Read This

Read This: The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was one of those books I kept seeing pop-up, everywhere! From displays at Barnes and Noble, to a feature on The College Prepster’s blog not too long ago. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I judge books by their covers (shame on me!) and I think this one is pretty. Of course, I was attracted to the dystopia-like setting of the book, and I love that the narrator, Julia, tells a lot of the story from her adolescent perspective of the events at a young age of 11 living in California. So, it had a young-adult feel to it, while technically being a “grown-up” book. Yeah, yeah that’s a lot of labels, but anyway…

The “event” of this story is that earth’s rotation has slowed. Obviously this has disastrous effects – length of days change, tides change, weather disasters occur society as the inhabitants of earth knew it evolves into something else entirely.

The basic premise of the story is extremely intriguing, and I found myself sitting at the kitchen counter on a Friday night, chocolate milk in hand, eagerly finishing up the last few chapters. (Lately when I’ve been running or out on errands and the clouds gather in the sky and the sun is hiding, or when I’m grocery shopping and all the things I’m looking for are absent from the shelves, I found myself blaming it on “the slowing” or “the shortage” so wrapped up in the events of the story that the world had blurred into my reality. That’s how engaging the concept is!) Evidently the story had captured my attention, but there’s something else I should share. I’m horribly critical, and I feel kind of guilty to pass negative thoughts on about a work like this, (I know, I know I didn’t hesitate on The Lucky One, but whatever…) The thing is I did like this book, really, but I wanted to like it more. I felt like the last quarter of the story gained so much momentum, and then it just came to a screeching halt. It was hastily “wrapped up,” and it felt like I was being shoved through an exit door as I finished reading. The last chapter felt like a calmer summary, but still I felt like so much effort had been put into telling the rest of the story and then it was a race to get rid of it. I’ve read some reviews online, and apparently I’m not the only one who felt like that, but still this doesn’t dissuade me from recommending that you read it. Have you already read this one? What did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section – I love to hear from readers!

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1 thought on “Read This: The Age of Miracles”

  1. I read this and liked it very much, though I do agree with your ending assessment. This also fell into the category of post-apocalyptic novels that are super depressing because they are utterly hopeless (as opposed to post-apocalyptic scenarios where it is worthwhile to rebuild society and keep living.) I just read another book that I consider that and so have been doing a lot of rethinking about this book lately. I thought the angle of the clock time vs. real time people was interesting and how crazed people became about it.

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