Counting Down with You was a 2021 release I was excited to read, but just didn’t get to. I think making this Top Ten Tuesday post helped motivate me to actually read these books, and I’m SO glad I finally picked this one up! It was delightful and I enjoyed it so much!
Title: Counting Down with You
Author: Tashie Bhuiyan
Counting Down with You stole my heart. I went into this without too many expectations and the storyline and characters won me over!
Karina is a Bangladeshi Junior in high school and has always done everything her parents have asked and expected of her. She knows they’ve done all they have to make sure she and her brother have a better life in America, but at what cost? Her parents expect Karina to be a doctor, but her true passion is for English.
Her parents go away for four weeks to Bangladesh and with their grandmother watching over her and her younger brother, Karina has a bit more freedom than normal.
Her English teacher asks Karina to tutor the resident bad boy of the school, Ace, and she agrees except he isn’t what she expected at all. And one thing leads to another and he says she’s his girlfriend….ensure the fake dating troupe! Their “fake dating” was a lot of fun because it was clear from early on they both had actual feelings for each other, but with Karina being Bangladeshi and Ace being white, she knows a relationship can never go anywhere….but she’s willing to try anyway.
I love how this book counts down until her parents arrive back home. The chapters are in “T-Minus 28 days” and I found that to be so cute!
Karina’s two best friends really are the best friends anyone could ask for. They were always there for her but let her have her space when she needed it. And they promised to beat up Ace if he ever did anything to hurt Karina, as bff’s should.
Her grandmother is also an amazing person, and I wish I had someone like her in my life! She’s always on Karina’s team and just wants whats best for Karina’s life, not the life her parents want for her. She’s so supportive and wise in her advise giving as well.
Karina also has anxiety and I think it’s shown well throughout this book. That’s just another thing she can’t speak with her parents about, so shes found coping mechanisms online such as counting down from 10 (also fitting with the theme of this book), aromatherapy, and even yoga. She tries various methods throughout the book and Ace even tries to help her at one point – I do think Karina should seek professional help but she does the best she can with the resources shes allowed.
Overall this book stole my heart, it was so sweet and while I as a white person can never fully relate to Karina’s Bangladeshi family and expectations, I sympathized with her and others like her who feel like they need to listen to their parents wishes and put aside their own dreams.
I enjoyed this audio narration, I thought it was well done and easy to listen to! I actually ended up on 3x speed, which I’ve never done before! And it was still easily understandable. I think this is a great audiobook, although I’m sure its good in print as well.
If you’re looking for a sweet and quick read with fake-dating troupe and diverse representation with a brown girl MC, then check out this book!