File this one under "Books That Resonated With Me" because honey lemme tell you....this book is one of my all-time favorites. I've had this book for years and I literally read it at least twice a year, usually more like 4 times. It has earned its permanent place on my bookshelf from now until the end of time.
This book isn't a difficult read, by any means, and while some may dismiss it on sight as a tweeny-bopper novel, I still adore it. There's something about the novel and its characters that always bring me back to it whenever I'm feeling down or need some sort of pick-me-up....it's the perfect bathtub/hairdresser/on-the-metro read.
Luna, the star of Seven Messages, is the 15-year-old daughter of a film director and a model. She goes about learning what really was going on in her mother's life after her untimely death by taxi, first getting interested by finding her mother's old cellphone and discovering it has 7 unread messages on it. She begins to piece together things and as this puzzle comes together, her cozy family life façade seems to fall apart.
Intrigued? You should be because there is a whole cast of kooky characters that help Luna on her path of self discovery including leggy Swedish model Daria, her smarty-pants little brother Tile, her uncle Richard with the Italian villa, a field of basil, and rockstar petit ami Julian, not to mention her father Jules, his new gf Elise, and of course her posthumous mother Marion. Oh and one cannot count out super-cute cello boy-next-door Oliver, Janine "Oscar" Meyers, and the Rachels.
In some ways I suppose it is a typical coming-of-age/teen romance story with a completely unique spin, that's sort of what attracted me in the first place (at the beginning of my coming-of-age years, in which I am still). Some reviews I've read say the sort of things that Luna and the cast of characters around her say aren't realistic, they sound too fake or movie-ish. I think that's sort of the point (not to mention the charm) of the book. These characters (not just the teenagers but the adults as well) are trying to figure out what life really is and along this path of discovery there's a lot of fake-sounding dialogue, a lot of pretentiousness, and a lot of cheesy-sounding lines. Believe me, people in real life sound like (or try to sound like) they're in a movie sometimes. It's life.
That's really the element of this novel I love most--I can relate to this novel on a personal level that everyone craves when reading. It's hard to relate on this level to most books. I guess the reason I like it this much is that I can really feel my own experiences and feelings through the characters.
This book isn't the best book in the entire world, one of my favorites but not exactly the favorite, not the hardest book to read, and not the deepest but in it's own way--You Have Seven Messages really connects with me to how we all fit in the world and strive to figure out what is really true, and that is pretty deep. Especially for a "tweeny-bopper novel".
You Have Seven Messages by Stewart Lewis (fun fact: his dog's name is Oliver!)