Author: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
From: eBook ARC from Netgalley
Format: 336 pages, (September 3rd 2015)
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Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 18+
Synopsis: A new life in a new city - what could possibly go wrong . . . ?
When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) houseshare on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars, and buskers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun - what more could she ask for?
But her new life is also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about her experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants.
Review: 3.5-4 stars - I am a fan of Keris Stainton so when I found Counting Stars on Netgalley I had to request it. The fact that Counting Stars is also set in the city I was born, also had an impact on me reading it.
Anna has moved to Liverpool to start working in a theatre where she did work experience. She’s found a room in a house to rent and she is looking forward to her first big adventure as a ‘grown up’.
Unfortunately when the job falls through, Anna is all ready to give up and go home to her parent’s house.
With the help of her housemates Anna starts to create something resembling an adult life. But learns along the way, things are always as easy of they seem.
Counting Stars is told from third person POV- Anna and her 5 housemates. I did enjoy this, as you get to experience what’s going on in their lives first hand.
Anna is a Vlogger, who has always kept her true self hidden, she is nothing like her internet alter ego, but she wishes she could be. Add into the mix lustful Sean, Molly’s romantic and eccentric ways, Alfie’s need to look after everyone and prove himself to his father, and Nina who is unfortunately subject to an abusive relationship. You never know where Counting Stars is going to go next.
Having said this I do wish there had been more of a definitive story line, rather than it being more of a roundabout coming of age novel. I’d personally rather have a high impact story than one that tells of every day life.
I also enjoyed reading about parts of Liverpool, and on a recent trip to the city I found myself looking up on Bold Street (where the book is set) and seeing different things to what I’d normally see.
A change from my usual fantasy/sci-fi reads, Counting Stars was mostly light hearted, scandal filled and enjoyable to read. I love the idea of a big adventure for Anna, and in one respect I’m jealous of the character because I never had the bravery to move out to uni.
That brings me onto another slight personal bug; the College/University word usage in teen literature.
Recently I’ve read more and more UK YA authors who are trying to appeal to the American market- this is no bad thing; but because in the US university is called college, there is sometimes confusion when reading as to how old the characters are. This happened to me on more than one occasion when reading Counting Stars. What also got confusing for me was that some of the housemates attend Performing Arts College; so it’s referred to as college. Most 18 year olds I know refer to college/university as uni, not college, no matter where they are studying.
Due to certain subject matter in this book I recommend it for older readers, NA subjects included.
A good read for anyone who likes Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Valentine and James Dawson.