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Counting Wolves
The Breakfast Club meets Grimm's Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward. Milly’s evil stepmother commits her to a pediatric psych ward. That’s just what the wolf wants. With bunk mates like Red, who’s spiraling out of control; Pig, a fire-bug who claims Milly as her own—but just wants extra dessert—Vanet, a manic teen masquerading as a fairy godmother with wish-granting powers as likely to kill as to help; and the mysterious Wolfgang, rumored to roam for blood at night; it doesn’t take long for Milly to realize that only her dead mother’s book of tales can save her. But Milly’s spells of protection weaken as her wolf stalks the hospital corridors. The ward’s a Dark Wood, and she’s not alone. As her power crumbles, she must let go of her magic and discover new weapons if she is to transform from hunted to hunter.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10


Plot: What appears to be an urban fantasy twists to reveal a shocking truth. This novel grabs readers and keeps the pace going until the very end.

Prose: The prose here is superb. It is quick, sharp, and easy to read—and it keeps readers turning pages.

Originality: This book deals with a difficult subject, mental illness, not only with great compassion but in a very unexpected and original way.

Character Development: The characters are well developed, and they evolve and change. They are self-aware, cognizant of their flaws, and trying to heal themselves.

Blurb: This fast-paced deconstruction of mental illness, reminiscent of Neal Shusterman's Challenger Deep, takes a hard look at the stigma of mental illness.

Date Submitted: May 29, 2017