Review Blog

Nov 10 2015

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

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Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404634
(Age: Adult) Anna is eighteen and desperate to leave home and begin her life. Her passion is to work in the theatre. While on work experience she is offered a job in Liverpool and decides to take the plunge and move there.
She shares a flat with characters who are also finding their way as young adults. Each character has an intricate and moving story, told well. The characters are well drawn and have the reader at turns sympathising and cringing in embarrassment.
An underlying and important element of this story explores the ethics and dangers of chronicling your life (and the lives of others) using social media. Anna's very public diary is her way of making sense of her maturing world, and she soon comes to find there are consequences for her and those she reveals through her vlog.
This is a book about romantic relationships. It sensitively explores the tricky issues of sexual harassment, inappropriate relationships, abusive relationships and gay relationships. It is, however, the explicit descriptions of the more intimate scenes in these relationships that moves this book into the adult range. This is unfortunate as the story holds much for, and is well suited to, the young adult reader.
Linda Guthrie

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