Monday, 31 August 2015

Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

Big city, big dreams, no money, no problem...

Six 'friends', one flat, big dreams... what could go wrong? When eighteen-year-old Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is finally beginning. She's landed her dream job at a theatre, and she's moving into an exciting (if not slightly run-down) flat on a buzzing street lined with shops, bars, and buskers. Best of all, her new flatmates are kind, welcoming and a lot of fun - what more could she ask for?

But although her new life is fun, it's also a little overwhelming. Anna's job quickly falls through, and then she realises that although her new friends are great, they're also a little mixed-up... and it's not long before Anna starts using her blog to talk about her experiences, from the hilarious to the ridiculous to the little-bit-scary. But when Anna spills a bigger secret than she can handle, suddenly the consequences are all too real. She'll have to prove she has the mettle to make it in the big city, or risk losing everything she thinks she wants.

I was so impressed with Keris' latest novel, it was funny and raw and heartfelt and so well balanced. It tells of Anna moving to Liverpool, moving out of her childhood home and starting an exciting new job in the big city. However, things aren't that great; her job isn't there waiting for her anymore due to hiring freeze, she's terribly homesick and embarrassed and so annoyed. Not that I blame her, her perfect new start was pulled out from under her feet. But Anna does an admirably job of taking life's lemons and all that.

It was such a great coming of age novel, as Anna is out in the grown up world for the first time and navigating brand new friendships and relationships. Speaking of, straight from the offset, it was very honest in its portrayal of adult relationships, and very funny too, banishing those silly myths of perfect love. Right from the new house-mate dinner where they shared stories of embarrassing first times, I knew Keris would be brutally honest about love and sex. And I loved that!

The variety of characters, all the house-mates, was amazing. They all seemed like their own person, with histories and complications and as Anna got to know them all, we saw more to them than meets the eye. Anna finds her place in her new home, becomes stronger and more confident in herself and her capabilities, and makes some true friends. A brilliant story about growing up, love and first times, and trusting yourself. 

Published 3rd September 2015 by Hot Key Books. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment