Review: Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a sweet, quirky story about loss and finding family in unexpected places. It’s best if you don’t overthink anything. Once you do, it’s a downhill slide that you won’t recover from, so I recommend you put on your fiction blinders and cinch them tight before you read this novel.

I finished this story 4 days ago, and I gave it 4 stars in the moment. Today, I couldn’t even remember the story well enough to write this review without going back through to read a synopsis to prompt my memories.

After careful reconsideration, I have reduced my rating by a star.

This story has a few things that may be interesting or amusing in the moment, but that in reality, I didn’t actually appreciate. There’s a bad counselor, a strange relationship to money/wealth/poverty that lacks depth and truthfulness, some truly unbelievable moments and occurrences for a contemporary story, a lack of character development in most side characters, and a depiction of loss and grief that doesn’t resonate as well as it could.

HOWEVER, there are these sentences and moments throughout that are so perfectly charming and touching, that I think it makes it really easy to look past the flaws of the storyline. My advice to readers is to not overthink anything, and to enjoy this book for what it is, without thinking too hard about what it could have been. Once you do the second, it will be impossible not to fixate on everything that just doesn’t add up.

PAGES: 380

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