Genres: Contemporary Romance
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The stunningly poignant and life-affirming debut novel by A.J. Compton
Imagine if we could see how long everyone around us had left to live. But we werenÔÇÖt allowed to know our own numbersÔÇª
Trying to make sense of life after the death of her beloved father, free spirit Matilda Evans meets Tristan Isaacs and discovers a marrow-deep connection with him.
No stranger to grief himself, lonely artist Tristan is in awe of MatildaÔÇÖs fun and philosophical approach to life. With every second spent in her presence, he finds his views on life and loss changing, and begins to embrace the beauty of being alive.
As their friendship turns into something deeper, lessons are learned, memories are made, and legacies are created.
But with both of them knowing how long their soulmate has left in this lifetime, important questions have to be asked and tough decisions have to be made before time runs out.
The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.
There are books that entertain the reader. Books that take us on a journey, take us away from daily life. And then there are the books that do all of the above but also touch something within us. They speak to our soul, resonate with us on a level that’s hard to put into words.
“The Counting-Downers” by A.J. Compton was such a book for me. It touched me deeply, made me think and feel so incredibly much. There was so much power and beauty in Compton’s words, that I wept throughout most of the book. And it was worth every single one of my tears.
In my adult life, I’ve read many self-help books about seizing the moment, about living in the now. None of them were as on point as this book, despite the fact that “The Counting-Downers” is a romance, fiction. Yet it’s thought-provoking and full of life-lessons. It’s the type of book that made me feel like the author could look straight into my mind and heart and see the things that occupy my thoughts. She’s given answers to questions she doesn’t even know I asked. Advice to things I’ve lately have been thinking about a lot.
But “The Counting-Downers” is so much more than that. It is a story about being true to yourself and about growing. It’s a story about love and passion. A story about letting go and facing your fears. And it’s a story about two people who are imperfectly perfect-individually and as a couple.
It’s the story of Matilda and Tristan-two halves of one soul.
They live in a world where everyone can see a countdown above every person’s head-telling them how long that person has left to live. They know when everyone they care about will die, but they aren’t allowed to know their own number.
After Matilda loses her father, she struggles to put all his teachings into practice and to enjoy and cherish every moment. But she’s hell-bent on doing so; on living her life with no regrets. Tristan quickly becomes a vital part of that life. Their first meeting left a lasting impression on them both and when they meet again, it’s clear they belong together – as friends, lovers and soul mates. And it’s through Tristan that she learns how to enjoy every moment, while he learns to love and be loved. He learns to live and to dream.
They both bring the best out in each other and their love runs deep. Too deep to not fear losing the one person who is your world. Matilda and Tristan need to figure out if they can conquer the fear, allow themselves to love despite knowing when they will lose what matters the most.
The love between Matilda and Tristan was extraordinary. It was more than attraction, more than lust or desire. It was the type of love everyone would like to achieve and only few really do.
And even as the reader it is hard not to love both the characters. They are truly special and unique.
Matilda is the type of girl I’d love to be friends with. She’s true to herself-always, not allowing others to make her question who she is or what she does. Despite loss and fears, she lives her life to the fullest. She’s philosophical and insightful, caring and loving. Her style is endearing and her hippie attitude absolutely lovable. She might be beautiful on the outside, but her real beauty is in her heart and soul. Her views on life are mind-blowing and her happiness contagious. So in the moments when she’s sad or melancholic, it hit me even harder. Matilda absolutely rocks.
And so does Tristan. He’s beautiful inside and out. He’s a bit lost, a bit broken by losses he experienced, yet he’s full of love and hope. Despite the tragedies he isn’t closed off, isn’t hiding his emotions. Instead, he’s sweet and romantic. And I mean not the cheesy type of romantic but the kind that makes your heart stop, makes tear run down your face and takes your breath away. He’s not hiding behind his pain, but learning to live through it and embrace life to the fullest. His outlook on things is truly incredible. I wanted to hug him, hold him and then possibly lick him. Cause if I lick him, he’s mine, right?
This book is deep and profound. It’s sweet and tender. It’s captivating in its beauty and poetry. It’s the type of book I know I must have as a printed copy to carry with me, to highlight the quotes that mean so much to me (which would be most of the book) and be able to pull it out, show it to people and read it to them. Share the beauty within those pages.
It takes tremendous skill to write a book like this and I’m in awe of A.J. Compton’s talent. This being a debut, I’m excited for the things yet to come from this talented author.
If you want to be riveted, to be touched and to have your heart stolen by a book and its characters, give this one a chance.
6 time-well-spent stars.
~Review by Paula