Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Book Birthday to Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso! I was lucky enough to read Counting Backwards this weekend through a Southern Book Bloggers ARC tour.

The summary, adapted from Ms. Lascarso's site:

When sixteen-year-old Taylor Truwell is caught with a stolen car and lands in court for resisting arrest, her father convinces the judge to issue an alternative punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. At Sunny Meadows, Taylor has to fight hard just to cling to her sanity as she battles her parents, her therapist, and a group of nasty fellow patients. But even as Taylor struggles to hold on to her stubborn former self, she finds herself relenting as she lets in two unlikely friends–Margo, a former child star and arsonist, and AJ, a mysterious boy who doesn’t speak.

Sunny Meadows goes against everything Taylor stands for. But is it the only place that can save her?

The review:
When I returned from the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles, I had two SBB ARCs waiting for me. I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil first, because it had a great hook and an intriguing cover. (I'll review it next week.) Counting Backwards had a more quiet, beautiful cover, but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I am so glad that I finished in time to review it on its release day.

I absolutely loved this book. The pacing moves surprisingly fast for a reflective story, and the raw, honest voice gives familiar themes a fresh spin. Taylor's journey focuses on learning to love herself, which thankfully overshadows the thread of a romantic relationship with AJ. This is such an important story for young women to read.

The difference between a good book and a great book for me is an emotional truth that makes me feel something. Counting Backwards is a great book. Of all the wonderful books I've read in YA over the past few years, this is the first one that I would say unquestionably deserves to be in the race for a Printz or a Newbery Award. I would recommend it to any teen or adult reader.

5 out of 5 stars.

Music for today: Easy Way Out by Gotye


  1. Sounds like a powerful story. I must put it on my To-Be-Read list. :)

  2. Oh wow, it's sounds so emotional, something young women need to read if they're searching for self acceptance. I'll put it on my TBR list. Thanks Laurie:)

  3. Thanks for stopping by! Counting Backwards is the best contemporary I've read in a long time.