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Counting Down with You
Cover of Counting Down with You
Counting Down with You
"A witty, romantic, deeply insightful debut." —Emma Lord, author of Tweet CuteIn this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi-American teenager has twenty-eight days to make the...
"A witty, romantic, deeply insightful debut." —Emma Lord, author of Tweet CuteIn this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi-American teenager has twenty-eight days to make the...
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  • "A witty, romantic, deeply insightful debut." —Emma Lord, author of Tweet Cute
    In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi-American teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school's resident bad boy.
    How do you make one month last a lifetime?

    Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents' rules—even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.
    Karina is my girlfriend.
    Tutoring the school's resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right—he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can't help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.
    T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal—but what if Karina no longer wants it to?
    "I. Love. This. Book." —Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of Anger Is a Gift and Each of Us a Desert
    "A must-have addition to any YA bookshelf." —Sabina Khan, author of Zara Hossain Is Here and The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
    "Hand to fans of Netflix hit Never Have I Ever." —Booklist

About the Author-

  • Tashie Bhuiyan is the author of Counting Down with You and a New Yorker through and through. She recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and hopes to change the world, one book at a time. She loves writing stories about girls with wild hearts, boys who wear rings, and gaining agency through growth. When she's not doing that, she can be found in a Chipotle or bookstore, insisting 2010 is the best year in cinematic history. (Read: Tangled and Inception.)

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from January 1, 2021

    Gr 8 Up-High school junior Karina Ahmed always puts others' needs before her own. She attends Pre-Med Society to please her traditional Bangladeshi Muslim parents, even though she'd rather study English at Columbia than become a doctor. When her parents leave for a month to visit family, Karina gets a much-needed break from their strict expectations. Then her English teacher asks her to tutor mysterious bad boy Ace Clyde. After a rough start, they begin to open up to each other-first as friends, and then as something more. As sparks fly, Karina realizes she might not be the only one hiding her true self under the surface. But as the days tick closer to her parents' return, Karina's newfound freedom feels too good to last. With support from Ace, her two best friends, and her grandmother, Karina must decide if she has the courage to face her parents and fight for the future she chooses. Despite its familiar premise, this #OwnVoices novel shines with its strong focus on family and its depiction of a healthy teen relationship. Karina's gradual understanding of her parents and their decisions is thoroughly explored. Karina struggles with anxiety but keeps it from her family; Ace is white and affluent; side characters are diverse in race and sexuality. VERDICT Filled with tender moments and subtle humor, this well-paced gem will have readers rooting for Karina and Ace as they stand up for themselves and for each other. A must-purchase for all teen collections.-Erica Ruscio, Ventress Memorial Lib., Marshfield, MA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2021
    Sixteen-year-old Bangladeshi American Karina Ahmed lives by a different set of rules than all of her friends. Her Muslim parents insist that she go to medical school even though Karina would prefer to major in English--and they're planning to arrange her marriage. Although she chafes against their restrictions, Karina is also terrified of disappointing her parents, a situation that has led her to a self-diagnosis of anxiety. Karina always assumed she would bend to her parents' expectations until two events converge: Her parents leave for Bangladesh for a month and her English teacher asks her to tutor White student Alistair "Ace" Clyde, the school's notorious bad boy. At first, Ace does little to endear himself to Karina: He doesn't take studying seriously, and he announces to his parents that they are in a relationship without asking Karina's consent. But as the two get to know each other, they start to realize that they have more in common than they thought. As their friendship deepens into a romance, and as her parents' return grows closer, Karina must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to satisfy them. Karina's experiences are raw and conveyed empathetically, encompassing as they do real issues of gender inequality in South Asian communities. While the narratorial voice is strong, exposition explaining scenes that already shine with depth and meaning slows down what would otherwise be an action-packed plot. A promising and insightful romance. (Romance. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2021
    Grades 8-11 Sixteen-year-old Karina Ahmed can always be counted on: her strict Bangladeshi parents can count on her following their med school plans, her friends can count on her support, and her English teacher can count on her tutoring school heartthrob Ace Clyde. When he convinces Karina to disguise their sessions as fake dating--which eventually evolves into real feelings--Karina's anxiety spikes. But with her parents in Bangladesh for a month, she finally has time to consider what she wants and if Ace fits into that future. This "love letter to young brown girls" explores a topic that can be taboo in desi culture: anxiety. Bhuiyan guides Karina through it with care, exploring multiple coping methods and surrounding her with sympathetic friends. A sore spot lies in Karina's dismissal of her own family's traditional views and other small jabs, like characterizing Bangladeshi food as "strange," ultimately making her heritage one of the obstacles she has to surmount. Still, many will relate to straining against parental expectations and cultural double standards between genders. Hand to fans of Netflix hit Never Have I Ever.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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