“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.”
This was a charming book. Sam is a delightful whiz kid who excels in mathematics and uses her attachment to numbers as a coping mechanism when life throws her a curve. The kids at school don’t know quite what to think of this girl who smokes them in every class yet cannot read. As she tries to fit in with her new group of friends she experiences a little bit of every reaction, from awe and amazement to outright jealousy. Soon she finds that there is more to excelling in school than being good at coursework as she is accepted into a small group of unlikely friends. Even after being relegated to the Special Ed class Sam finds joy in her surroundings and learns to make the best of her situation.
There is a sweet romance in the book that unfolds gradually and charmed the socks off of me. Nate is a wonderful love interest for Sam and I loved how even though he is obviously attracted to Sam physically, he loves her more for her intelligence. They are intellectual equals and that is the best basis for romance. Their relationship grows serious throughout the book, but still stays light.
Some of the lines in COUNTING TO D are laugh out loud funny. The exchanges between Sam and the Brain Trust are great with a lighthearted banter. For example:
Miles : “Are you a real girl or only a pretend girl like Lissa?”
Sam : “I have a uterus. Is that real enough?”
COUNTING TO D is a delightful book about growing up and finding your place in a world that doesn’t always seem fair. Sam proves that it’s okay to be different and that nurturing your own true talents and strengths produces great rewards.