Three weeks ago I tried to run away from home. Now all I want is to go back.
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.
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.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
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.