Monday, March 3, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s
Title: Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publication Date: August 29, 2013
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 384
Age Rating: Readers over 10
My Opinion: 6/10

Hi, Readers!

       Happy It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  This blogging meme is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts, Book Journeys, and Unleashing Readers.  Some books seem effortless, like the words flow straight from the author's mind to the pages.  However, although it is a heartwarming read, Counting by 7s seems a little forced.  It's plot line is too perfect - everything that can go wrong does, and then it is all resolved by the last page.  Counting By 7s would make a nice middle school read, but it has a very limited reader appeal and does not live up to its high Goodreads rating.
One of the best quotes from Counting by 7s

       Willow Chance was adopted when she was young, and she is a certified child genius who enjoys hobbies such as gardening and reading.  Her only friend is a high schooler named Mai, but she is happy on her own.  Willow's sheltered life comes to a screeching halt when her parents perish in a car accident.  She has no friends or family to take care of her except for Mai's family, so Willow ends up living with them in a garage.  Luckily, her school counselor sees her genius potential, and he is able to raise the unlikely family out of poverty and bring them all closer together.

       When I was reading, it was hard to connect to Willow as a character because her personality is so different.  She is an actual child genius, so her mind clearly works differently from my own.  However, Willow seemed indifferent, even detached, when her parents died, and she never experienced a relatable period of grieving like normal humans do.  Also, Willow does not realize how her actions impact others and she seems to be self-centered due to the fact that she forces herself upon Mai's family without any repayment. 

       Holly Goldberg Sloan's style of writing is definitely geared towards a younger audience, and it works for said audience.  The plot line of the book came together much too cleanly to be realistic.  For example, Willow rides in a taxi cab, and of course she ends up becoming best friends with the cab driver and helping him win the lottery.  Like that would actually happen.  Also, all of the characters are looking for some signs from above showing how Willow changes their lives in feasible ways.  She ends up making Mai's mother's nail salon a huge business, she somehow manages to create a beautiful garden in the center of an apartment building, and she unrealistically touches the lives of everyone she meets.

       I know that this is my second negative book review, so I promise that next week's It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? will be about a great read.  Just remember - I'm saving you time by reading all of the bad books.

Happy reading!


  1. Never heard of this one! Hope your next read will be more enjoyable for you!

    Here's my Monday Wrapup

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. Thank you for posting your negative reviews. I find them just as helpful as positive reviews.

  3. Okay, so I'm a little devastated that you didn't like Counting By 7's. I loved the characters, although I can appreciate your criticism that none of them seemed real and the premise did not seem plausible. Maybe that's just one of the reasons I read, though...just set aside that big world of reality, even when it's supposedly realistic fiction. Always happy to hear your thoughts on books, Katie!

  4. Very interesting. Two of my reader-friends were enamoured by this book and claimed that it's one of the most uplifting novels they've ever read. We have this as our book of the month for April in one of my book clubs here for young readers, so I'd be sure to read this by then. Would also see how the kids in my book club react to the story.


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