Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Counting to D--Katherine Scott

Full disclosure: I know the author of this book. Kate and I took a writing class together a few years ago, and in the intervening years we generally meet up at an annual writing conference. I talked with her about this book when she first received agent representation for it, and again when her agent was waiting to hear from publishers, and again when she decided to seek out a different road to publication.

But in all that time, I never read the book, or really much of any of Kate's writing. I knew it would be good, because, believe me, a first-time author doesn't get an agent unless they have an impressive book to show. But, I didn't know much about it other than that. I was a little worried I wouldn't like it, because how awkward would that be?

It's okay, though, because I loved it.

Counting to D is the story of a girl who is brilliant  (she can memorize entire textbooks) and severely dyslexic (she can't read those textbooks to save her life). When Sam moves from California to Oregon, she sees the opportunity to reinvent herself--to be judged for who she is and not the label of gifted/learning disability.

As I started reading, I thought I knew what this book was going to be--the Girl-with-secret moves to new town, hides secret successfully for long enough to settle in, then someone finds out the secret and her new life blows up in her face. It's the perfect formula for a successful YA book, right?

Spoiler: that's not the plot.

I'm not going to tell you where the plot does go, but I will tell you that it's not at all formulaic or predictable. Neither are the characters. As each chapter progressed and I got to know Sam and her friends, I began to realize that each of them carried such depth, that they didn't fit the stereotypes that are so painfully common in YA lit (the brainy sidekick, the pretty and shallow cheerleader, the nerdy best guy pal). In Counting to D, rather than reinforcing these stereotypes the characters encourage readers to question them.  And I loved every moment of watching them unfold.

Counting to D goes on sale today! Buy a copy at your local bookstore or at Amazon or Powells or wherever. You'll be so glad you did.


  1. Lovely! You have me most intrigued. Great review, it hooked me, for sure.

  2. Can totally see why you'd be reluctant to read it, but yeah, that would be awkward. Glad your worries were for naught. Really does sound like a winner, and to my wish list it goes.