Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An outstanding book about why it's good to be different, this is a heart-warming read that will have you hooked.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Piccadilly Press Ltd
ISBN: 978-1848124165

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Willow is not like other girls. She is not just smart, but certifiably gifted. She gets on better with adults than she does her peers. She loves patterns and plants, the colour red and the number 7. She is charming and adorable and quirky. She is one of the most real characters I've met in a book this year. And she is hurting.

Parents shouldn't die before their children are grown. They just shouldn't, and to lose both before your teens is frightening to comprehend. This could have been the most depressing book in the world, but that couldn't be further from the truth. This is a beautifully uplifting story about a girl who was already an outsider, now trying to come to terms with a new life that's unconventional

One of the lovely things about this book is the way background, nationality and race are non-issues. There's diversity in the book, but it's not bigged up, it's matter of fact. In fact the most significant part of the Nguyens' presence is that it gives Willow the chance to flex her linguistic muscles.

This book is aimed at young adults but aside from it being extremely easy to read, I couldn't really pick out much to differentiate it from an adult book. The style is awesome and well-suited to Willow because it feels like her thought processes recreated on paper rather than a bland novelization. The themes are complex and corrugated and it's really difficult to see how everything can work out ok in the end, even though this is of course what you're rooting for. Willow is such a deserving little girl and you can't help but feel she's had a bit of a rough ride so far, as if she's been hard done by by the world. All I wanted was for her to be happy, and her transformation following the accident, slow as it may be, is worthy of watching. I found it especially moving how she managed to adapt and change with the environment that now surrounds her, much like her beloved plants do, and while she might not be magical as Jairo feels, she clearly has some sort of special power or influence over those around her, especially the wayward males in her new life.

This is a brilliant book that I loved every second of. Willow is ace, and the book truly does her justice. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy.

Written for teens but perfect for everyone, this easily sits alongside our list of Top Ten Teen Books That Adults Should Read

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Buy Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan at


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