Review: Counting Flowers by Beth Andrews

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Foreword PR & Marketing.

Counting Flowers is a young adult (YA) novel and my first-ever read from Beth Andrews. This isn't your typical romance between teenagers. There IS a romance, but at its very core, this book is about Natalie Hewitt, a teenager who on the outside is the perfect girl. She's the ideal daughter, student, friend, and girlfriend, but underneath that veneer of perfection, behind that practiced smile is someone who struggles to keep it all together. She has her rituals--a series of things that she needs to do in order to get on with her day, to make sure that everything is as it should be. What starts with waking up five minutes before her alarm goes off and listening to the same artist before she gets out of bed and then counting the eighty-three flowers on her bedroom wall spirals into more and more rituals and habit until it consumes her and everything comes tumbling down. From her best friend distancing herself to her boyfriend not trusting her, Natalie is barely hanging on her normalcy. When she agrees to tutor Owen Radlowski--the very boy her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him with--her world as she knows it changes.

This was a read that gave me something to ponder on, and I appreciated that the author made this more than "just" a story about young love and the usual coming of age tale. Natalie is a girl who seems totally put-together yet she has her struggles beneath the facade. I liked that mental health was a cornerstone of this story and the love story was weaved rather nicely into it. There was no sugarcoating or playing down of what Natalie was going through in her head. Then there was Owen who was clearly a standout compared to Natalie's boyfriend, and I liked how he seemed to have a better understanding of Natalie because he saw beyond what she was putting out into the world. Beth Andrews's writing was impressive and I liked the overall flow of the story. However, the ending did feel somewhat open-ended. A quick check on Goodreads led me to Andrews explaining that there is, indeed, a sequel and that said sequel was originally supposed to be the first and only release but Natalie had a story to tell and there you have it. Fingers crossed book two will wrap everything up succinctly. Four stars for Counting Flowers. ♥

Date Read: 26 May 2019

Learn more about Beth Andrews.

Purchase Counting Flowers on Amazon.


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