not! I was in front of a computer, working on something else — well, “I was supposed to be working on something else” is probably a little more accurate. I was definitely letting my mind wander. Once I had the main idea, other pieces of it started coming together and the characters began taking shape. As for what inspired or influenced some of its themes, I know life experience and observing people helped with that. Seven Weeks to Forever is a young adult romance and a lot of it is about how powerful young love really is, but it also explores what we think of as death and the afterlife, and how someone can be affected by someone dying, especially at a young age. I wanted to create a world where something we normally think of as really sad or devastating gets turned around so that we can look at it in another way.
2. Cassidy has to learn to open up again and faces a hard decision at the end of the novel. What was it like writing Cassidy and her growth as a character?
It was a little intense at times! When I started writing Seven Weeks to Forever, I knew where I wanted Cassidy to be at the end of the novel, and where she was at the beginning of the novel. Her growth required her to confront feelings and hurt that she’d kept buried and still wanted to keep buried. The more she opened up, the more she allowed herself to feel, which meant I had to be right there with her as I wrote about what she was feeling.
3. Did you have a favorite secondary character within the story?
It’s a toss-up, but I’m going to go with Noah as my favorite secondary character. He’s Cassidy’s advisor, but he isn’t afraid of pushing her buttons. Cassidy is pretty sarcastic when we first meet her and she keeps her distance from people. The great thing about Noah is that he can give just as good as he gets from her, but he does it to keep her on track.
4. There are a lot of different versions of the “afterlife.” Was there anything particular that influenced how you created/described your “The Life-After?”
There wasn’t a book or movie with a representation of the afterlife that influenced my version of The Life-After. For the concept of what the Life-After is, I really wanted to look at what we think of as death in a very different way and that influenced how I described it in concept. There also wasn’t any one thing that inspired all of the lights and colors Cassidy sees in The Life-After, other than how I envision energy. I’ve been practicing Kundalini yoga for eleven years, and chakras and energy are a big part of that. Each chakra is associated with a different color, and light, chakras, and colors are sometimes part of guided meditations, so that may also have influenced why my version of the afterlife is filled with lights and colors.
5. Was there a favorite scene within Seven Weeks to Forever that you wrote?
Someone recently asked me what part of Seven Weeks to Forever was the easiest to write, and I mentioned a couple of the dating scenes. Having said that, “favorite scene” to me doesn’t always mean “easiest to write.” While I love the dating scenes, my favorite scene is when Cassidy finds Riley at the coffee shop in chapter seventeen. It’s a pretty significant scene for them, and that’s all I’ll say!
Thank you for having me and for asking such great questions!
Again, thanks for stopping by and reading!