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The Age of Miracles

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  90,338 ratings  ·  12,082 reviews
“It’s never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass—it’s the ones you don’t expect at all,” says Julia, in this spellbinding novel of catastrophe and survival by a superb new writer. Luminous, suspenseful, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles tells the haunting and beautiful story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in a time of extraordinary chan ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Random House (first published June 21st 2012)
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Crystal Osborne "This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices …more"This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove. Our first flaws were emerging, but they were being corrected. Blurry vision could be fixed invisibly with the magic of contact lenses. Crooked teeth were pulled straight with braces. Spotty skin could be chemically cleared. Some girls were turning beautiful. A few boys were growing tall. I knew I still looked like a child."
This is actually one of my favorite passages from the book.
Dwight Okita Personally, I think there are two answers to why miracles are in the title. The big miracle is that time is slowing down. The smaller miracles I think…morePersonally, I think there are two answers to why miracles are in the title. The big miracle is that time is slowing down. The smaller miracles I think are the miracles of growing up, falling in love, losing friends, facing your death, etc.(less)

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  90,338 ratings  ·  12,082 reviews

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Dwight Okita
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read it in one 24 hour period. Great example of soft sci-fi/fabulist fiction. It's like a cross between Alice Sebold's book The Lovely Bones and Lars Van Trier's film Melancholia. In some ways, I also thought about Diary of Anne Frank. A young girl faces a possible apocalypse in MIRACLES. It's YA dystopia but more charming and whimsical than, say, The Hunger Games. Ultimately it is a book that celebrates life with one hand, as it erases life with the other.

The language of th
Emily May

This is yet another rating I really struggled with because, though I can't say I really enjoyed it, the novel is beautifully written in a very evocative way that makes you want to write down a quote every few pages. But it comes back to that whole writing vs story matter that has stopped me from giving many prettily-worded books a high rating.

The dystopian aspect of The Age of Miracles creeps in slowly and in a mostly subtle and non-threatening manner. Basically, the normal 24 hour day be
Will Byrnes
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Growing from pre to teen is tough enough, but when the entire planet slows down, it makes the transition a whole lot tougher. Julia is a charming every-girl living an average life in southern California. Her coming of age joins with a slow-apocalypse vision in a merging of genres.

The ARE volume I read includes no explanation for why the earth’s rotation suddenly begins slowing. [Unless of course, I am an older, blinder coot that I realized, and just missed it] I have read that the cause was supp
Apr 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Starts off well but quickly fizzles into a pretty benign coming of age story. Also, while I'm not necessarily a stickler for hard science in my sci fi, it seemed like the author was too lazy to research the actual effects of the Earth slowing and just ignores the basic laws of the physical sciences. So much so that it really did take away from the story.
The whole apocalypse angle was incidental and unnecessary to the plot. A bland story all dressed up with nowhere to go.
First great five star read this year! I have seen this book gets mixed reviews, but I just loved it. I really like the style of this writer. She writes about catastrophies happening in the world (re. also her other book The Dreamers) but the contrast is she does it in a very quiet and even almost poetic way. Which made it a great read for me. This book is about a scary change happening worldwide: the rotation of the earth is changing. The days and nights are growing longer and longer; gravity is ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. The characters were believable and yes the slowing of the earth was believable too. One can only imagine the horrors of this happening for real, but the thing is, you CAN see the possibility of this scenario. You really get to feel how scary it would be. Well written, would definitely recommend.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
I loved The Dreamers so decided to read the author’s backlist book. While the apocalyptic theme is similar, the execution is very different. The earth’s rotation has slowed, and the lengthening days and nights affects everything from gravity, crops, tides, and animals, to human behavior. Julia, a 12 year old, is the narrator and she must deal with a very altered, uncertain world and future while also navigating the challenges of life as a tween. I don’t typically enjoy child narrators but Julia ...more
Holly  B

Really disappointed and glad I read her sophomore novel first! While I was intrigued with the premise and kept reading to see where it was going..... it never really went anywhere.

A very melancholy story that failed to ever capture my full attention. Just waiting, waiting, waiting, and for what? Not much of an ending IMO.

Something has happened to make the Earth slow.... Just like the pace of this book and it never picked up. In the end, this was a huge miss.

