Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

When 17-year-old Campbell Cooper's cancer doctor tells her the only thing that will save her life is a miracle, she knows that's it.  Cam grew up at Disney - her dad was a career dancer for the Spirit of Aloha show at the Polynesian - and she knows magic isn't real.  Cam's mom Alicia, on the other hand, is not exactly a realist, and takes Dr. Handsome (yup, that's actually his name) at his word.  When Cam comes home early from her morning shift at work, she finds the house entirely packed up.  Alicia's yoga friend Tom told her about a mystical town in Maine rumored to have healing powers and an unusual number of miracles, so that's it - Cam, her little sister Perry, her pet canary Tweety, and Alicia are road tripping to Promise, Maine for the summer to get Cam her miracle.

With a stop in North Carolina to see Cam's BFF Lily and Hoboken to visit Nana, Cam figures it'll be an okay way to spend her last summer, and it's always been easier to just humor Alicia.  It'll also give her a chance to work on her Flamingo List she and Lily made at camp - a list of all the things to do before she dies.  Things like have an awkward moment with her best friend's boyfriend, go cow-tipping, stay out all night, and dabble in some innocent stalking behavior.

The thing about Promise is that it's not that easy to find.  You can only see the road to Promise from the drive through at a certain Dunkin' Donuts, and it's really best to order a whoopie pie and some chocolate milk to make sure you're on the right track.  Which sounds pretty ridiculous to Cam - but turns out to be true.

When Cam, Alicia and Perry (Tweety, unfortunately, was set free in Hoboken by a very sorry Perry) arrive in Promise, even Cam has to wonder if the rumors are true.  Everlasting sunsets, whales leaping in the bay at the same time every night, perfect weather, the astonishing return of Tweety, and Asher.  Gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true Asher, who let her adopt Homer the lobster from the local lobster shack.  Cam might even start to believe she might be getting her miracle - even if it's not the one she was looking for.

This quirky, magical novel about deciding to live, love and be loved, even if you're dying, will make you laugh, break your heart, want to hug your mom, and fall in love.  Cam is funny, brilliant, sarcastic, prickly and terrifying pragmatic, and you'll love her as much as Alicia, Perry, and Asher do.  If you devoured John Green's The Fault in Our Stars or adore the mix of magical realism, adventure and sweet romance in books like Laura Reseau's The Indigo Notebook and The Ruby Notebook, don't miss The Probability of Miracles @the library!

(finishing Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet and looking forward to starting the last of the 2012 MCTBA nominees and Katie's recent read, Starcrossed!)

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