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The Probability of Miracles

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Turn those hard-thrown lemons into lemonade!

Dandelions, flamingoes, and a town named Promise? Everything about The Probability Of Miracles sounds too good to be true. Improbably so. And yet. somehow Wendy Wunder pulls you into this story with main character whose doubts outnumber her dreams and leaves you wanting...
Dandelions, flamingoes, and a town named Promise? Everything about The Probability Of Miracles sounds too good to be true. Improbably so. And yet. somehow Wendy Wunder pulls you into this story with main character whose doubts outnumber her dreams and leaves you wanting to believe that wishes can come true.

THE GOOD BITS

{Cam's humor with the perfect dash of sarcasm.} Without a doubt, this story would be way different if there had been any less snark - or if there had been too much. Maybe more melancholy, maybe more tragic, but definitely a lot less enjoyable. Cam and I share the same sort of humor - the same reflex to crack a joke, even during the worst of times - the same need to guard ourselves from heartbreak and disappointment, even when happiness seems possible. Which made it a lot easier for me to sink into The Probability Of Miracles and follow Cam as her shields start to melt.

{The bucket list.} What an ambitious to-do list! Delectably realistic that ranges from the simple to silly to emotionally-fragile. Life is all about risks, and living is all about taking them - or choosing not to. Cam makes a list of experiences that she considers "normal" for a teenager which involves breaking both hearts and rules. I loved how you never quite knew how certain items would play out.

{Little sister Perry.} I loved this little cupcake of a girl! Not too young to fade into the background, not too old to make the drama into a catfight. She provided some comic relief when Cam turned into a regular Grumpy. I also have to admire Perry's cheerful-but-tough exterior. She reminds me a little of Scrappy Doo: tiny, adorable, and wise beyond her years.

THE BAD BITS

{Almost too perfect?} I honestly cannot complain too much about The Probability Of Miracles being too perfect - because I wouldn't want it any other way. Wendy Wunder dished out the right balance between good and bad news, and while sometimes the good news felt too good to be true, I think it reflects how life can sometimes hand you lemonade when hope seems like a big joke.

THE OVERALL

If I learned anything from The Probability Of Miracles, it is that hope can be persistent, especially when you have loved ones. Quirky, unexpected, sarcastic, bittersweet, and altogether full of life, this story will steal your breath away - from laughing, from crying, and from sheer wonder when Promise, Maine, lives up to its name.

posted by epicrat on October 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

An emotional read.

First of all, I really enjoy that the author's name is Wendy Wunder. I can't help but think of how well it coincides with what her book is about, miracles and believing in them.

The main character, Cam, has been dealing with cancer for seven long years. When the stor...
First of all, I really enjoy that the author's name is Wendy Wunder. I can't help but think of how well it coincides with what her book is about, miracles and believing in them.

The main character, Cam, has been dealing with cancer for seven long years. When the story starts, she has just received news that her cancer is still spreading.

Her mother and younger sister refuse to give up on her, even though Cam has pretty much given up, and they move her to Promise, Maine which has been deemed a miraculous place because of all the events that occur there.

Oh goodness, I'm starting to cry while I'm typing this...

Cam is already starting to think about how her family will have to move on without her and how life will have go on. I understood her dry humor, because it was her way of dealing with her impending death. I can't imagine have to deal with the horrors of cancer as a young person.

As someone who stood on the sidelines and never gave up hope even though cancer took my grandmother 8 years ago, I can't help but feel for Cam's mother and sister. They never stopped believing or giving up hope. I know just how hard it is to accept that a beloved family member is going to die and have to watch them slowly deteriorate.

I also completely empathized with Cam's younger sister for having to take the backseat and make a lot of sacrifices for the health of her older sister. I dearly understood her anger with Cam when she wouldn't believe that miracles could happen.

I loved watching Cam grow emotionally throughout this book. I will say the only drawback was that the romance between her and Asher started out slow, but then suddenly felt rushed. I had a hard time accepting that in the story.

This is a tough story, but well worth the read.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

posted by Jenny_Geek on February 4, 2012

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Turn those hard-thrown lemons into lemonade!

    Dandelions, flamingoes, and a town named Promise? Everything about The Probability Of Miracles sounds too good to be true. Improbably so. And yet. somehow Wendy Wunder pulls you into this story with main character whose doubts outnumber her dreams and leaves you wanting to believe that wishes can come true.

    THE GOOD BITS

    {Cam's humor with the perfect dash of sarcasm.} Without a doubt, this story would be way different if there had been any less snark - or if there had been too much. Maybe more melancholy, maybe more tragic, but definitely a lot less enjoyable. Cam and I share the same sort of humor - the same reflex to crack a joke, even during the worst of times - the same need to guard ourselves from heartbreak and disappointment, even when happiness seems possible. Which made it a lot easier for me to sink into The Probability Of Miracles and follow Cam as her shields start to melt.

