Sunday, September 1, 2013

Review: Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Series: N/A
Genre: Children's
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Absolutely Endearing
On Goodreads

GAH. AHHHHHHH. Don't read this. You will fall in love with it and the terrible ending will just eat at you and you will go crazy. Save yourself now. (You're welcome for me having warned you, no one had that courtesy for me).

This book is honestly fabulous besides the ending though, so I'll tell you all about the other parts of the story that made it so endearing.

Counting by Sevens is a charming story about a little girl named Willow, who is twelve. She has not only lost her birth parents, whom she never knew, but also her adoptive parents, who were killed in an accident. She has a hard time connecting with others, but is very intelligent. She enjoys counting by sevens, learning about nature, and understanding diseases. She is honestly why I loved this book so very much - she is sweet and charming and doesn't put up with any bs. She is autistic, and understands that she is different. She has no sense of how to understand people, but it's clear that she's working on it after the death of her parents. She is, to be concise, just plain old awesome. If anything, I'd reread the book again just for Willow if it weren't for the terrible ending.

After Willow is accused of cheating on a test, she is sent to her school's counselor, Dell. He (a problem all by himself) is pretty useless in helping her, but she does end up in a better place because of him - she meets her two friends, Mai and Quang-ha, who convince their mother to take her in after her adoptive parents die. Their mother, Pattie, is a struggling mother who takes in Willow out of the kindness of her own heart.

Through all of this, there is Willow's conflict with Dell. Dell is inconsiderate and a really terrible guidance counselor. Seriously, he's worse than the ones at my school and that really says something - the DMV has better people skills than this guy. He tries to take advantage of Willow's extraordinary intelligence and although he seems "reformed" by the end of the novel, no one ever says anything about how useless he was to other children that were sent to him.

One of the main conflicts in the novel is poverty, and how it is necessary for Willow, Pattie, and others to over come it. However, the book has a very skewed way of showing this and money is just such a problematic thing that Sloan just throws it around any which way. (I'd say more about this but it really would spoil it for those who are looking to read it).

This book says a lot about good people, which makes me sad because I didn't get to give it the 5/5 I so wanted to when reading it. Ugh, eff you terrible endings, you make me sad :'(

- Amrutha

Do you have any quirks, like counting by sevens?
Let us know in the comments!

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