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Counting Stars Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
A mixture of the movie Clueless and the reality show Southern Charm is the perfect way to describe this book. Wealth, power, expectations and plenty of drama!
Maddison was raised for one thing and one thing only, to keep her family high in society's eye and the money flowing. Ultimately that means finding a suitable, and rich, man to desire her. As much as her southern charm and etiquette is on display in this book, so is her whiny "OMG" valley girl attitude on life. I had to picture her as a puppet and somewhat clueless herself to be able to relate and find her somewhat likeable. Spoon fed "rules" of which high society must love by and that anything else would be popularity suicide.
I had my suspicious throughout the book about Liam and found him one dimensional. The person I related to the most to was Rand. The once shy boy turned into a buff, soft spoken man. His half smiles and gentle touches had my heart doing flips. I wasn't sure what to make of the drama that surrounded him and Maddison, but what I wasn't prepared for was the ending.
Just when things were coming to the light, and what I thought would be Maddison's shining moment, we are brought to an epilogue. I wanted to experience Maddison taking hold of her life and her moment of self reflection and growth. Closure. But I didn't.
Overall, I felt this book was touching at times and certainly had a dramatic flare. An interesting YA read that I recommend to anyone looking for a qlimpse of high society scandal.
4 *WINK* READ
Book Flirts by Jessi
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
At seventeen, tired of always appeasing her demanding parents Madison hatches a plan that could maybe afford her a measure of freedom from her restrictive life with a planned out future – this year she wants to deviate from her usual routine at the end of the year talent show at her prestigious country club. Instead of being the perfect ballerina everyone expects she’s going to sing her heart out and impress the scouts that will be present at the show.
All her plans seem thwarted when her father needs her help to cover up his latest mistake. This favor could not only endanger her plans but also her social standing. Unfortunately, going against his wishes is not an option – he threatens to take away everything she has become accustomed to if she defies him.
Madison doesn’t know it yet but she is at a turning point in her life – will she play the role expected of her or can she break free and make her own way?
While my first impression of Madison was not too good she grew on me fast. She is understandably jaded because of how her parents treat her and her shallowness can be excused with her upbringing. Being treated like a commodity by your own parents can't be easy which lets me forgive and understand some of her more questionable behavior.
With other characters I would be skeptical that she falls in love so quickly but since she is starved for affection from people in her life and experiences real tenderness for the first time, it's no wonder that she falls quickly for the only guy that seems to genuinely care for her.
The social expectations in this story are very well portrayed and made my heart ache for Madison on many occasions. I was horrified at what her parents put her through and how her mother ran her whole life and invaded her privacy at every turn. Her life wasn’t really her own and she was pushed around like a puppet most of the time. I could really empathize with Madison even though I probably wouldn’t like her in the real world. Her meeting with Rand’s sister was touching and seemed to put her own situation into perspective for her.
Having said that, I expected much more of this book. The premise had real potential that was never realized. The storyline about Madison’s passion for singing was abandoned pretty quickly even though form the blurb I thought it was going to be a major plot point. Liam could have been a much more complex character and even an ally to Madison if his story was explored in more detail sooner in the book. Madison’s best friend was pretty two-dimensional, also. Generally, I expected more dialogue with Rand and more reflection on her social circle and more contrasting between his world and her world. The story had a nice twist at the end but was wrapped up too quickly in a short epilogue without the anticipated showdowns with Madison’s parents or Rand.
So, while entertaining at times, and heartbreaking at others Counting Stars felt unfinished and left me feeling like there was something missing at the end.
I received an advance reading copy through NetGalley.
I will say this was a fun and interesting book to read. I felt it was a quick read and was all in Madison’s POV. She is trying to find herself and has stuff to deal with like most 17 year olds. Part of me wants to say there needed to be more emotional drama but then again, maybe this is how Madison’s drama is. I am thinking that Madison really isn’t capable of more drama in her shelter life. I think that if there was too much drama, it could have just dragged out the story and could have lost interest. I guess what I am saying since it was all in Madison’s POV this book is good. Could have been interesting to have also read from the two guys in the stories their POV but that still didn’t take away from this story. I am giving it 5 stars because I loved reading this book and even though there is was more potential this story still has enough for me to totally enjoy it. I also thought the ending was great.
I want to thank NetGalley and Book Enthusiastic for a copy of this book to review for an honest Opinion. I received a free copy of a book in exchange for an honest review
Let me start by saying that the author's writing is very good. I could feel the emotions coming through the characters during all situations. So, well done.
On the other hand the main character Madison is really hard to like. I understand the she was raised with a lot of money and that her behavior is typical for a girl raised in her situation. An accomplished dancer, dutiful daughter, queen bee of her school and town, the eye of the most popular guy at their private school, she has everything going for her. However, she dreams of another life. She wants to be a singer, to get away from her abusive parents and their scheming to marry her off into 'older money than theirs'. A good premise for a story and character build up.
After her dad runs a girl off the road during a drunk driving episode, that nearly kills the girl, Madison is forced to help brush the incident under the rug by helping the girl's brother, Rand, at the end of the year competition. A deal her father worked out with the other girl's father. Her parents force the issue and when she argues, they physically abuse her. She tells them she will help but on her terms. So she figures that if she pays off Rand or sleeps with him, she can get him to go away and she can do the competition by herself. When she goes to offer the proposition to Rand, she is stands there thinking the whole time that she is going to need a massage and a bath and a full body scrub because she cannot believe that she has to be in the presence of a mechanic and that he is so dirty and disgusting. But thank god she wore her sexy bra and panties cause no man resist them. Or her for that matter. And if the Lights are low she won't notice that he is all dirty and covered in grease. When he refuses her advances, she is pissed because HE refused HER even though she didn't want to sleep with him to begin with. She is like this through the whole book. One minute you want to cheer for her and the next you want to slap her for being so pompous She is too high and mighty in a lot of situations and down to earth other times. It was a bit confusing at times and I was left scratching my head.
We learn a lot about her character and her background throughout the book. Like that her parents basically whore her out to their cronies sons to be arm candy and have sex with them at the end of the arrangement that her parents set up. And if she doesn't, her mom will slap her or her dad will cut her off from her trust fund money.
Throughout all this, she is trying to win the hand of Liam (the prince charming of her school and her rich society) who is a complete ass to her but charming at the same time, while discovering there is more the Rand than she first thought.
It was just a little too much for me.