Number of pages: 216
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 3
Release Date: August 14th 2017
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.
I’m going to do an updated review for Counting Wolves once I get my hands on a finished copy and find the time to read it, because I think this one deserves a second chance. I think the reason this is only getting 3 stars is mainly because I kept expecting it to be something it wasn’t. The synopsis on Goodreads makes it sound like a fairy tale retelling adventure type book, and the first few chapters make it seem like something it’s not.
Let’s get this out of the way; this is a mental illness book, plain and simple. That is not a spoiler. If that is intended to be a spoiler, I will think twice about supporting this author. I’m not going to share with you what Milly’s mental illness is, not because it would spoil the book for you, but because it’s really not necessary for me to do so, and I cannot speak to the accuracy of the portrayal. However, as a person with depression, I can say that the character with depression was well done based on my experience with the illness. I cannot speak on the representation of OCD, PTSD, or bipolar disorder (I am also going off what is stated in the book for the diagnosis of the characters).
The first chapter opens with a scene in a high school that is frankly over-described. Within the chapter, it seems like the author is trying to set a fairy tale esque tone for the novel, but this dies after the first few chapters. This is where my perception of what I thought the book was trying to do got in the way. I thought the fairy tales would have more meaning than they did, especially the ones thrown in along with commentary from Milly on the moral of the tale, leading to confusion on my end. Some of the tales included simply did not need to be there.
From what I remember of being 15, Milly as a character was well done. At times her voice was young, while at other times she was fairly mature. She also makes mistakes and experiences a lot of growth in Counting Wolves.
Overall, while it almost made me emotional a few times, my perception of what Counting Wolves was about made the novel less enjoyable, earning it 3 stars out of 5. I will give it another try at some point in the future.