The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Cam has been battling cancer for the last seven years. At age 16, she has reached a point where nothing more can be done. All she has left is acceptance and a lot of attitude. But Cam’s mother and sister are not ready to give up hope, so they move the family north from their lives at Disney World in Florida to Promise, Maine. Promise is a small community where miracles happen. Cam certainly doesn’t believe in miracles or religion for that matter, but Cam feels the magic of Promise too. Her blemishes from the disease fade, her hair grows long, and she feels better than ever. Then there is her Flamingo List that she created at summer camp. It’s a list of things that she wants to do before she dies. Many of them seem very unlikely at first, but as the summer goes on, she ticks them off the list. Cam has one final summer to reach her goals and even to exceed her own expectations.
This is not a weepy cancer book at all. Rather it is the story of a sarcastic, brilliant girl battling a disease and finding a place to be herself and create the best days ever. In Cam, Wunder has given us much more than a tragic story of the last days of a life. Instead Cam seems more filled with life than the rest of us. She shines, entrances and lives with abandon. It is like watching a shooting star race past.
Wunder also creates an entire cast of impressive supporting characters. They are often introduced as stereotypes, but then they become more fully realized as the reader gets to know and understand them. We as readers get to discover the characters alongside Cam. The setting of Promise, Maine is also beautifully rendered with the magical parts interwoven to create a dance of magical realism and realistic fiction.
Gorgeously written and realized, this is a powerful read with a great, flawed heroine. Appropriate for ages 15-17.
Reviewed from copy received from Razor Bill.
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