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Book Review: Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

 * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *

Title: Counting Stars
Author: Keris Stainton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Netgalley

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads Storygraph)

Book Summary:

Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem...

Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... what could 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) flat 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 although her new life is fun, it's 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.

Book Review:

Readers have been talking about Keris Stainton for the longest time so when I started to read Counting Stars, I was excited to read it. While I wasn't blown away by Counting Stars, I will read more from Keris Stainton in the future.

As I have just finished university, I have always wanted to read some more books centred around those who did not go to university or more about adult life. Reading a YA book seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I felt like it made the book more mature and the main character seems like she is growing throughout the story and through adulthood. They make mistakes and they have to deal with the consequences that come with that.

This happens especially towards the end and I have to admit that I didn't really love the ending, and it dampened how I was overall. The story seems to go far away from the story that had been going and I just didn't love it.

I have to admit that I did enjoy the setting as it is set in Liverpool. With the London centric narrative, reading about this city was a nice change and I liked seeing the city come alive in the book.

I also liked the YouTube element in the book. When it first came out, they mentioned that it was quite accurate and it did feel like that from an outsider perspective. I feel like it also tackled issues of overstaring on the Internet and the impact that it can have on daily life.

A lot of the book obviously takes place around friendship and relationships of all shapes and sizes which I really loved. Especially towards the end, the complexities of the relationships are tested and I liked that it dealt with that element.

I also really loved the writing and the humour throughout. The characters were really relatable and I genuinely really found the humour to be funny. It also made me really want to read more about Keris Stainton in the future!

The Verdict:

Counting Stars balances hard issues with a light tone that makes a really compelling read. 

Have you read Counting Stars? If so, what did you think? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.


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