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Counting Backwards

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  530 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
In this haunting and hopeful debut novel, a teen’s court-mandated psychiatric residency prompts a change in perspective from which there is no looking back.

Taylor Truwell is a sixteen-year-old girl from Florida with a troubled past, a neglectful mother, a seemingly callous father, and an urge to flee. When Taylor is caught with a stolen car, her reaction lands her in court
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published August 14th 2012)
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Kasia K. Well... I'm not sure but, from the description it sounds like something 15+ and if you mean in what genre then I'd have to say realistic fiction....
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Jul 16, 2013 Nafiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
It is important, especially after the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, to take a careful look at the way mental illness is portrayed in popular media and literature. There is a stigma attached to mental illness and shrinks are almost always accompanied by an eye roll and a moue of disbelief in their capability to help. I found Counting Backwards to be really refreshing in its approach to mental illness or, if not illness, a disorder perhaps. An inability to work through your emotions and ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Gia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. A realistic fiction.

It showed a MC with tragic life. How miserably she suffered. The book portrayed effect of one's parents have on him/her.
The story tells us about Taylor's suffering due to her parents. Thus, it lead to her committing a crime. Eventually she ends up in psychiatric facility where she faces problems too. She's not ready to change herself and her attitude. The story continues her struggle to get out then being betrayed.
I always felt that in books as suc
Sep 17, 2012 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The somber cover, the serious summary, even the title that conjures up hints of some ambiguous psychiatric disorder, all the signs point to Counting Backyards being a serious look at one girl’s stint in rehab. And it is, but don’t think for a second this is some depressing book that has its characters spewing a lifetime of regrets, failures, and issues in group therapy, Laura Lascarso’s debut is actually a surprisingly quirky and sometimes more than a little silly look at how to survive a behavi ...more
When Taylor gets caught stealing a car to escape from her alcoholic mother and the panic attacks she gets, she is sent to a center in order to recover and also to complete her probation time. Taylor is angry with her parents, hates being at the center, and is determined to use any means necessary in order to escape.

After various attempts (which, by the way, was really fun to see her planning) and a refusal to participate in various aspects including therapy and school, Taylor starts to make fri
Book Sushi
It took me a while to pick this one up from my TBR pile. Why i waited so long to read this, I dont know.

I really enjoyed this book. It was similar to "Girl Interrupted" The characters all had growth and it kept you interested. It starts off with Taylor being sent to Sunny Medows, which is half boarding school, half psychiatric ward. Upon her arrival she meets Margo, has run ins with the "Latina Queens" and has mysterious late night meetings in the dark with a guy. I really liked Taylor, she was
Mar 13, 2016 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Grade: C-

One Word Description: Unremarkable.

After stealing a car, Taylor is sent to a juvenile therapeutic facility. She's angry, wearing her bad attitude on her forehead, intent on running the first change she gets.

Pained by her mother's alcoholism and father's coldness, Taylor is a difficult protagonist to embrace. She has almost no regard for her teachers, peers and parents. Lying comes easier than telling the truth. She wants what she wants and doesn't consider the impact of her behavior on
Counting Backwards, by Laura Lascarso, was a touching novel about the complications of discovering oneself. The protagonist of Lascarso's debut finds it difficult to let go of her anger and trust anyone but herself, but she eventually realizes what it means to love and be loved.

Taylor is a 16 year old who is angry with the world. She's angry with her father, for leaving her mother, she's angry with her mother, an alcoholic, and she's angry that she's ended up in Sunny Meadows, a juvenile psychi
Aug 30, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I graciously received a copy from Simon & Schuster, so big shout-out to them! Thank you!

Before I began to read this, I was a tad wary. I'm not sure why; it just was how I felt after reading the summary and examining the cover (I'm not a huge fan of covers with faces [or girls in dresses] but this just had something...more...maybe the 3-D effect my sister said when she saw it). Anyway, going on. I finished Counting Backwards within a day, I was that hooked from start to finish.

