Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Yes, that's actually her name. It says so on her page. And the fact that she spells it out so clearly is one of the reason I'm so into this new author: She knows what you're going to ask and she tells you with as little fanfare and as much snark as possible.

Full disclosure: 2 days before I started reading The Probability of Miracles I saw a Polynesian dancer perform and visions of hula dancing were stuck in my head. So I may have been predisposed to like The Probability of Miracles even though it centers around one of my plot-points-I-normally-avoid: Incurable cancer.

The Deal: Cam is sick, sick, sick. She's spent the last seven years in and out of hospitals and experimental treatments and she's knows she doesn't have a lot of time left. She doesn't really have a plan for the summer and she doesn't expect to be around for the fall. Still, the last thing she really wants to do is pick up and move with her mother and sister to a tiny town 15,000 miles away from everything she's ever known in Florida just because the name of the town is Promise and miracles are said to happen there. But it's Promise, Maine and all the crazy, wonderful and even miraculous things that happen there that give Cam and her family an opportunity to deal with the awful fact that she doesn't have much time left.

What Worked: Man, I cried like a baby. Cam is a strong lead character who deals with her sickness in an imperfect but totally believable way. This book is really all about relationships and first time author Wendy Wunder draws them so, so well.

What Didn't Work: I wasn't as crazy about everything that happened in Promise. And ohmygoodness so much stuff happened. There were flamingos and unicorns and snow in July. Zip lines, bucket lists and surprise trips to Disney World. Wunder packs so much action into a story that would be just as, if not more, effective as a more slowly paced reflection on coming to terms with the unimaginable.

Anything Extra Special?: Cam grew up in Disney World! Like in, in Disney World. Her classmates are all auditioning to be Cinderella and Snow White for their summer jobs and she's been a hula dancer with the Polynesian hotel dinner experience for a few years. She's so awesome. And sassy. Y'all know how much I love the sass.

Would I Read It Again?: I'll definitely be picking it up again when I need a good cry.

The Probability of Miracles comes out TOMORROW! I received an advance copy courtesy of the publisher and did not receive any sort of compensation for the review.

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