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The Counting-Downers by [Compton, A.J.]
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The Counting-Downers Kindle Edition

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Product Description

Product Description

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 weren’t allowed to know our own numbers…

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 Matilda’s 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. It is a full-length, stand-alone novel.

What people are saying about The Counting-Downers:

"This was such a unique storyline...The words jumped off the page and touched me to my core. It made me think, it made me feel, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made feel blessed for those I have in my life." - TalkBooks

"This book had me in tears from the very beginning. It touched me in so many ways. It's so beautiful. This is a book I will forever carry in my heart." - Book Obsessed Girl

"I have nothing bad to say about this book. Honestly, every word was strategically placed, every thought was beautiful, every action was written with such precision and passion; this debut novel spoke to me and will stick with me for a LONG time." - Michelle T Bibliophile

"A.J. Compton is a stunning, beautiful writer...her writing is poetic, her words flow off each page and wrap around your heart and soul...each paragraph had you thinking." - Crazy Book Lovers

"This book has brought me on such a wonderful and life-changing journey. There is something magical and absolutely captivating about it. Every single word hits home and manipulates my emotions." - Bibliopearl

"If this novel doesn't inspire you to live life freely, then you must have read it wrong." - Library Cutie

"It was honestly the best book I've ever read!" - Bookish Emily

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1404 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0993330908
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #519,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, romantic, sweet and full of life-lessons 10 January 2016
By LittleDarling - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 14 September 2015
By Jen R - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
3.5 stars

The Counting Downers was not a typical read for me. It is very flowery and romantic, very poignant and just not what I usually read. I did enjoy it over all, though at times it got to be a bit too much for me. I think most readers will really enjoy the story. It definitely tugs on the heartstrings and makes you really think about love and death, living, and losing those you care about.

I originally wanted to read this story because the idea behind it intrigued me. That you know how much time everyone around you has left to live, but you don't know how long you have. That you can't know or things will happen that are not the best. Really I thought of the movie Timer, which is completely different and fun, and thought this would be similar for some reason. I started reading and just thought okay, I should get the My Little Pony show read as I am going to need to be cheered up after this one. This is going to be a real downer, and it was, but also kind of hopeful at the same time. The story starts off with Matilda's dad dying. Her dad that she was super close to. Her dad that was everything to her, to her family. Her dad who she doesn't know what she will do without. She is destroyed even though she knew when he would die. The beginning, her trying to deal with his death, the funeral, all of that I was enjoying, but then it got to be a little long for me. I was just like got it, can we move on. My dad died when I was about Matilda's age. I was really close to him like she was with her dad. I know how hard it can be, but mine was taken suddenly. I didn't get those last days to really soak up as much time as I could with him and to keep reading about it was just a bit much for me. Sometimes I have a hard time with things like that.

This book talks a lot about death, about knowing how much time everyone has left. At first I thought I wonder if you just kind of get used to everyone having this box above their heads counting down their life. Do you even notice normally? Is it only when something comes up that makes you think that one day they will be gone that you look up? The idea is really interesting to me. Just thinking about what the world would be like, how I would be different if this were how it was, was very interesting. It's hard to imagine and I am not sure if I think it would be a good thing or not. I kind of like not knowing.

Through the story Matilda and Tristan first become friends, then more than friends. They are obviously in love right from the start. They are perfect for each other. Matilda seems so carefree and fun which is what Tristan needs. Before her he was really on his own. It is sad how he was living before. Out in the middle of nowhere, no friends or family left, just him. Then Matilda swoops in and things are great for him. He knew when he first met her that it wasn't the right time for them. He only hoped that one day they would run into each other again and it would be the right time. He knew right away that she was someone for him and yet he waited. I loved it.

"It always comes back to T.I.M.E."

For his part Tristan helps Matilda not hate time so much. She seems carefree, but really she is terrified of how much or how little time she and everyone she cares about has left. She is terrified of being left behind and leaving others. For a long time she kept herself removed from other people so she wouldn't get close to anyone. So she wouldn't have to loose them one day. Time is her least favorite four letter work, but Tristan works to try and change that. I really loved him. He is more like me I think. Everyone dies eventually and you cannot do anything about that so why worry about it? Matilda gets so caught up in her time that she doesn't always live.

I was loving this story, but things fell apart a little bit at the end. It was still good, I still enjoyed it and overall really liked the story, but it just was a little off for me. Matilda all of a sudden gets really stupid and her conversation with her mom were too stilted. I like the ideas being shared, but it felt off from the way the rest of the story was written. It was only a few pages, so it didn't ruin anything, but there it is. Plus I really wanted to see a different epilogue. I read why the author didn't, and I get it, but that didn't stop me from wanting it.

Overall I think most people will really love this story. It just makes you think, makes you consider how much time you have left and what you are doing with it. It is a downer, but a hopeful downer. Really an interesting read.

This review was originally posted to Jen in Bookland
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 28 December 2015
By Vivian Freeman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The loss of a loved one is life changing.
No words can express all the emotions that come with it, nor can the extent of its impact be captured completely. It is a significant moment in one’s life that is profound and very much etched in every momentous occasion in your future.

The Counting Downers is set in a world where everybody’s life clock is printed on his or her head, the reminder of death is overwhelming. What’s the catch? Not only are you unaware of your own passing, you’re not allowed to inform anyone of their own death. In one of the most outstanding debut novels I have ever read AJ Compton has written a novel about love, death and the consuming need to experience one without the constant reminder of the other.

