Counting Thyme – Melanie Conklin

25938399Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher: Putnam
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family

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After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.


COUNTING THYME has the reader thinking about the sacrifices we’re willing to make to help the ones we love, what it means to be there for someone and welcoming into our lives the people we misjudged.

It’s a story full of important themes and messages.

Thyme misses her best friend who couldn’t follow her to New York. She doesn’t think she’ll ever belong here. But this is where they have to be, so her cancer-afflicted brother can have a chance at survival.

I wish I could say that this book is different from every other book featuring ill characters, but that is not the case. Of course, it’s dealt with cancer in a realistic way, but I wouldn’t say in an original, or at least different, way.

But regardless, the main character is Thyme, so the focus is mainly on her. She struggles with preserving her friendship with her best friend and tries her best to create links with classmates at her new school.

There’s a lot of friendship-related and family-related drama. The family one is normal, but the former feels childish. I’ve read so many books in which best friends become jealous when one of them makes a new friend that when I read about situations like these, I don’t feel as if I learn anything new, and this is something that I wish for in my reads. The emotional experiences are too predictable.

The author did a great job making us understand how Thyme feels about having a sick brother. Her family often forgets her, concentrating on Val instead. I can totally relate to that. I think we’ve all, at least once, been ignored by our loved ones. And it sucks.

I don’t believe this story needed a love interest. If I were Thyme and I suddenly changed schools because of such a sad situation, I wouldn’t even care about boys. I’d care about making friends and being there for my family more than going out with a guy. Especially since Thyme isn’t even twelve!

But it is a lovely, if not a little depressing, story. Very emotional content. A bit repetitive, but charming characters.


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