Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)'s Reviews > The Probability of Miracles

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
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Jul 18, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: arcs, review-requests, favorites, 2011, ya-book-buzz-book-club

BEAUTIFUL. Simply beautiful.

I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. I don't typically like books that tend to be heavy. I like my books light and fluffy. Afterall, they are my escape. The synopsis does a pretty good job of summarizing the book, but it doesn't tell you how beautiful the writing is. (sigh)

I loved Cam and Asher. I loved Nana and Pery. All of the characters were great and did such a great job of complimenting one another. Nana is hilarious. I found it hilarious that she got Cam to steal a leaf off a sacred tree that had "healing powers," but she ran off in the middle of the heist because she saw her arch nemesis. So funny. Pery is your typical teeny bopper. She's playful and innocent, but also incomplete.

Cam and Asher were mesmerizing. Cam was sarcastic and real. You could feel her fear and insecurity. I totally understood why she was trying to protect herself (her heart). And I LOVED how she changed throughout the book. It was so heartwarming. Asher is a little different. He's not dying like Cam is, but he is guarded. He has a fear of loss, so it's hard for him to leave Promise. He feels like if he leaves his mystical home, everything will come crashing down on him. All of these characters were flawed and real. More real than I could have imagined. Their imperfections were captivating.

The plot is pretty straight forward in this book. Cam is dying. In a final effort to find a saving miracle, her mother packs the entire family up and goes to the mystical Promise, Maine because she has heard magical things happen there. Cam is skeptical and guarded at first. She's an odd one (she asked to adopt a lobster from a local sea food restaurant) and doesn't want to get attached to anyone or anything because she knows she won't be around much longer. Somehow, though, things start to change. She slowly decides that maybe pretending to believe in miracles will help her family. There are some hilarious antics with Cam's forced miracles. My favorite being when she kidnapped the vet's donkey, James Madison, and doused him in flour and duct taped an aluminum foil horn to his head in order to fake a unicorn sighting for her younger sister. So. Funny. Of course, that event didn't turn out the way she wanted (like most things in her life), but it proved to be monumental. It was almost like it was the catalyst for her change of heart. And what a change it was.

There are no magical healings in the book. Cam does not overcome her sickness. It was very tragic and so real. I cried while reading the final 40+ pages. I didn't cry out of sadness though. The writing was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. But most importantly, the transformation that Cam-- as a person-- had undergone was what was so amazing. I expected to be so overwhelmed with grief at her passing, but I wasn't. Instead, there was an unbelievable sense of completeness and closure. I can't put into words how the end of the book moved me. The emotions that I felt while reading are too much for simple words. But I can honestly say, it was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.

I know there is a lot of discussion about YA books being "too dark." I would counter that argument with this book. Yes, the material is very sad and heavy, but it's not dark. It's a beautiful story of hope and change. Yes, the main character dies in the end, but it's not a sad ending. It gives hope and closure to a part of life that seems to be avoided because it brings so much grief. This is a must read. Plain and simple. You owe it to yourself to read this book, and experience the beauty of this story.
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Reading Progress

July 18, 2011 – Started Reading
July 18, 2011 – Shelved
July 27, 2011 –
page 122
33.89%
July 27, 2011 –
page 245
68.06%
July 27, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: arcs
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: review-requests
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
October 24, 2012 – Shelved as: ya-book-buzz-book-club
October 24, 2012 – Shelved as: 2011

Comments (showing 1-1)




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 ♥♥Mari♥♥ I just had to stop and compliment you on such a beautiful, beautiful review!! I enjoyed reading it tremendously! From your glowing prose, I can see that this is a truly wonderful book, but I won't be reading it, to be honest with you... I can't take sad endings. I used to be able to handle them, but not any more... Nowadays, all I want to read is romance novels, YA, and anything else where I'm guaranteed a happy ending! I'm currently reading "Comfort and Joy", by Kristin Hannah, which I heartily recommend to you, by the way. Well, I haven't finished it, but I have skipped ahead several times, and have been crying like crazy. These are happy tears, though, because of the GREAT ending!! I don't mind crying happy tears. It's the other kind that I don't want to cry.

Thank you for such an EXCELLENT review!! : )


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