Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso

Counting Backwards Three weeks ago I tried to run away from home. Now all I want is to go back.

When troubled Taylor Truwell is caught with a stolen car and lands in court for resisting arrest, her father convinces the judge of an alternative to punishment: treatment in a juvenile psychiatric correctional facility. Sunny Meadows is anything but the easy way out, and Taylor has to fight hard just to hold on to her sanity as she battles her parents, her therapist, and vicious fellow patients. But even as Taylor struggles to hold on to her stubborn former self, she finds herself relenting as she lets in two unlikely friends-Margo, a former child star and arsonist, and AJ, a mysterious boy who doesn’t speak. In this striking debut, Laura Lascarso weaves together a powerful story of anger and self-destruction, hope and love.

My Review:

Counting Backwards is an amazing story that I breezed through quickly.  The story and the characters are well-written, and the emotions with the story are portrayed well.


Taylor is a great main character.  She becomes tired of living with her alcoholic mom and watching her mom bring home different men from the bar each night, so she decides to run away from home.  She steals the car that her mom's guy of the night brought home, and the police catch her.  She is sent to Sunny Meadows, a therapeutic high school.  She becomes determined to escape the place, though it is highly guarded.  It is great to watch her feelings transform through the book.  At the beginning, she wants to leave.  Near the end, when she is told she is being released, she decides she wants to stay.

The relationships between Taylor and some other members of Sunny  Meadows are well-done too.  Margo is the girl who Taylor becomes friends with there.  Margo is funny and nice to Taylor.  Taylor was sad when she left Sunny Meadows, and I was too.  AJ is the mysterious boy who doesn't speak.  Taylor begins meeting up with a boy in the dark, but she doesn't know the boy is AJ.  The relationship between her and AJ is slow and sweet, and the romance is not rushed.  They get to know each other before falling for each other.  There are times when Taylor pushes him away, but it works out between the two of them.  The Latina Queens are the group who become Taylor's enemies when she arrives.  Their leader is Brandi, and, as some of them leave, Brandi and Taylor call a truce.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.



  1. I haven't heard too much about this, but now I'm excited to read this! Great review :)

  2. That cover freaks me out! Haha, I know it's silly, but it's true. The summary and the book sounds great—I'll definitely have to check this one out. Thanks for reviewing this! (:

  3. Thanks for the awesome review! I'd heard a little about this book before, but was unsure of whether I wanted to read it. Now I'm sure- its on my huge to-read list!

  4. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for the review, adding it to my wishlist!

  5. Me and my relationship with contemporary YA is fairly new. It all started with The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson earlier this year. That book is one of the most beautiful stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading and it opened me up to reading more contemps. I am really glad for that, because some of these books are plain amazing. Counting Backwards sounds like it might be another to add to my "I am so glad I gave contemps a chance" list. Thank you!