Book Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles

The required disclosure: 
I won this book through a Goodreads ‘First Reads’ Giveaway.

The description on the book cover? Toss it out. Ignore it. Kind of misleading. I think the book, while not groundbreaking literature, is better than the back cover may lead you to believe.

The upside: 
Cam is a strong, independent lead and its refreshing to see that in a female character when so many books lean toward the “oh I can’t live without this boy/man!” end of the spectrum.

Cam’s dialogue is sassy, snarky, and pretty sarcastic. It worked. She wasn’t too bitter even though she had every right to be. She’s a terminal 16 year old riddled with cancer, after all.   Some writers can take that too far.  Wunder didn’t. The voice of Cam is pretty close to impeccable. I think that is really hard to do when writing teenage characters.

Sidebar:  how cool is the name Wendy Wunder? The jacket claims its the author’s real name and that makes me a tad jealous. I can’t lie.

The Downside: 
The beginning felt slooow. Things didn’t really pick up until the crew arrived in Maine. A whole chapter on a roadside tourist trap? Could’ve done without that.

The flipside of above? I thought some things were rushed  or glossed over – relationships weren’t really developed properly (both with Asher and the catalog friends). A lot of things felt like heavy handed plot points instead of naturally occurring within the storyline.

I didn’t love all the “Only in Promise” aspects of the book. Purple dandelions, pink flamingos in Maine, snow in July. The author attempted a good balance by having Cam often play the “there’s a reason for this” card and attempting to explain why but it fell a little flat for me.

Wrapping it up: 
The end was able to get a reaction out of me. I don’t know if that was the story and writing or the illness and death-filled year 2011 was for me. Maybe a combination of both. The ending had to happen the way it did. After all this isn’t a book with supernatural elements. But still, some part of the reader kept hoping for a miracle.

This isn’t a *must* read but it was a good book for the way I wanted to spend my day off –  in bed with a book blocking the real world out and recovering from the holiday rush.

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