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The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary

Release Date: 12/8/2011

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About the Book: Cam is a teen who is living with cancer. Her recent doctor visit didn't turn out well and she doesn't have much hope. But her mom isn't about to give up and convinces Cam that they should spend the summer in Promise, Maine, a place where miracles happen. Cam is cynical and doesn't believe in miracles, but in a town where flamingos visit and sunsets last forever, Cam has a summer to believe in miracles.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Tough topics like teens dying can be hard to write well. Sometimes they can come off as too cheesy and corny and Nicholas Sparksy. Other times they don't feel real and you don't like the characters. Wendy Wunder manages to pull off a story that makes you care about the characters and feels real without veering into a cheese-fest.

Cam is a cynical character and at first I had a hard time relating her. But she grew on me as the novel went on. She was tough and smart and her sarcasm made me begin to like her. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but then, she's faced with a tough situation in life and it's hard to keep up hope. As she begins to trust others and let people in, she changes and began to like her more.

Her sister and mom are nicely fleshed out and great supporting characters. They struggle with trying to live as normal a life as possible while dealing with Cam's illness and loss of hope. Her sister is the one who starts keeping track of the miracles and some of her preteen innocence is sweet and charming.

Asher, the love interest, is a bit too perfect. I liked Asher, but I wasn't exactly sure what he saw in Cam, especially since she was so gruff with him to begin with. I felt like their relationship never really developed in the way I wanted to watch it develop. Much of their relationship seemed very surface level and I just didn't believe that it was as deep as it was portrayed. I guess this was the most unrealistic part of the book and felt like it was there just because Cam needed a love story.

Also, at times the writing seemed a bit strange. It was written in third person, but there were times I forgot it was in third person and the descriptions and narration felt like it switched to first person. It was a bit jarring each time and I had to remind myself it wasn't told in first person. I don't know that many readers would notice this and it wasn't something that was that distracting and it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. It was just something strange I noticed.

The story itself is good and the author does a great job of infusing hope into an otherwise sad story and making the reader believe. Both Cam and her sister learn to accept everyday miracles, which is a great theme of the book, without the author really hitting you over the head with a message. I love the simple gesture of looking for everyday miracles.

If you have readers who like a good tear-jearker, The Probability of Miracles should be added to their reading pile.

Comments

  1. I'm reading this one on audio right now. They just arrived in Promise so I'm looking forward to seeing more of the miracles unfold. I'm quite enjoying it thus far.

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  2. I read this book for a project. I bought it months in advance and I've been waiting to read it. I loved this book with a passion, and it brought tears to my eyes. I was bawling for a good 15 minutes because I would continue to think about what just happened. I do agree that Asher was too perfect but it's a good thing that Cam was able to experience something good like that since everything in her life was just crappy to begin with.

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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee