Publish Date: December 8, 2011
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.
Yeah, I cried. I won’t go into the sad bits any more than because I really don’t want to ruin this beautiful novel for anyone.
I’d heard amazing reviews for this one back when it came out and that’s really what pushed it to the top of my list. That, and the pretty cover. Well, the setting had a bit to do with it too, but you can’t tell me that cover isn’t eye-catching. Normally for such an amazing book I’d say I wish I’d read it sooner, but the timing was actually good since I’m dealing with something in my personal life.
I’ve never been really close to anyone has dealt with cancer, especially at a young age, but I imagine people generally deal with it in one of two ways either trying to live what’s left of their life to the fullest doing everything they ever wished to do or always thinking about the death that lies ahead and never allowing themselves hope. Cam is definitely the second. I find this to be completely understandable, but there were still times I wanted to shake her a little and tell her to embrace the joys of life around her. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in her situation and I’d probably feel pretty hopeless and cynical most of the time too.
But the thing is, Cam is able to change and it’s a subtle yet completely beautiful transformation. And one of the big helpers of Cam’s change? Promise, Maine. I loved the town and all the crazy things that happened. It was almost like its own character and it was simply glorious.
Of course, Asher helps Cam change too. Their relationship is spectacular and Wunder does a wonderful job of making it deep and beautiful, but very tasteful.
The Nutshell: I could probably write page upon page of praise for this book, but you’d never read it, so I’ll try to stick to the really important stuff. The Probability of Miracles is a truly beautiful book and I believe everyone should read it. Wunder manages to bring sarcasm, beauty, laughter, and life into a book based around a girl who’s dying of cancer and it works. I mean it really works. There’s laughter, growth, sorrow, and more that I can’t put into words contained in the pages of this book and it deserves to be read. If you’re a fan of contemporary this is a definite must read.
Rating: Direct Hit