Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: Counting to D by Kate Scott

Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA general fiction
release date: February 2014
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.

My Review
4 of 5 stars
When I read the back cover blurb for this book, I knew it was one I had to read. I have never struggled with a learning disability myself, but my husband is dyslexic (although not as severely as Sam in the book) and so I was very interested in the subject matter.

I think the author did a fantastic job of showcasing the struggles a learning disability presents for a teenager. Not only did the book touch on the obvious challenges it presents academically, but the author also beautifully demonstrated how a learning disability can affect someone socially, and how it can affect a person's self-esteem. My heart ached for Sam as she hid her dyslexia out of fear of reprisal from her peers.

The issue of a learning disability something I don't see much of in YA novels. I'm glad a novel focused around this has come on the scene, because as a high school teacher I saw so many students truly struggle because of learning disabilities. Reading about Sam's struggles helped me gain a deeper empathy for those who do have learning disabilities. I think this book would be so comforting to young adults with dyslexia (or any other learning disability) because it is so relatable.

Sam is a fun narrator. The characters are likable--Nate is adorable, and I really liked the surprisingly unstereotyped Kaitlyn. I love it when characters in YA novels surprise me. While the story, of course, focuses around Sam, there is a fun cast of secondary characters that keep things interesting.

Something I really liked about the book was the font. I know, a strange thing to pick up on. It's an unusual font choice for a paperback, and I thought it was a little strange when I read it. But after finishing the book, I found out the font was specifically chosen because it is one of the easiest fonts for dyslexics to read. That, to me, shows that so much thought and care went into this novel. I never even realized that some fonts are easier to read than others for dyslexics.

This book is an entertaining read for teenagers and adults, those who struggle in school and those who don't. There's a little something for everyone in this novel. Such a heartwarming read!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Be sure to check back on February 13 when the author, Kate Scott, will be by with a guest post for my readers!


Kate Scott said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your thoughtful review.

Lindzee said...

My pleasure!