Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Expected publication: December 8th 2011 by Razorbill
Review Copy: ARC
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine – a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it’s undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe – in love, in herself, and even in miracles.
A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The Probability of Miracles” isn’t an easy book to read, but it is an absolutely beautiful debut.
The story is about Cam, a seventeen year old girl with cancer. She’s just been informed by her doctor that there’s nothing else they can do to help her, that the best she can hope for is a miracle. Her mother, Alicia, refuses to give up, however, and soon they head off to Promise, Maine – a place that is said to be magical. Along the way they visit her grandmother and her best friend, Lily, who is also battling cancer. Although Lily and Cam speak daily, Cam finds herself dumbfounded when Lily reveals she’s met a boy, Ryan. When Cam finds out Ryan has a girlfriend and he’s messing around with Lily on the side, she flat-out asks if he intends on breaking up with his girlfriend for Lily. When Cam tries to explain to Lily what Ryan told her, Lily decides she wants nothing to do with Cam anymore.
When they finally do reach Maine, Cam finds herself unable to believe in hope, love, and miracles – everything her mother and Lily want her to believe in. But when she finally opens up, she begins to rethink everything.
I absolutely loved Cam. She’s sarcastic. She’s funny. She seems real. Everything that she goes through: falling in love for the first time (Asher), dealing with the loss of a friend, and accepting that her family’s lives will continue without her – it all feels real. Same for the other characters. Each and every character in “The Probability of Miracles” is flawed, but that makes them more realistic. For example, Cam’s mother, Alicia, isn’t the perfect mother by any standards, but you can tell she loves her daughter and that she’s terrified of losing her. That final scene between the two of them – it’s a beautifully written moment.
There are plenty of humorous moments through out “The Probability of Miracles”, mainly thanks to Nana and Cam, but this isn’t a happy story. It’s a story about a young girl trying to experience everything life has to offer before it’s too late. Expect tears when you finish. Lots of them.