Counting To D
By Kate ScottBlurb: The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight—without being able to read.
Genres: YA, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
My Rating: 4 stars
A free copy of this book was received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn't sure what exactly I would be getting into when I started Counting to D. I'd never read about a book where the main character was dyslexic, (or if I did, I don't remember, in which case it must have not been very good) and I was a bit nervous. But I took a chance, and I was pleasantly surprised on how much I liked it.
First off, you can tell just by reading that the author knows a lot about dyslexia. I wasn't surprised at all when I learned that Ms. Scott has dyslexia, because the book really gets into Sam's struggles, and I don't know if someone who hadn't had experience with this could have captured it half as well.
Sam didn't have the voice of a stereotypical teenage girl. That's probably what I liked best about her. Yes, she goes through things that a lot of teenagers will relate too, even those that don't have dyslexia, but in YA lit there seems to be this bubbly, perky teenage voice that gets used a lot for female main characters, and that's not really how it is with Sam.
Also, like I mentioned before, Sam deals with stuff in addition to her dyslexia, like friend troubles and her father leaving. This succeeds in making the book even more believable, because a lot of teenagers understand what she's going through.
I love that the secondary characters had a lot of depth too. For example, Kaitlyn, one of Sam's friends, at first seems like that typical mean girl that shows up in pretty much every high school realistic fiction book ever printed, (okay, exaggeration...but most of the time, there's a character like that) but underneath we find out that she's a real person who just has some problems, and she and Sam end up being really great friends. Another example is Sam's crush Nate, who isn't the typical uber-hot jock. He's got issues of his own, he's emo...he's not the norm as far as crushes go, but I really liked his character.
Would I recommend this? Yep! Definitely. If you like realistic fiction, this is great. It deals with real issues, but it's also simply the story of a girl navigating her way through high school. I really enjoyed it.