The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

A sarcastic look into death and miracles.
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The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Razorbill | Hardcover, 360 pages
I’m a self-centered reader; I need to be comforted at all times. I also need my happily-ever-afters as much as I need a bit of romance. And this is why I stay away from angst-heavy books (i.e. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma) but I can forgive some if the story did its darndest to ease me into the doomed eventuality that it won’t end the way I wanted it to end.

The best way to read a book that has a not-so-happily ever after is if the author eased me into idea that the characters will not walk into the sunset hand-in-hand. Wendy Wunder told this story by using a heroine with a sharp tongue and even sharper mind. She’s sarcastic and sometimes caustic. She’s funny; she’s got an opinion about a lot of things and she’s not afraid to insert her foot in her mouth. She wholly accepted her fate and didn’t wallow in self-pity. She lived her short life on her own terms.

This book was published in 2011 so I’m a little late for the party but I’m glad I crashed it when everyone’s pretty much on their way to make their curfews. It had me in fits of laughter and bouts of sniffles. It couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a funny book or a life-altering, enlightening wonder. During my lunch hour break at work, I cried over my soup. It wasn’t a pretty sight. I had to blame my escalating cold to everyone who’d asked me if I was okay.

The Probability of Miracles is about a girl who was inexorably dying. As in, there’s no hope in high heavens that she’s going to survive the summer or that she’s going to go into a remission. For someone who’s upbringing was culturally and spiritually varied, Cam was a firm non-believer of any high power. She’s perpetually blasé about life, about death and especially about religion. She believed in what could be explained and miracles are nothing but the result of global warming. Surprisingly enough, she turned me into a believer. I believed that every weird, unexplainable event that had happened in Promise, Maine were really just a by product of man’s continuing quest to destroy earth. And it made sense. She also made me believe that life is what we make it. Opportunities to be happy are right before our eyes and it’s up to us to either grab them or to ignore them in the hopes of something better will come (humans are greedy by nature).

So her ever hopeful family decides to find this mystical place called, Promise, Maine; where it snows in July, where a flock of flamingoes hibernate and nest, where a lost bird finds its way home from States over; where a very sick puppy suddenly find its will to live on the day it was to be put down. Where miracles happen that was sure to convert a non-believer like Cam. Where a bucket list of a dying girl would all be crossed off and there’s not a damn thing anyone or anything could do to stop her. Not even an almost perfect boy who’s terrified of leaving Promise.

This was a wonderful, heartfelt, devastating and more often heartbreaking read. Box of tissues required.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

  • I have actually seen this around but had never considered it really. Though with the depth that comes from yor review I'm not sure why I passed it by. I am finding that with contemporary novels I'm beoming a bit cynical. If I get the chance I will check this one out (or if I feel the need to shed some tears). Great Review

  • Oh, dear. We are the same type of reader, you and I. I want to be comforted and amused by books, not brought to tears! It's why I generally avoid contemporary altogether, and especially issue books. But I do step out of my comfort zone occasionally and I always feel like a better person for it. I guess next time I do, it'll be for this book.
    Wonderful review!

  • First time I hear about this book. I really like the cover and the title.
    I usually enjoy tearjerkers. I like emotionally strong stories and because these are most likely to be remembered long after I finished them.
    Your description of this book reminds me of Before I Die, a book I've read in less than 5 hours.
    Thanks for sharing this insightful review!! I'm a new follower via GFC and Bloglovin. Can you please follow back? Thanks ^^

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  • I haven't read this one, but it's on my shelf. I think I've been putting it off because I know I'm going to be a sobbing puddle of tears, but your review makes me want to put on my big girl panties and just give it a read. Beautiful review!

  • I bought a copy of this last year because I wanted to read it so bad and then I never got to. I should probably try to make time because it sounds so heartbreaking wonderful. You are going to need a seriously happy, HAPPY book after this and The Fault in Our Stars. lol