Review: Counting Down with You

Title: Counting Down with You
Author: Tashie Bhuiyan
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: 464 pages
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Review copy: Library
Availability: Available now!

Summary: A reserved Bangladeshi 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? [Image and summary via Goodreads]

Review: Usually, I get my book recs through endless Twitter scrolling and the occasional #aesthetic Bookstagram pic, but recently I’ve found myself picking up books thanks to BookTok — Gen Z has impeccable taste! I read These Violent Delights, which of course I loved. And I knew I had to get ahold of Counting Down With You.

After staying up past midnight several days in a row to read Counting Down With You, I can confidently say that it rocks. Counting Down With You really captures what I love about YA — nuanced representation, group chats that are absolutely thriving, and swoonworthy romance. It was just so much fun to read, and I found myself clutching at my heart more than once.

The book isn’t without its serious moments — Karina’s relationship with her Bangladeshi parents is fraught but all too familiar if you’re the child of immigrant parents. But these complicated family dynamics are explored carefully, and for readers who can relate, they will almost certainly feel seen — I certainly did.

TL;DR: Counting Down With You is the perfect summer (or spring, winter, fall) read if you need a pick-me-up. BookTok is right — buy it now!

Recommendation: Buy it now!