Released by Delacorte Press on 13 September 2011
It's been a year since Luna's mother, the fashion-model wife of a successful film director, was hit and killed by a taxi in New York's East Village. Luna, her father, and her little brother, Tile, are still struggling with grief.
When Luna goes to clean out her mother's old studio, she's stunned to find her mom's cell phone there—charged and holding seven unheard messages. As Luna begins to listen to them, she learns more about her mother's life than she ever wanted to know . . . and she comes to realize that the tidy tale she's been told about her mother's death may not be the whole truth.
I liked the idea behind this book. A year after her (model) mum’s death, main character Luna finds her mum’s phone, fully charged, and with seven voice mail messages on it. She then discovers something about her mother’s life that could change hers forever. I really really liked it, but in the end it was a tiny bit disappointing.
The Characters – Quite a few, there’s Luna (whose real name is Malia), her little brother Tile (because when their mum was pregnant with him, she spend a lot of time on the cool Spanish tiles in the bathroom for some reason, idk), and their father who’s a famous film director. And of course, being a famous film director means that you meet a lot of famous people, and that’s what bothered me a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when there are ‘famous’ people in books, but I am not a fan of REAL famous people in books. For example, Luna talks about Drew Barrymore and Orlando Bloom in this book, about how she talked to them, about how Orlando stayed at their place while filming something in New York, and I just didn’t like that. I would rather have two fake-famous people, two made-up famous people having their place than to read about real famous people in fiction books. I might be the only person, but it annoyed me a bit.
Anyway, then there’s the two Rachels who are absolute bitches, Janine who’s Luna’s best friend, and Oliver, Luna’s crush. And a lot of other people; a model, Cole (and you’ll find out who he is when you read the book), Richard (Luna’s uncle), some Italian people, and so forth.
The Story – Like I said, I liked the idea behind the story, but I had hoped it would be a bit more exciting. I predicted the mysterious thing that her mother did from the start, and I was actually disappointed when I found out I was right. I did like the things that happened around that plot, and the fact that Luna had her own photography exhibition, because I LOVE photography (and my name is also not really Luna, yay!). I liked and both disliked the fact that she went to Paris somewhere near the end of the story, because who in their right mind lets a fifteen year old on a train from Italy to Paris? Anyway, everything turned out fine, but still, I don’t get it.
The Romance – Like I said, Luna has a crush on Oliver, the boy who lives across the street. He plays the cello, and he’s absolutely dreamy (apparently). I didn’t really ‘feel’ anything for them during the majority of the story, until the end when the Paris thing happened, that’s when I got a bit happy, but no, I don’t ship it.
The Action – Not really any action, but there was a lot of photography stuff going on, with a very old camera which got me REALLY excited, oh my gods. I WANT MY OWN DARKROOM OK.
The Writing – I liked the writing, it was simple, and I read through it as if it were a Dutch children’s book, haha! I might read some more books by Stewart Lewis (I keep on having the urge to write Stewart Little though, and I haven’t seen that movie for a looooooooooong time).
In the end, I gave You Have Seven Messages three stars, because even though I liked it, I found the lack of surprise and the lack of action a bit of a pity. Oh well, the photography things made me feel a lot better about it, I feel like making a lot of pictures again! (I have decided to judge the books I read on five different aspects, because that makes reviewing a lot easier for me. I found my reviews a bit of a mess actually, so I thought of a better way of doing it).