Thyme and her family have moved from San Diego, California, to New York, because her five-year-old brother, Val, has cancer, and they needed to go to New York to get medicine for him. At first, Thyme thinks she will only be staying in New York for three months, but then she finds out she will be there for two years. Thyme enrolls in a school where she makes friends with popular girls and begins to feel like she fits in, but then the two popular girls she is friends with have a fight, and Thyme feels caught in the middle. All the while, there are problems happening with her brother. He gets sick twice, and their family fears that he won’t even be able to take the medicine he needs to live.

“Plus, we’d only been in New York for a little over a week, and Val was about to start his first round of treatment. There was no way they’d let me go back home. Not yet.”

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin is an emotional book. It is entertaining and keeps you engaged, but makes you worried too. Thyme is often reckless, and doesn’t seem to think about her actions, or their consequences. But the ending is satisfying; Thyme learns to forgive her family and see things from their perspective, and navigate her friendships. The book is easy to read, but addresses a lot of important issues for Thyme. You can easily put yourself in Thyme’s situation and understand why she feels like she does.