Published: February 2014
Length: 206 pages
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: ****--4 Stars
Blurb: 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: I thought it was refreshing to read a story about a girl who is anything but perfect. Sam struggles and she has found a way to cope with her learning disabilities--almost making them hidden. Out of sight, out of mind--to the rest of the world, anyway. I have a son who struggles and although he's still in grade school, I worry about how he'll do as a teen. This story gave me hope!
Sam didn't have it easy, but she survived. It really can't be easy, especially at a highly impressionable age, to keep up with school, make friends, move, endure teasing, pressure, and normal teenage emotions and situations. I loved to see how Sam made the best of things and was willing to try and push herself through the challenges. I also loved seeing how seemingly "perfect" people aren't all that different from everyone else. Sam saw Kaitlyn as a person she wanted to be like--pretty, popular, and perfect, yet once she got to know her, she realized that Kaitlyn is just another teen with her own issues to deal with.
I liked Nate and the friendship/relationship that was built. They were good for each other and he really stood by her and up for her.
Personally, I'm not a fan of intimacy before marriage and although there were some implications that this was going on (partying, hooking up, getting a hotel room, etc), I was happy that no details were given about it. Yes, it goes on in real life, I'm just not a fan. I was also happy that Nate didn't pressure Sam at all in this area.
Content: some language; no violence; generalized talk of sex (no details), teen partying, kissing. Technically clean.
CHECK IT OUT! Kate is having a virtual tour in association with her book's release. To learn more about it, go here.
About the Author:
Kate Scott lives in the suburbs outside Portland, Oregon with her husband Warren. Kate was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child but somehow managed to fall in love with stories anyway. Counting to D is her first novel. When Kate isn't writing, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, camping, and spending time with her friends and family. Kate also spends a lot of time doing math and sciency things and is a licensed professional engineer.