What I Read: The Probability of Miracles

Yeah, still reading YA/children’s. I don’t want to grow up. But this time I read an ARC which makes me special? I read (in one day) The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder.

Title: The Probability of Miracles 

Author: Wendy Wunder

Release Date: December 8th, 2011 (according to Goodreads)

The Probability of Miracles is a book about a sarcastic 16-year-old girl, Cam, who has had cancer for the past seven years. She’s pretty realistic and tends to be analytic, whereas her mother and younger sister believe in things they can’t see. So Cam’s mother moves her to Promise, Maine, where miracles are said to happen. Cam meets a boy, of course, because this is a YA novel and the cover is bright pink so it’s pretty much required.

I read this book in a day because the book will obviously end in one of two ways: dead or not-dead. I had to know, so I read it right quick to find out. NOT TELLING YOU THOUGH, sorry. Anyway, I’m also always curious about books about this kind of subject because it’s so easy to do wrong. And with a book about miracles the probability of stepping into the corniest of cornfields is SO HIGH.

This book gets it mostly right though, in my opinion. I was actually laughing out loud–Wunder did a great job with Cam’s voice for most of the book. She’s witty and smart and definitely relatable. More impressively, she’s endearing. It’s easy to go too far with a sarcastic narrator to the point that the character is statically sarcastic and isn’t anything else. But Cam is dynamic!

Unfortunately, Cam is a bit too dynamic and the last 100 pages (almost exactly) turn her character around 180 degrees and as I read I wished for the old, funny Cam back. The corniness goes off the charts, too, especially where the romance is concerned. (Pretty standard, but the first 250 pages felt so fresh that I wasn’t expecting the turn.) I think Cam could have become a believer (“in love, in herself, and even in miracles”) without almost entirely losing the spunk she had in the first 250 pages. She just became too predictably YA in the end.

The ending itself was both good and bad. It was what I was expecting to happen as to dead/not-dead and was what I hoped would happen. (“Hoped” sounds wrong–I just mean as far as quality of the book goes, not as in “I HATE/LOVE CAM I HOPE SHE DIES/DOESN’T DIE.”) At the same time it was not executed in a way that I liked. It felt really abrupt.

HOWEVER, the book is still pretty good. It will definitely be well-liked and earn itself a following. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, but only because I couldn’t give it 3.5. The first 250 pages of the book would earn 4.25 or even 4.5. But, alas, those last 100 pages really did disappoint. Not to say that teens won’t like it, just that it’s not really my thing. Read it if it sounds like something you’d like! Or even if it doesn’t!

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