As Matilda Evans, Compton’s main character deals with the death of her father; readers witness the contradiction of life when living under these circumstances. Trying to live Truly, Deeply, Freely, Matilda Evans unfortunately is consumed by her inevitable death and that of those around her. Crippling her choices and her future, Matilda Evans is in desperate search for a happy medium.

Tristan Isaacs is the soul of this book. Even though his perspective only makes a few appearances, his maturity, his honesty, his love and his loss is poignant, powerful and influential. As he searches to find his place in life, his connection to Matilda and her mantra of living, Truly, Deeply, Freely. Readers will come face to face with a love, so sincere and tender, yet simultaneously fierce and all consuming.

AJ Compton’s writing is magnificent; her ability to capture the depth, seriousness and pain of life influenced by death is extraordinary. And, better yet to deliver such truths through such young characters is remarkable. As Matilda and Tristan grow, in friendship and in love, Compton has let their hearts bleed on every page, to ensure the true meaning of T.I.M.E is wholeheartedly understood.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Profound and Hugely Entertaining 11 September 2015
By Siobhan Davis - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an exceptional debut novel by a very talented author. I will even go as far as saying it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has touched me on a cellular level and I'm still trying to compose myself after finishing it. It's both hugely entertaining and deeply profound. Wow.

The Counting-Downers is a thought-provoking book about life and death, love and loss, fear and bravery. Matilda lives in a world where everyone has a ticking clock over their head confirming when they will die. They don't know how they will die and individuals aren't aware or allowed to be told of their own date of demise. Imagine living with the very real shadow of death always hanging over you in such a transparent way? I absolutely loved this premise and the way the author dealt with it. People often flippantly throw out comments like 'life is too short' and 'live life in the moment' without properly thinking of the meaning behind the words. This book really raised a lot of inner questions and I've been in such a reflective/philosophical mood since I finished reading it.

The story is also a beautiful love story and it highlights the importance of family and friendship. Matilda meets Tristan the day of her father's funeral and they form an instant connection. Unbeknownst to them, they both have the same date of death. That was never explained, but I took it to mean they were true soulmates who would not only share the joy of life together but die together. After their initial meeting, they don't meet again for two years, but once they do they start spending a lot of time together and very soon realize that they are meant for each other. Their relationship is quite deep and spiritual at times, but also juvenile and funny at others. The dialogue between them is snappy and witty and there were plenty of LOL moments. Matilda is a real free spirit and she helps Tristian overcome the pain of his past. It was a joy to read and I really loved both characters.

The writing in this book is OUTSTANDING. It was so poetic, eloquent and downright beautiful. Award worthy in my opinion. I cannot believe how young this author is because she writes like a seasoned professional, and with such insight. If this is what she is bringing to the table as her debut novel then she is definitely an author to follow.

In a note at the back, A.J states how she wants every page to resonate with the reader. Well, she definitely achieved that in my case. Every word was imprinted on my heart and my mind. Here are a couple of quotes I liked:

"Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting that they won't."

"Nobody sees me like you do, and without you, I'd be invisible. I exist because you see me."

I am highly recommending this book. It is different, original, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. I hope it's a huge success for the author because it's an exceptional piece of writing.

Thank you to the Author and Inkslinger PR for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This review will feature on my blog on 16th September.

My YA NA Book Obsession Blog
3.0 out of 5 stars Great debut! 27 August 2015
By AB ❤ I Love Book Love Blog - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was very different to what I would normally read, and a stort that conveyed a very important message to live each day like it's your last. It was beautifully written and poetic, and I thought the concept was brilliant and had so much potential.

The book is set in a world where everybody has a ticking clock displayed above their heads, counting down to the time of their death. Everyone can see each others clocks, but not their own. No-one is allowed to tell you the time left on your clock, otherwise this is called 'lovers suicide' (although what if someone told you in spite, I am not sure how that worked?)

Matilda is a nineteen year old Californian free spirit, and with her father's death looming, she is trying to prepare for a life without her first love and soulmate. Her father, who is sensing his upcoming departure, is doing everything he can to leave his daughter and young son with good advise and memories.

At her father's funeral, she meets Tristan, a loner and old soul ,they have an instant connection. but their time is not now and so it's not until a couple of years later that they meet again and form a friendship.

They become best friends, and decide that they want to leave a legacy behind after they die and decide to make a list of things they can do to achieve this and then proceed to go about fulfilling it.

For me, this books main focus wasn't on the romance between Matilda and Tristan, nothing really develops romantically between them until well into the second half of the book. The main message here, and it is emphasised many times, is to live life fully, make the most of the time you have left because you never know when your last day on earth will come. If you knew how much time a loved one had left, would you endeavour to treat them better? It was very philosophical and thought provoking.

Personally, I wanted more story and I have quite a few unanswered questions. For example, although they didn't know it, Matilda and Tristan had exactly the same amount of time on their clocks, with a death date in their late forties, but because the story was told in Matilda's POV (a few chapters from Tristan) we don't know what their friends and family thought about this and how it affected their perception of the couple, especially when they first became friends.

Also, because the story was very wordy and philosophical, I didn't get to feel the connection between them. A few times I felt a butterfly or two when Tristan was doing sweet things for Matilda, but I never felt how Matilda felt about him. She seemed to go from having asexual feelings towards him to feeling like she was in love with him, there was no real progression from friends to lovers, and that is what was missing for me.

Overall, it was a great debut novel and I feel this author will do well because the talent is so obviously there. As a sucker for a romance, this book didn't quite hit the mark for me, but it was very close.

This is a standalone novel, told mainly in Matilda's POV.

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