The Counting Downers ARC Review -- Render Me Speechless

The Counting Downers | A.J Compton
Release Date: July 24th, 2015
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 342
Edition: E-ARC
Source: INKslinger PR

Imagine if we could see how long everyone around us had left to live. But we weren’t allowed to know our own numbers…
Trying to make sense of life after the death of her beloved father, free spirit Matilda Evans meets Tristan Isaacs and discovers a marrow-deep connection with him.
No stranger to grief himself, lonely artist Tristan is in awe of Matilda’s fun and philosophical approach to life. With every second spent in her presence, he finds his views on life and loss changing, and begins to embrace the beauty of being alive.
As their friendship turns into something deeper, lessons are learned, memories are made, and legacies are created.
But with both of them knowing how long their soulmate has left in this lifetime, important questions have to be asked and tough decisions have to be made before time runs out.
The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

It's been a very, very long time since I've read a book that has forced me to not only THINK, but to FEEL on this type of level. It's been an even longer time since I've read a new adult novel that packed so much meaning, so many powerful messages that can be used outside of our fictional lives. Learn to appreciate the people around you, cherish the time you have on this earth, and always remember that time waits for no one, no matter how long you try to grasp each second . . . 

27 Years, 8 Months, 16 days, 17 hours, 34 Minutes, 59 Seconds

Can you imagine living in a world where you know the lifespan of everyone around you? Can you sit across from your mother or father, best friend or husband, and know that in days, months, or even years, they'll no longer be on this earth with you? I thought long and hard about this while I was reading, and while it would be . . . cool? Okay no that's not fitting . . informative maybe, to see exactly when someone's going to pass away, it's also terrifying as hell. What's even more jarring, is that while there's a digital clock floating over your head, it's visible to everyone with the exception of you. So no, you don't know when you're going to die, you can't tell anyone when they'll go, and no one is allowed to tell you. 

" Time waits for no man, and answers to no one. Time is kind of an asshole. "
You ain't lying about that girl. 

The Counting Downers is a dual-perspective novel told through the eyes of our two main characters, Matilda and Tristan. Instead of engulfing themselves in the pain of losing their loved ones, (Matilda's dad & Tristan's grandfather) they used that feeling of despair and hopelessness, and evolved into two of the most amazingly goodhearted people I've ever read in my life.

If there was ever a near perfect couple, (a good and bad thing for me) it would most certainly be them. One thing that I appreciated, was while they met rather quickly, the time span between when they met and actually became friends was a whole 2 years! This made the story THAT more realistic, because come on, how likely is it that you'll just immediately start being friends with a total stranger. Take notes authors!

With time being used as the core concept of this novel, it allowed everything to be so . . . deep. The writing, characters, and plot were crafted so cleverly and quite dramatic, allowing you to not only connect with the characters and their story, but to actually CARE about them as well. One of my favorite aspects of this book, is when Matilda came up with the idea to make the " Legacy List. " Don't expect to see " Eat 100 pieces of sushi " or " Go sky-diving . . . naked. " Since in this world life is nothing but sand being slowly sprinkled from someone's palm, the list contains meaningful tasks, showcasing just how compassionate our characters are.  

" Time is of the essence "

Thinking back on my experience, there were two minor issues I had with the story. First, with such poetic writing comes the problem with some passages being too over-descriptive. This of course can be a good and or bad thing for some, for me it was a little of both. It showed the author can write her ass off, but it also proved that having a novel with that type of prose, can easily become draggy. After a couple of chapters I was able to get used to it, and the story began to flow freely with no hiccups.

Another thing that peeved me more than I would've liked, was that the characters were too perfect. I know, I know, what a way to sound hypocritical, but I feel if things didn't go so well ALL THE TIME for Matilda & Tristan, the big plot twist at the end would've had such a harder impact! It's like I knew everything would work out regardless, so that very scene were things were supposed to be intense, didn't connect with me emotionally. It was nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing for these love birds. I just wish it were more of a frightening rollercoaster, and not a nice walk though the park.

The Counting Downers was beyond a fantastic read, proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the new adult genre. The writing is stunning, the characters (even the secondaries) are wholesome and full of so much  life, and the plot was spun into a beautiful tale of riding life until the wheels fall off. Please do not pass this up, it's worth every bit of praise it receives.

Live True . Live Deep . Live Free .

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