Sheena Lambert
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Most books I read a book serve as a form of escapism, a little welcome holiday from life.
But some books get inside your head, altering how you see your own life, even as you are reading them. Changing your perspective on the real world.
The Age of Miracles is one of those books. The Da Vinci COde had a little of the same effect - I never looked at his paintings in the same way again. But the Age of Miracles did it better. Without spoiling anything, I can say that the book begins with the mass-re
Megan Baxter
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I think I am exactly the wrong audience for this book. I read a lot of science fiction, see, and this book is very much trying to do science fiction without the science fiction. And so my inclination is to want the book to explore at least some of the science behind what's going on, and the steadfast half-refusal to do so is irritating.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In t
Emily Crowe
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the story of how we begin to remember. Well, no, not really. But that particular Paul Simon lyric has been swirling in my head this morning and I was just itching to use it. This is actually the story of the day the earth stood still, uhh, slowed down. And the days after that, and the days after that. Nobody knows why the earth's rotation has slowed, but Julia is eleven the day this discovery is announced on the news, with varying degrees of panic.

At first the effect is subtle, resulting
I'm always wishing for more hours in the day.
More time to spend with family.
Time to finish all those stupid craft projects I've started over the years.
An extra hour or two to set aside just for reading.

But the slowing of the earth's rotation to gain more time...that's not exactly what I had in mind.

In 2010, I watched a show called Aftermath: When the Earth Stops Spinning on the National Geographic channel. (You can watch it on YouTube)
It scared the hell out of me!
As the simulated planet's rotat
Julie Christine
Look. I don't live in a vacuum. I know this is one of the most talked about books of the summer. Big displays in bookstores, frequent author appearances on my favorite public radio station cultural programming, reviews in my newspapers and journals of choice (that I didn't read - by the way - so I wouldn't spoil my experience). So hard I did try to consider this book on its own merits, without expectations. But I'm human. Given the hype, I'm gonna hope for a miracle.

Okay, maybe not a miracle. B
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

I love when books can surprise you. I had a general idea of what to expect with Karen Thompson Walker's meandering, character and thought-driven novel about the end of the world, but I had no idea how bittersweetly she could spin this science fiction-adjacent tale of change, hope, young love, and death. I somehow assumed that this thoughtful exploration of the Earth's "slowing" would be a young-adult effort, but though protagonist and narrator Julia is
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
When John Donne wrote "Busy old fool, unruly sun, Why dost thou thus?" he wasn't thinking of the end of the world. But what if the earth began misbehaving so badly that it made the sun appear unruly indeed? What if the end of life as we know it came not with the Biblical Apocalypse or Armageddon, but instead with a slow unraveling of the diurnal cycle? And what if this happened when you were eleven-going-on-twelve, and just trying to navigate the 6th grade social scene?

Answer these questions an
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
"I want you to think how smart humans are. Think of everything humans ever invented. Rocket ships, computers, artificial hearts. We solve problems, you know? We always solve the big problems. We do." -- The Age of Miracles

For a book that is about the end of the world, this is a surprisingly quiet and slow-moving story. 11-year-old Julia wakes up one morning to learn that the earth's rotation has slowed, adding minutes and then hours to every day. The daylight stretches and stretches, and then th
Genia Lukin
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Moves from 1.5 to 2.5 stars.

Here's the thing. This book is not badly written, or bad. it's actually entertaining, in a haphazard sort of way. The style is well-crafted, there's a story, and so on. I would recommend the book for a brainless evening on the couch, or for a train ride, or just for someone who needs some light reading, any time. On the other hand, now that I've finished detailing the okay things that prevented a 1-star review, I shall move directly on.

For one, the well-crafted writin
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
I can see why lots of readers loved this - it’s a book that was written beautifully certainly. I guess it’s a little confusing to me because normally I love reading middle grade books so a book narrated by 11-year-old in this premise should have easily blown me away and while it was good, I didn’t feel that connected to any characters like I was expected.