Nov 27, 2013 Wisteriouswoman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many teen books these days make me think just about anyone can publish. But this book definitely feels like the author has some maturity as a writer and also hired an editor. There is a certain cleanness to the writing style.

This isn't anything like the other books I've read about youth lock-up facilities. She doesn't get away with running. And the author shows us the best world of therapy--no one in the book is an icky psychiatrist or cruel beyond belief security guard. You do really get th
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
You've seen that cover and thought to yourself, "What is wrong with that girl?" I thought the same thing and that is exactly why I wanted to read this book. We meet Taylor as she is checking into a psychiatric facility after a failed runaway attempt. As you can guess, Taylor isn't too thrilled about being there. Even though she was absolutely miserable living with her alcoholic mother, home was better than this place. She gets on the wrong side of some female patients and just when she is at her ...more
Paula HGZ
Jul 05, 2013 Paula HGZ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is sweet and kind of deep because you get to identify with the MC so profoundly you feel very conflicted because you see what the MC does and you know that's wrong, but you also know that if you were in the MC's place, you would do the same thing...

Counting Backwards is about letting go. It's about knowing some things are screwed up but there is nothing you can do, so you have to let go of your anger, of your sadness and of your conflicted feelings because you're not getting anywhere.
MeMe Belikova First lady Ivashkov


Counting backwards tells the story of a misunderstood sixteen year old named Taylor Truewell, who is mistaken as a 'Troubled Teen.' Her mother is a drunk and a disconnected father who is the main reason why she was sent to Sunny Meadows after Taylor has runaway from home in a stolen car. Sunny Meadows is a maximum security facility where patience receive intensive psychiatric care and Taylor soon discovers it is not what it seems and is determined to f
Sep 24, 2013 Lectus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso Summary onGoodReads.Firstly, the cover doesn’t go with the content of the book. They should’ve put an angry girl on it, because that is what Taylor is, angry all the time. She has to spend time at this special boarding school --- read juvenile psychiatric correctional facility, after being arrested for stealing a car and trying to run away.
Annoying, heated and fuming Taylor is angry, well, at her parents – mostly - and nothing that it is said to her goes thro
Lisseth (Read-a-holicZ)
**Originally HERE on Read-A-holicZ**

"This book was such an emotional ride, full of love, forgiveness, and finding out how to change & discover one's true self. I was COMPLETELY immersed in the book, it IS one of my FAVORITE YA contemporary debuts of this year!"

From the above praise, you know that I LOVED this book! I am always looking for those YA contemporary books that really attract me & can capture my attention, and this book did that from the start. The Summary in itself made me WAN
*A copy was provided by Atheneum for review purposes*

I’ve been on a contemporary run these past few weeks, and this is yet another one to add to the list. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book is sad, sad, sad. But it was still a good idea, and I loved how Lascarso wrote it very well. The story line was great, and the staging for the escape was really good too. I loved that Lascarso didn’t make it too easy and the events just came together perfectly. I always love happy endings, and this one was cer
Aug 17, 2012 Rabiah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc, blog-tour
Originally posted at:

I had been itching to start this one the moment I got home from vacation, and finally having to for the blog tour, I managed to read this in two sittings: before going to sleep and the first thing I did when I woke up. It was seriously that good. Counting Backwards is exactly what it says it is: an enrapturing novel about Taylor's challenge to find herself, love and come to terms with the people who surround her. Laura Lascarso's writ
Sep 13, 2012 Isamlq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I’m not a person to them; I’m a problem that needs fixing. And there’s nothing wrong with me.”

For a tale of girl on self-destruct, COUNTING BACKWARDS went quickly… yet somehow also almost too neatly. It’s this last that could explain my lukewarm reception I have for it. I’d have loved it to be messier; I’d have been more than interested were Taylor less 1-2-3. She and her life certainly were all that at first, but there’s actually only one moment that had me chest-clutching because it was s
Nov 19, 2013 jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: im-not-crazy
Having gotten into several books with recovery themed plots, I was really looking forward to reading this. The cover art was gorgeous, which is also why I was interested in it.

