Wendy Wunder. Wendy, Wendy, Wendy you win the award for writing the newest book to absolutely positively rip my heart out. I tried my hardest to finish reading The Probability of Miracles in the comfort of my bedroom, knowing what was coming but alas I surrendered to sleep. I had to finish reading at work, where I bit my lip and blinked by the sniffles, when really I just wanted to dissolve into a puddle of tears. I am so excited this was the first book I read this summer, (which officially kicked off yesterday.) Campbell Maria Cooper’s story had me hooked from the first page. I started reading it in the bathtub and right away, I knew I was going to love this book. Cam lives in Orlando, her family works at Disney World, in the Polynesian! Her mom hulas, and she works in the kitchen carving out the pineapple boats, though she can dance too. She has a best friend, Lilly. They make
bucket flamingo lists. This sounds semi-normal right? Okay, maybe not but it gets even more interesting. Cam has cancer. Cam is dying. Keeping in the spirit of my normal “read this” book posts, where I try not to spoil any surprises I’ll just say that Cam’s family takes a little trip where they meet lots of new people, and have a plethora of interesting experiences. I was laughing out loud, and on the verge of crying from the beginning. There’s an intensity to Wunder’s words that kept me turning the pages, ferociously hungry for more, but at the same time I wanted to savor the chapters because I wasn’t ready to leave the world she’d created. I started tweeting about Wendy’s debut novel immediately. I desperately want people I know to read it too, so we can chat and wallow in that self-inflicted pain that comes from choosing to read novels about teenagers with terminal illnesses, together. Ok, ok I hope I didn’t just push you towards a negative view of this book you haven’t picked up yet. Do I ever lead you astray? I wouldn’t put it on my “read this” list if I didn’t really truly think you should. It kinda catapulted itself into my favorites list where it earned a spot to stay forever. I’ve been rambling on about it to everyone, and you know it’s a good one when that happens! Cam is sarcastic without being snarky, a realist with a twinge of optimism that’s kind of inevitable even when she doesn’t want it to be because her actions just kind of exude a certain hope, though she tries to make her life void of that feature. (Holy run-on sentence, I know!) Cam has a tough shell, but her heart is huge, ah I just wish I could give her a hug! I know I’m always off in “Nerdfighter” land, but seriously when I first picked this up I thought of John Green’s Paper Towns because of all of the Orlando geography references, then I thought of The Fault in Our Stars (because of the obvious, endearing teenage characters with cancer thing.) Plus, the reviews on the back cover jacket? Awesome authors! Siobhan Vivian, Sarah Mlynowski, Sara Shepard – you get the picture. This is a touching, unforgettable story and I strongly urge you to go read it – quick! Then leave me a note and we can chat about it! If this was convincing enough for you to take my word for it, you can get a sneak peak at the magical novel here.
You can watch the official book trailer here: