The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Razorbill, December 8, 2011
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Summary from Goodreads:
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.I was so excited when I received this ARC in the mail. I've heard nothing but awesome things about this story--reviews have said it was a tear-jerker, and excellent contemporary read, a stunning debut. So I was anxious to dive right in.
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.
And I was hooked from the very first sentence, which mentions that Campbell's father worked the Spirit of Aloha show at the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. Ca-ching! My all-time favorite resort at my all-time favorite place in the world! I am going to LOVE this story!
And love it I did. Even though much of the story actually takes place in Promise, Maine (another magical place), Cam frequently recalls happy Disney memories. I know it's not truly a magical place, and I know that Disney employees are not always treated as well as they deserve to be, but it was nice to read about an employee who thinks of their time at Disney with fondness, not bitterness.
As for the story itself, well, it's the kind of awful story that I just tend to gravitate to. Cam has stage 4 cancer, the kind of cancer that has outlasted all of modern medical technology. There's just nothing left, short of a miracle. And realistic, snarky Cam doesn't believe in miracles. Still, she agrees to pack up and leave Orlando with her mom and sister, heading north to the town of Promise, Maine, which is presumed to have magical qualities.
The story reads quickly, and indeed, while Cam is in Promise she is finally given some opportunities to behave like a healthy teen. She's also given plenty of opportunities to realize that not everything can be explained by science and facts, and that perhaps there are some miracles in the world. Will there be enough to save her, though?
Definitely a tear-jerker--I challenge anyone who reads this to not cry at least once. This is a powerful debut novel, a story of believing and hoping, and giving yourself over to love.
ARC received from publisher.
Enjoy your reading!