Taylor is someone who can be incredibly annoying sometimes. Several times reading the book I wanted to step in and scream at her for letting the Latina Queens get away with things, but then again sometimes I thought she was doing exactly the right thing. She's complicated, that's for sure.

The characters in general were i
Jan 05, 2013 Kimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one that I borrowed from the library before Christmas, but kept putting off reading because there were other books I wanted to read first. Well, I finally got around to reading this, and it turned out to be a very quick read – I finished it in two sittings.

Here is the summary from the Kobo store:

Taylor Truwell is a sixteen-year-old girl from Florida with a troubled past, a neglectful mother, a seemingly callous father, and an urge to flee. When Taylor is caught with a stolen car, her v
I am so glad I had the opportunity to read Counting Backwards. Lascarso does a masterful job of capturing the twisting and changing nature of people and she digs deep into all that Taylor was, is, and wants to be. Often it isn't pretty and it can be extremely frustrating watching Taylor ruin things for herself again and again. But ultimately, this is a story of redemption and hope, and it is definitely worth the time and will leave you thinking well after the last page.


Find my full review
Apr 28, 2015 Brianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I have to say that at first I was unsure on if this was a book I would actually be able to read. After page one I found that I wasn't able to put it down. Taylor is a character that I found easy to relate to, especially when it comes to emotionally relating. When I was in my early teen I found myself in the same emotional state and I am amazed at how well the author portrays these feelings. I was brought back in time and thrown into this role. In one part, the emotion was so real I almost felt l ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 10, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taylor Truwell has a neglectful, drunk mother and a callous father who left her mother. Taylor is also part Seminole. She tried to run away but caught. In the process of running away she stole a car and ended up being paroled to the custody of the Sunny Meadows Theraputic Boarding School.
She meets Kalya who is an intern-in-residence and Margo, her peer intervention helper. She meets Charlotte who is a patient what screams when Margo enters her room. She also learns about the safeties who are pr
Aug 26, 2014 881 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, the characters were realistic and although the story is fast paced it was satisfying and whole. I loved the morals of the story and the overall concept of being honest with oneself in order to heal. I liked the romance since it was realistic and because it was not the main point of the story.
Jan 25, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you are 16, and have hit rock bottom. Arrested for grand theft auto, parents separated, living with Mom who's an alcoholic, how does one cope? An insightful rendering of a girls journey through a juvenile rehabilitation facility for troubled teens. The story deals with modern day dilemmas of goring up in current times. A good read and well done.
Sarah Ahiers
Jul 08, 2015 Sarah Ahiers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Won this Arc in an auction and was excited to give this a go.
Good read. I'd call it a YA Version of Girl, Interrupted. Nothing too unexpected in the plot, but the characters were great and I found myself getting choked up a bit at the end.
Jun 21, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is well crafted, thoughtful and complete. Each sentence is a pearl, the story a beautiful necklace. Lovely, layered and real.
Sep 23, 2013 Nance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong character driven novel about the power of letting oneself heal.
Wells Margo
Dec 07, 2013 Wells Margo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a really good book! I wish there was a second one...
Suzan Alteri
Oct 30, 2013 Suzan Alteri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read about anger, coming-of-age, and mental illness.
Oct 15, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A YA novel not just for teens, this book was a nice, easy read.
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COUNTING BACKWARDS is Laura Lascarso’s debut novel released by Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) in August 2012. She lives in in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, three chickens and a dog named Lucy.
More about Laura Lascarso...

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“I exhale slowly, ten, nine, eight... counting backwards without meaning to, but it feels better than counting up, because at one it will be over, right?” 6 likes
“...You're worried that you're going to go out of here and mess up your lines or trip on your high heels, but you're not. You're going to blow them away, just like you always do. You're a woman who knows what she wants, and you know how to get it. You're going to be the most, Margo, to say the least.” 4 likes
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