Counting By 7s (MMGM)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! It's 2016! Before I introduce the book and get started with the review, I would just like to let you guys know that I DID MY FIRST YA REVIEW LAST WEEK!!! And it just so happens to be a review of "The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green and you know how awesome that book is, so click HERE to check that out! I also did a special feature movie review on "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip", which is a fantastic movie, so you can click HERE for my review. So now that we've gotten that out of the way...This week for MMGM, I'll be doing a review on "Counting By 7s" by Holly Goldberg Sloan! 

Here's the cover:







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Here's some info about the book:

Age Range: 10 and up 
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (September 16, 2014)

"In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read." (from Amazon) 

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Here are my thoughts:

The feelings you get through the book and themes: This book is seriously sad! It's definitely a tearjerker. But it shows the hardship of losing ones' parents and that finding where you belong is definitely easier said than done, which are two very important themes. 

Pros and cons: What I liked about this book was the way the characters were portrayed. Okay, so it was definitely a tragic story. But the way the main character, Willow reacts to it is really realistic. As a child, and maybe even when you're older, you depend on your parents, and hen they're no longer with you, you feel like you have no meaning in this world or that you are completely lost and stranded without them. You are a completely dependent on your parents and when you lose them, not to mention both, it's a bit of a shock to you. I feel that the only problems were time switches, as it goes from present to past and back to present without any warning. You get used to it, and eventually go from being confused with the book to actually really enjoying it, but I still wish the author gave us notice so that we wouldn't get confused. Still an interesting book though! 

So basically: This book is all about loss, finding where you belong and making friends along the way. (Honestly the ending really surprised me!) This book may sound like the typical tearjerker, but trust me, it's way different! 

But then: The beginning was a bit boring compared to the rest of the book (in my opinion). It was more of an introduction, but it should've gone by quicker. Also, the main conflict wasn't really clear to me, since there are a lot of problems along the way. But as I look back, I understand a bit more of what the author was trying to get across. Don't get me wrong, the beginning has a TON of action going on it already, it just needs to be more vivid and enjoyable and less boring. 

Final Verdict: Yes, I recommend this book. It's enjoyable for anyone coping with sadness or even if you're looking for something more dramatic than your typical read. I don't recommend it if you're looking for a book packed with action and fighting and things like that. So it all goes down to what you're looking for. 

Rating: It wasn't crazy good (like other books I've been reading, but hey, John Green is a whole new level), but then again it wasn't awful, so...

3 stars! 


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Here are what other people thought of "Counting By 7s":


* “Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page.”—School Library Journal starred review

* “A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.”—Booklist starred review

* “What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a “person of color”; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant.”—The Horn Book starred review

"In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that’s a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."—Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

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 I hope you all had a great New Years! I still can't believe it's 2016! Thank you so much for joining me for MMGM and I wish you all a great week! :-)

~Cindy 

Links: 

To learn more about Holy Goldberg Sloan, click HERE.

To go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out more MMGM's click HERE





16 comments:

  1. Wow! Three stars! I've seen this many places and I know how much you love books. Completely surprised by the rating...but you back it up well. Good job!

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    1. Thanks! I enjoyed it, but not as well as some other books, so that was the reason. Have a nice week!

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  2. Happy New Year, Cindy! I remember reading and loving this book a while back (I was lucky enough to score an arc), but of course I've forgotten a lot of details, having read so many books since then. The feeling I'm left with about it now: how unusual the character of Willow is, and how sad and yet hopeful the entire story was.

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    1. I completely agree! It was very hopeful!

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  3. Thank you for reviewing! I have read this book recently and completely agree with your review.

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  4. I think the variety of grief books available to teens is important. Each one so different and fitting a particular need for a teen at a difficult time. This sounds like a good read. Very fair review!

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    1. I agree, although they're quite difficult to read! I find it hard to read because of the fact that I feel very connected to the characters and quite hate it when something bad happens to them or someone who is close to them. Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you think my review was fair!

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  5. Happy new Year, Cindy. Thanks for the review. I have this book in my TBR pile and hope to get to it soon.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Rosi! I hope you do enjoy it when you get the chance to read it!

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  7. I appreciate honest reviews like this one. Thanks Cindy.

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    1. No problem! I'm glad you liked my review! :-)

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  8. Wow...what a fantastic and well rounded review. Read this one a while back and thinking it is time for a reread. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews I must say.

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    1. Great! I so happy that you look forward to my reviews! If you'd like to receive emails whenever I post, feel free to follow my blog! :-)

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  9. Wow...what a fantastic and well rounded review. Read this one a while back and thinking it is time for a reread. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews I must say.

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