Monday, September 9, 2013

Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso - ADVISABLE

Lascarso, Laura  Counting Backwards, 279 pgs.  Atheneum Books, 2012.  $16.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (18 swears; 3 F); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13. 
Taylor has been living with her alcoholic mother and covering for her mistakes ever since her father left them.  After tripping on a drunk man in the hallway in the middle of the night, Taylor decides that she wants to run away from it all.  She takes the man’s car keys and steals his car.  When the police catch up to her, she resists arrest and finds herself before a juvenile detention judge.  Taylor’s father asks the judge to put Taylor in Sunny Meadows, a place where she can get help from psychiatrists, instead of in juvenile detention.  When Taylor arrives at Sunny Meadows she obsesses about escaping the prison-like setting and with the help of her new friend, A.J. she feels even closer to her goal of freedom. 
This is a great book that shows consequences for bad actions.  Taylor is like any tough teenage girl and she thinks she has all the answers, but when pushed to her limits and humbled to finally seek help she realizes that there are people out there that might be able to help her navigate her life.  The characters in this book are easy to relate to and as a reader I found myself cheering for their success.  This was a satisfying read and realistic about the consequences of illegal behavior. 
MS, HS-ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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