Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester
Publication Date: 10 May 2022
There is not nearly enough disability rep in today’s market, so I am so pleased to have been able to read Natalia Sylvester’s Breathe and Count Back from Ten, which pulled from the author’s own experience with hip dysplasia. In the main character of Verónica, Sylvester has created a strong and vibrant young woman. And yes, while the backdrop of seeing Verónica achieve her dream of swimming as a mermaid in her town’s campy water theme park is fun, I mostly enjoyed seeing her on the journey to reclaim her own body after years of having it controlled by her strict parents and her doctors. There is also a blossoming romance with the new boy in her apartment complex, but it was a bit underdeveloped. Looking back on the book, the moments I remember are not the ones with Alex, or with Verónica’s fellow mermaids, but the ones where we see Roni’s strength and courage as she learns to see past her scars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.