Book Review : Counting to D by Kate Scott

March 3, 2014 Book review 5 ★★★½

This book is a book that stood out for a lot of right reasons.  I loved that it focused on a teenage girl with some learning difficulties in a realistic and empowering way.

Book Review : Counting to D by Kate ScottCounting to D by Kate Scott
Published by Elliott Books on 11 Feb 2014
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, YA Contemporary
Pages: 227
Source: Received from Author
Buy on Amazon

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.

First Line of Counting to D

“Numbers danced in the back of my mind.”

My Thoughts on Counting to D

I really appreciated how well rounded Sam was a character.  Yes, she had learning difficulties and equally, yes, she was outstanding at maths however there was so much more to her than her learning abilities/disabilities.  She was also a typical teenage girl who just wanted a circle of friends to have fun with.  She is a really likeable character; her struggles with reading have made her determined and focused and I just engaged with her immediately.

After Sam moved she tried to reinvent herself and that touched me a bit as it’s something I’ve tried to do in the past.  However the true you always wins out in the end and if people can’t accept that then that’s just tough.  Sam wants to be ‘normal’ and tries bend herself into a shape that can squeeze into a round hole.  She pretends and assimilates which is both frustrating and understandable.

Nate was one of new friends that she made.  They had a spark that slowly developed into more and yes by more I mean romance!   It was awkward and cute all at the same time.  And it was special but at the same time I never felt that Nate was going to be the love of her life.  And I loved that element of reality as too often in books first relationships are made to seem too permanent and that is rarely the case in the real world.

However what makes this book one to read is how it handled diversity.  Sam’s inner conflict about her spelling and reading were all too easy to believe.  And my heart just went out to her when she asked one of her teachers if she was autistic and her teacher’s honest and heartfelt reply was really moving.

Overall I really enjoyed this one, I think it’s important that stereotypes are shattered in books and  Counting to D does an admirable job in doing just that.  It spotlights living with dyslexia in a thoughtful way and also gives some useful skills in overcoming some of the difficulties that it can cause.  Well worth reading.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars

Who should read Counting to D?

I’d recommend this to you if you like contemporary YA that deal with realistic characters and realistic settings.  This is also a good one to read if you are looking for more diversity in your books as it highlights a teenage girl struggling but also coping with a learning disorder.

Thanks to Kate for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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5 Responses to “Book Review : Counting to D by Kate Scott”

  1. Nuzaifa @ Say It with Books

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the protagonist is dyslexic!
    And I agree that lot of books make first relationships seem permanent but the chances of that being realistic in reality is very low.
    Sounds like a very refreshing read-thanks for sharing, Trish! 🙂
    Nuzaifa @ Say It with Books recently posted…Now and Then

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