Counting Down with You

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
920 0
Counting Down with You
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
May 04, 2021
ISBN
978-1335209979
Buy This Book
      

In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy. How do you make one month last a lifetime? Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents’ rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything. Karina is my girlfriend. Tutoring the school’s resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can’t help but start counting down the days until her parents come back. T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

beautiful, raw, and visceral YA contemporary read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU is a heart-wrenching and visceral YA contemporary read. Karina (Myra is her familial name) is a 16-year-old Bangladeshi Muslim who loves to read and write poetry. She dreams of studying English at Columbia, but her parents dreams for her are oppressive. Her life is very regimented and there is little room for her own desires. When her parents go back to Bangladesh for a month, leaving her in the care of her loving Dadu (grandmother), Karina finally has room to breathe.

During those days, Karina is assigned to tutor a boy in her English class, Alistair (Ace), who is struggling in her favorite subject. Although she knows her parents would not approve of her spending any time with a boy, Karina agrees to help her favorite teacher as it will also waive the public speaking requirement that counts for a large portion of her grade. As she gets to know Ace, her feelings become even more complicated and his presenting her as his fake girlfriend makes everything seem to come apart at the seams.

Karina also has anxiety that she suppresses, and although she knows she needs help, because of her family's stance, she resorts to techniques she learned from google and her friends. During the month her parents are away, Karina is bolstered by the love of the people around her and able to examine her own wants and needs in a way she never could before - but what will she do when her parents return?

What I loved: This book hit me in a completely visceral way. There were tears streaming down my face for several chapters, and I include this as a good thing, because, wow, does Bhuiyan write in a way that brings these characters and emotions to life. This book completely pulls the reader in and gives a lot to think and feel. For teens struggling under the weight of parental or cultural expectations, this book sees you. I would love to put this book in the hand of every teen who has felt the crushing weight of parental expectations and disappointments and resultant anxiety, so they could know they are not alone and that they deserve their happiness too.

The romance here was really beautiful. I appreciated the honesty, the pace, the clarity of boundaries, and constructive reactions to boundaries. All of this sets a fantastic example for how relationships and love should be. Ace is #boyfriendgoals, seriously. Their relationship, boundary setting and respecting, and truths are all stunning.

An important part of the book is the people who love and support Myra/Karina. While not everyone in her position has this, I think this support is critical. She has Dadu, who is an all-around wonderful person, her BFFs, Cora and Nandini, who cannot always understand her life but believe her anyway, Ace, and eventually her brother, Samir/Rafiq. I found the discussions with siblings to be particularly poignant (both for Karina and Ace), as in situations with challenging parents, it can feel very isolating, especially when the experience by the person next to can be so completely different. Although both situations are very different, the conversations are held beautifully and the reader sees different ways in which needed support can be provided.

Other themes in the book were also poignant, including the sexism of the way that children of different genders are treated, religious prejudices, stigma around mental illness, and the way that speaking your truth and coming out can backfire in some families (side characters deal with LGBT coming out/dating experiences). These themes would make this book a fantastic discussion starter in the classroom or YA book club.

Final verdict: Beautiful, raw, and riveting, COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU is a stunning YA contemporary about love, happiness, and the search for your own path. Highly recommend reading this one - it is a book that will touch the heart and stick with the reader for a long time to come.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 2 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Poison Ivy: Thorns
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There's something unusual about Pamela Isley--the girl who hides behind...
Lies My Memory Told Me
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the thrilling voice of Sacha Wunsch comes a heart-stopping...
Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
RENEE: I was ten years old then, and my sister...
So. Many. Feelings Stickers: 2,700 Stickers for Every Mood
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2,700 stickers for every mood! ...
Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ready, set, off we go! ...
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jolina can't take Claudine's bullying any longer! The taunts and...
Leaving England
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sometime around now an unnamed virus has laid London and...
Top Choice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A female-run society. An ambitious girl driven to become its’...
The Dead and the Dark
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut The Dead and the Dark...
Heart Fire
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the realm of Ryuu within the snow...
When Jackie Hit The Road
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Jackie planned for every situation on her solo road-trip...
Starvation
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
John Green meets Laurie Halse Anderson in this award-winning, "haunting,"...
The Great Destroyers
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Blood, sweat, and death. Welcome...
Fresh
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new...
Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this thrilling adventure, our magical heroine embarks on a...
Bluebird
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for...

Latest Member Reviews

Hi-Five Farm!
 
5.0
"HI-FIVE FARM! is an adorable board book adventure with opposites and hi-fives aplenty. The book features many barnyard animals offering..."
Sugar and Spite
 
4.0
"Jolina and her family have moved from Manila to the small island of Isla Pag-Ibig. After the death of her..."
Fearless
 
3.0
"Monica Garcia is thrilled to get an understudy role on Broadway. At 12, this is the first time she will..."
Paradise on Fire
 
4.0
"Addy lives in the Bronx with her grandmother, Bibi, who has moved from Nigeria to care for her after the..."
Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas
 
4.5
"TELL NO TALES is a graphic novel that features Anne Bonny and her tale of pirating. She has an amazing..."
Into Darkness (Stuffed, Book 2) (Stuffed, 2)
 
4.0
"STUFFED INTO DARKNESS features Clark who is so excited to go to camp, where the Stuffies protect them from monsters...."
If You Go Down to the Woods Today (Brown Bear Wood)
 
4.0
"IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY has a poem on each page which opens up to the items..."
Bunny Will Not Jump!: Ready-to-Read Level 1
 
4.0
"Bear wants nothing more than for Bunny to jump, but he won't do it. Bunny doesn't want to jump and..."
Milo's Christmas Parade
 
5.0
"MILO'S CHRISTMAS PARADE features a little opossum who wants nothing more than to join the Christmas parade. For this reason,..."
Taking Care of Mama Rabbit
 
3.5
"When Mama Rabbit falls ill, it's up to Papa Rabbit to go get medicine and her children to make her..."
A Kid's Guide to Fandom: Exploring Fan-Fic, Cosplay, Gaming, Podcasting, and More in the Geek World!
 
5.0
"A KID'S GUIDE TO FANDOM is exactly what it says and is full of anything and everything nerdy. From cosplaying,..."
Mine
 
4.0
"Lily isn’t thrilled about her family’s move from Colorado to Florida. In Colorado, she had her drama club and her..."
The Republic of Birds
 
3.0
"Once, birds and humans lived together until a war erupted over a firebird’s egg. Now, the humans have their own..."
This Is the Glade Where Jack Lives: Or How a Unicorn Saved the Day
 
5.0
"THIS IS THE GLADE WHERE JACK LIVES is a new take on the traditional "This Is the House that Jack..."
The End Is Just the Beginning
 
5.0
"THE END IS JUST THE BEGINNING is exactly as the title reads. It's a story about how all endings are..."
Dust & Grim
 
4.0
"Thirteen-year-old Molly finds out she's entitled to part of a mortuary business after the death of her father. She also..."
Get Up, Elizabeth!
 
5.0
"Elizabeth needs to get out of bed because she's the princess and has a lot to do. As a princess...."
Happy Little Ogre
 
5.0
"HAPPY LITTLE OGRE features our favorite characters from Shrek as babies. It's full of ogre fun and silliness from burps..."
Clean-Up Time!: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
 
5.0
"Our favorite character, Daniel the Tiger, heads to the park to play with his friends. But when they get there,..."
The Secret Starling
 
3.5
"Clara Starling is used to the drudgery of life with her uncle in his huge mansion. It’s all routine, cold..."