And if I were to look at it from a dystopian genre, this wasn’t as thrilling/fun as it should have been... I know I know, it’s not supposed to
The Age of Miracles was both beautiful and extremely frustrating. Beautiful because the writing was exquisite; Karen Thompson Walker writes simply but succinctly. She's very expressive and knows her way around the written word. While I don't think it was as beautifully written as The Art of Fielding, her writing was sophisticated, evocative and nuanced; without trying too hard, her words successfully evoked the images and emotions needed to further her narrative, something which many other write ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Another book that didn't live up to the hype. I found this so incredibly slow and boring. The plot sounds fantastic but the delivery of the story really had very little impact on me.

As the world moves off kilter and the days get longer, chaos descends. But the book didn't give me that sense of doom, darkness, fear, end of the world as we know it feelings.

I'm not going to dig much more out of my brain for this review. It's not worth it. Very disappointed in this one. This could of been really am
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-4
The earth’s rotation starts to slow, and humankind begins to panic and change in ways large and small. Eleven-year-old Julia watches her family, friends and neighbors transform over the course of weeks and months and the world turns into something she barely recognizes. A book that asks lots of “what if” questions. (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was very nearly a five-star read for me.

Ignore the category of "young adult" because despite the "coming of age" story, the backdrop of imminent environmental disaster delivers a whollop of a literary punch. It's a story that readers of all ages can appreciate, if not admire.

I'm a spoiler-free reviewer, and it's difficult to write about the poignancy of this novel without discussing plot points. However, this is a layered novel filled with real characters, potential real-world scenarios an
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Every now and then you take a chance on a book, an author you've never read before and you're blown away. I was blown away. What a concept! This is the story of 11 year old Julia and when time slowed down. What happens when the 24 hour clock we take for granted stretches. What happens when slowly the day increases to over 40 hours. What happens to society when some people are living on 24 hour clock time and others on real time? And all the while your growing up, ageing into a teenager, buying y ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: circle
Oh. No. With the pacing of Chinese water torture, a tale told with as much credulity and cleverness as a Donald Trump tweet.
This story haunts me. It is also very captivating to watch it unfold. I don't always go for YA, but this one was worth a re-read. It made me thankful to see the sun rise and set every night when it's supposed to. The book is told through the eyes of a 11-year-old Californian girl, Julia, as the earth's rotation starts to slow and the days and the nights get longer. I thought that the imagination and predictions about what might happen if the earth's rotation slowed was believable and this made t ...more
Thanks for the wonderful review that lead me to this, Ceridwen!

I chose to give myself the amazing luxury of taking most of a day to read this weekend. This was the perfect book to do it with. It probably took me all of four or five hours to read, and I surfaced only once or twice, very unwillingly.

The premise of this one is that one day in a time contemporary to our own, the earth’s rotation suddenly alters in a phenomenon that quickly becomes known as “the slowing.” The time periods we are acc
I started listening to this book on Audible, and I can highly recommend the audio - the narrator was very good. However, I got so into the story that when my husband came home from the store with a copy of the book, I quickly put the audio down and dug in to the print. I needed to find out how the story ended. When I started the book, I expected it to be another work of dystopian fiction. I expected a cross between Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeiffer and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I quic ...more
Karen Thompson Walker reportedly received a million dollar advance for The Age of Miracles, her debut novel - an unimaginable sum for a first work, which naturally helped spark a considerable interest in it. The six figure advance and the the anticipation reminded me of waiting for Justin Cronin's The Passage - a novel dealing with the fate of the world after an outbreak of a vampire virus. Ultimately, the reactions were mixed - you can read my review here.

While Cronin aimed at reviving the - if
Kate Z
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was drawn to this book as a kind of "apocalyptic fiction" (when we come to the "end of the world" how will people adapt and carry on?) but it was more of a YA-type coming of age book.

The book is told from the point of view of 12 year old Julia who lives in San Diego when the earth's rotation slowly begins to slow down. Over the course of the novel a day on earth stretches from 24 hours to over one hundred which means there are 60 hours of day followed by 60 hours of darness or night. The magne
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
This is a good easy read which will leave a lasting impression on what is the most important elements of human life. Where does one begin to summon up the courage to continue to go forward even though doom seems to be at your doorstep?

This novel forces one to think of the inevitability of our need to survive even if all around is dying and life seems to be at an end. What if our world stopped turning and our existence was questioned? Would we be brave enough to continue forward in a unknown kin
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In The Age of Miracles, a California preteen crushes on a boy and observes the global upheaval when the Earth's rotation unexpectedly begins to...
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