The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley PostonThe Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston
Published by Harlequin Australia
Published on 27 June 2023
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, United States
Pages: 347
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
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RRP: $22.99
5 Stars

An overworked book publicist with a perfectly planned future hits a snag when she falls in love with her temporary roommate...only to discover he lives seven years in the past, in this witty and wise new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics.
Sometimes, the worst day of your life happens, and you have to figure out how to live after it.
So Clementine forms a plan to keep her heart safe: work hard, find someone decent to love, and try to remember to chase the moon. The last one is silly and obviously metaphorical, but her aunt always told her that you needed at least one big dream to keep going. And for the last year, that plan has gone off without a hitch. Mostly. The love part is hard because she doesn't want to get too close to anyone--she isn't sure her heart can take it.
And then she finds a strange man standing in the kitchen of her late aunt's apartment. A man with kind eyes and a Southern drawl and a taste for lemon pies. The kind of man that, before it all, she would've fallen head-over-heels for. And she might again.
Except, he exists in the past. Seven years ago, to be exact. And she, quite literally, lives seven years in his future.
Her aunt always said the apartment was a pinch in time, a place where moments blended together like watercolors. And Clementine knows that if she lets her heart fall, she'll be doomed.
After all, love is never a matter of time--but a matter of timing.

I’m giving this five stars even though I didn’t love it as much as The Dead Romantics because I do love Ashley Poston, there was absolutely nothing wrong with this book and many, many things that were very good.

However I think that the reason I didn’t love it as much as The Dead Romantics was a little bit of misguided expectations courtesy of the blurb that I read: to me, it just felt a bit too much like second chance romance, which I am absolutely not into. This is kind of a second chance romance novel with a really original magical premise, even though it’s a contemporary. And the other thing that misguided my expectations was the blurb, which, by mentioning that Clementine is 7 years into ‘the man in the kitchen’s future’, I was actually expecting a little bit of back and forth time travel: as in, Clementine travelled back 7 years and the man travelled forward seven years. I don’t know if that’s a misread of the blurb, because blurbs can be really tricky, and also they are really easy to update and change, but this is what it said at the time I requested to read this book:

Except, he exists in the past. Seven years ago, to be exact. And she, quite literally, lives seven years in his future.

I wanted more of a back and forth time travel rather than a one-way thing. That’s why I’m still rating this 5 stars, because I don’t think it’s fair to rate it any lower when my expectations for the plot weren’t managed. I still liked the plot! As I said earlier, I’m just not into second chance romance, which this kind of felt like.

All of that being said, there was so, so much to love about this book. The details woven in; the descriptions of food especially were incredible; Clementine’s career as a book publicist falling out of love with her job; her grief over her aunt’s death and inheriting this strange magical apartment; her uncertainty about so much as she approaches 30; her adorable and amazingly supportive friends; and especially, especially, her love of summer in New York City. I had never heard of Manhattenhenge before I read about it in this book, and on the very same day I learned about it, I saw a Tiktok video about it as well. THAT IS SO CREEPY. But I felt really grounded in Clementine’s world. I felt like Poston’s descriptions of summer rain and humid nights really helped me feel the setting. I kind of want to go to New York now, just to experience this.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and although it didn’t convince me to love second chance romance, I loved so much both iterations of the male love interest. I loved his passion, the way time had changed him, the twists involved in the time travel, and how Clementine dealt with all of that. This book contained the absolute best kissing scenes I have ever read. So swoony! I just loved reading about two people who were just really into each other! Maybe I’ve been reading too much enemies to lovers/hate to love recently. It definitely didn’t feel like instalove, but there was an instant rapport and chemistry, which I am a big fan of. I absolutely bought them getting to know each other and the relationship, despite its magical touch, felt really genuine.

I do want to mention that Poston appears to think that watercolour painters use their fingers, which they do not because it would affect the paper, which is delicate when it’s wet. She had Clementine paint in travel guides (so not heavy watercolour paper) which would buckle terribly (this was mentioned, but still it seemed… very odd for a watercolour artist???), and Clementine made quite a dumb comment about watercolour pans being magically water activated (which yes, that’s the whole point, it’s there in the name). I feel that Poston must not be a watercolour artist or know anything much about it beyond it being a very beautiful medium, and she did not convince me that she knew anything about watercolour painting. I hate being one of those people who is like, ‘they would never’, but just… watercolour was a poor medium for Clementine as a character to use. It just wasn’t represented the right way.

Apart from that glitch, I really did thoroughly enjoy The Seven Year Slip, and if Poston could keep writing adorable adult rom coms set in the publishing industry, that would make me happy forever.


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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