• Booktastically Amazing

Counting Down With You

by Tashie Bhuiyan

Spoiler-Free Synopsis:

In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, 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?

Okay, I'm conflicted. Like, it was good? But also, lackluster? But still, good? But it didn't live up? (Honestly, though, my expectations have been insanely UP THERE. So I don't blame it. Alright, I do, only a little)

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 3.8

~Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!~

Why in the crappy world, am I always disappointing when my expectations were like, monumentally high? (right, because I only have one working brain cell, and it is currently drunk on singleness) And by monumentally high, I mean, up there with Cardan and my other 5676 husbands which have no idea that I exist. Or that I'm real, period. Because they aren't real- Okay, moving on. Let's start this ARC review by saying that there are going to be no spoilers involved. Apart from, you know, the basic ones. *laughs in 'gosh I am so smart'*

*turns up 'Singin' in the Rain'*


The main thing that absolutely annihilated any possible reason for me loving this book was...

HAHAHAHAHA, The romance

Wow, such a mysterious thing to experience.

First, it was annoying. Second, beyond cheesy. Third, why the heck did it even exist???

I legit felt like it was against me. And them. Also, Karina, even though the guy annoys me half to death, YOU NEED TO STOP STRINGING HIM ALONG. WHY? WELL, BECAUSE WHO WOULD'VE GUESSED THE GUY HAD FEELINGS.

*intense coughing fit* The love interest

Can y'all see where I'm going here? He was...well you see....he was very... the thing is...yeah.

One of the things I was insanely craving for in this book, was the bad boy romantic aspect. (a moment of silence for all those who don't like the trope) Is it predictable? Yes. Does it include the uber ~baddish~ leather jacket which somehow represents rebellious nature without ever doing anything? *gasp* How did you know? Does it encompass a cigarette in hand, a beat up car, and a tattoo? Woah, creative.

But SUE me, for wanting all of that. I need gasoline for my dreams, okay? Okay. We understand each other. Also, the hate to romance. I was misguided. The synopsis click baited me. That trope and I are tight. (oh, did I forget to mention that all bad boys somehow share the same vocabulary? Ha ha, silly me)

I realize I'm ranting against said trope that I said I loved, but that is ingrained in my nature.


The Characters~

Let's divide this further, shall we? (look at me using words like 'further' I need food)

Karina (main character) _ComplicatedRebel89@_

She was so very sweet.

And so very annoying.

Okay, give me a sec to explain.

The reason why I considered her to be annoying, was her inability to stand for herself. In any circumstance. Like, at all. And I completely understand her anxious behaviors and the pressure instilled by her family to be prefect. I do. I just wish that even sometimes, concerning HER feelings. Not of anything like studies or her career (which her parents wanted to have a say in) just HER emotions towards the love interest. That's what sincerely almsot made me drop the book.


Her: "Well, you see, I care for you [insert love interest name] but we can't"

The guy: (I keep referring to him as 'guy' even though I know his name is Ace. Don't even know why...oh! Because I don't like him) "I have loved you for such a short time, but I feel like we can be together forever"

Me: WHAT. WHY. UM....WHAT???

So yes, that frustrated me JUST a bit. (but to be honest, they had 28 days to fall in love, I can't fault them for being overridden by their need to meet the deadline)

The Grandmother (I sincerely don't remember her name)_QUEEN869$_

We'll refer to her as theonewhoinitiallysavedthisforme

She was the kindest most fierce lady I have ever had the privilege of reading about. And because I don't want to spoil, I'll just say that: When you feel like putting this book down, probably keep on going just for the opportunity to see her bash in some skulls with word only insults.

*chef's kiss* BOOTIFUL

The parents _YouMustBeaDoctor^#_

You see this hand? Imagine it across your face. Multiple times. Repeatedly.

*muttering* I hate people who are like that. Just hate them, gosh darn it.

The little brother _RealisticGuy@45_

He was super adorable, albeit got on my nerves. It was not his fault though. So I can forgive. Okay yeah, it MIGHT'VE been his fault.

The Friend Squad _#GOALS_

This was one of the few things that I truly absolutely loved in this book. Seriously, there is no way I couldn't have.

The girls were honest, the diversity was *sniffling* it was simply gorgeous. And FINALLY a book in which no friends backstab each other. WoW, such a MiRaClE.


Guyssss *giggle giggle* he bought her books.... he was saved from my wrath by simply doing that. Still don't like him, though.

And the fake dating. Gosh, I am a sucker for that trope.


The fact that I wrote this entire thing without majorly spoiling anything, is an act worthy of Hercules coming down from his pedestal among the gods and giving me a free passage to Olympus.

The book was good, not great. But good. Was entertaining. I cried a bit (internally). My feelings were slightly touched. My swoon-o-meter was nowhere to be found, sadly. *sigh* I think it was mostly my fault. High expectations and such.

I truly recommend this book to people who want something less 'fun and sparkles' which is seen quite a bit in YA rom coms , fake dating trope lovers (ahem, such as I) and who are in the mood for something short, pungent, and realistic (minus the love part, of course).