Counting by 7s Review

Title: Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction 

Blurb: (from goodreads) In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, 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 that 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.

Me: Strangely touching and an inspirational, tragically uplifting read.

The Ups: I really fell in love with the idea of this family and all the beautiful people in the story. The book covered a very dark, sad experience but I never felt heart-wrenchingly sad at very many parts in the book. I usually ended up with heart-warming and touching emotions during most of the book. The Nguyen family was amazing, and I loved every single one of the characters, especially Dell Duke. I think that was the very strong point of this book. All the characters were believable, adorable, relatable, and flawed. 
The plot, setting, and everything that went through Willow's mind just showed how a girl felt a sense of acceptance in especially difficult times. The book was about coping with death, but it seems more of a coming-of-age story for a genius girl.
Willow's way of perceiving the world was very interesting as well. I think that her as a 12 year old genius sometimes didn't really get across, but there were also parts where I felt true sympathy and true love for her different brain and the small ways she would express herself. 

The Downs: I feel like a bad person for saying this. I felt like at some points in the book it got too inspirational. Things happened that were kind of cliche and didn't seem very realistic. There were times where the events were symbolic and other times when they were a bit groan-worthy. There was a certain quality to the book that made me feel like it was almost surreal, and while I think that kind of added to the personality of the book, sometimes it was hard to relate.

Overall: An inspiring story that I truly fell in love with.

Rating: 4 kisses! 

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