Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

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BOOK review
Started on: 8 August 2018
Finished on: 25 August 2018

Title: Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 380 pages / 380 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2013
Price: Rp 193,639 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 4/5
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"I'm about to start a new school.
I'm an only child.
I'm adopted.
And I'm different.
As in strange.
But I know it and that takes the edge off. At least for me."
Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius who's obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions. She always had a difficulty blending in with others and only find it comfortable to be with her adoptive parents. But then suddenly, she lost both her parents due to a tragic car accident. As she struggled through her grief, Willow is accompanied by people who are able to accept her the way she is. Through their friendship, Willow was able to overcome her sadness. And they grow even closer to what feels like a family to her.

"I was not pretending to be anyone but myself, and they still accepted me into their troop.
I felt human.
That was the only way I could describe it."

I picked this book up at random when I didn't know what to read next—just because I think the book cover looked cute πŸ˜‚. I have absolutely no idea what this book will be about and just dived right into it. It turned out to be a really adorable story that warms my heart from start to finish ♥️. Reading this book is a bittersweet experience because there are a lot of heartbreaking moments but at the same time there are also comforting moments that makes everything worthwhile. For the most part, this book is about overcoming loss and grief; but there are also a lot of thought-provoking parts about self-discovery and life in general.
"It's possible that all labels are curses. Unless they are on cleaning products.
Because in my opinion it's not really a great idea to see people as one thing.
Every person has lots of ingredients to make them into what is always a one-of-a-kind creation.
We are all imperfect genetic stews."
The story is mostly written from the perspective of the main character: Willow Chance, a 12-year-old genius.  I think the author did a really good job on portraying Willow's character and we (as the readers) have the luxury to explore what she's thinking and feeling throughout all the situations because Willow is not very outspoken. Right from the start, I instantly fell in love with Willow's character. I just love reading her thoughts as she goes through her journey of overcoming grief. The ways she thinks about life is admirable and I learnt a lot from Willow's character. I especially love her because Willow also loves to read and there's a part where she said: books = comfort. I can totally relate to that πŸ‘πŸ˜‚. I think anyone who reads this book will also fell in love with Willow's character ♥️.

Throughout this book, Willow befriends her school counselor, Dell Duke, along with her newly acquired friends, Mai and Quang-ha Nguyen. Mai and Quang-ha are siblings who came from a Vietnamese family, and they're taken care of by their mother: Pattie. After Willow lost her parents, these people are the ones who are there for her despite all the difficulties and struggles. They are always ready to go the extra mile for Willow, which makes all these characters so genuine and lovable. I especially love Quang-ha's character because he seems a bit cold at the start but his character gradually changes towards the end. And I'm also glad to see Dell Duke's life changed as well for the better after his encounter with Willow and the Nguyen family.
"Right now I'm the sunflower.
Temporary, but attaching myself to the ground underneath me.
The garden is challenging me, as always, to see my own situation.
My court hearing is next month.
I'll be ready. I'm not sure for what exactly.
But maybe that's what being ready really means."
Reading this book really warms my heart in a bittersweet way. There are a lot of setbacks experienced by the characters, but they managed to go through it all and regain their happiness. I love seeing the connections that are formed between all the characters and how Willow impacted the lives of those around her. This is a middle-grade story that successfully made me smile, made me tear up a little, and made my heart full of various emotions. I'm definitely looking forward to Holly Goldberg Sloan's next work because I really enjoyed her writing in this one 😊.
"Pattie says that nothing is for certain. That is the truest statement I've ever heard."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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