    {The bucket list.} What an ambitious to-do list! Delectably realistic that ranges from the simple to silly to emotionally-fragile. Life is all about risks, and living is all about taking them - or choosing not to. Cam makes a list of experiences that she considers "normal" for a teenager which involves breaking both hearts and rules. I loved how you never quite knew how certain items would play out.

    {Little sister Perry.} I loved this little cupcake of a girl! Not too young to fade into the background, not too old to make the drama into a catfight. She provided some comic relief when Cam turned into a regular Grumpy. I also have to admire Perry's cheerful-but-tough exterior. She reminds me a little of Scrappy Doo: tiny, adorable, and wise beyond her years.

    THE BAD BITS

    {Almost too perfect?} I honestly cannot complain too much about The Probability Of Miracles being too perfect - because I wouldn't want it any other way. Wendy Wunder dished out the right balance between good and bad news, and while sometimes the good news felt too good to be true, I think it reflects how life can sometimes hand you lemonade when hope seems like a big joke.

    THE OVERALL

    If I learned anything from The Probability Of Miracles, it is that hope can be persistent, especially when you have loved ones. Quirky, unexpected, sarcastic, bittersweet, and altogether full of life, this story will steal your breath away - from laughing, from crying, and from sheer wonder when Promise, Maine, lives up to its name.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    AMAZING!

    Hi everybody! I am twelve now and I read this book when i was eleven. I love this book and there are so many reasons why! The top two being that my sister has a rare disease that eats away her bones, therefore making it relatable, and this book is amazibgly written and never lets you get bored. TEN MILLION STARS!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    My heart + the book = heart ache and happy tears

    Its beautiful like a summer sunset

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An emotional read.

    First of all, I really enjoy that the author's name is Wendy Wunder. I can't help but think of how well it coincides with what her book is about, miracles and believing in them.

    The main character, Cam, has been dealing with cancer for seven long years. When the story starts, she has just received news that her cancer is still spreading.

    Her mother and younger sister refuse to give up on her, even though Cam has pretty much given up, and they move her to Promise, Maine which has been deemed a miraculous place because of all the events that occur there.

    Oh goodness, I'm starting to cry while I'm typing this...

    Cam is already starting to think about how her family will have to move on without her and how life will have go on. I understood her dry humor, because it was her way of dealing with her impending death. I can't imagine have to deal with the horrors of cancer as a young person.

    As someone who stood on the sidelines and never gave up hope even though cancer took my grandmother 8 years ago, I can't help but feel for Cam's mother and sister. They never stopped believing or giving up hope. I know just how hard it is to accept that a beloved family member is going to die and have to watch them slowly deteriorate.

    I also completely empathized with Cam's younger sister for having to take the backseat and make a lot of sacrifices for the health of her older sister. I dearly understood her anger with Cam when she wouldn't believe that miracles could happen.

    I loved watching Cam grow emotionally throughout this book. I will say the only drawback was that the romance between her and Asher started out slow, but then suddenly felt rushed. I had a hard time accepting that in the story.

    This is a tough story, but well worth the read.

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Woahhh!

    A really truely awesome book . Not your average cheesey teen book. You'll laugh , you'll cry .... you'll be inspired. Love , love , love! Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    I laughed & I cried

    A fantastic novel. Heartfelt without being sappy, hilarious without being silly. And the writing is so good...it's obvious the author clearly cares not just about her characters, but about every word.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Beautiful novel - must read for teens and adults alike

    I an aunt of a fifteen year old girl and am often searching for books she will enjoy that I can also support -- The Probability of Miracles is it. Beautifully written, with a strong voice and hilarious, original characters. Although the main character is dying, she is so ALIVE, you nearly forget it. Truly a book about living. This was my favorite YA book of 2011, and my niece's as well! We can't wait to read what is next from Wendy Wunder.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    You should buy this book.

    Reasons to read The Probability of Miracles. . .

    Having fought a serious illness for most of her childhood, the protagonist, Cam, finds that she was so busy fighting for her life that she has forgotten how to live. The Probability of Miracles is the story of Cam¿s realization that there is more to living than dying. Cam has one more shot at youth: a summer in a beautiful, magical town called Promise surrounded by people who love her and new friends she never expected to make.

    The Probability of Miracles has a lot going for it. . . some of which follows:

    The Probability of Miracles¿ Cam is a powerful protagonist: She is smart, funny and oh-so-real. She¿s the kind of girl who names her car and adopts a lobster. Cam will quickly become someone you really like, and you can easily get behind the decisions that she makes. When you close the book you will wish you had her cell phone number so you can keep in touch.

    It¿s a story with a bit of magic. (key phrase- a bit): In the tradition of magical realism, Wunder¿s use of magic is subtle. The action doesn¿t stop whenever a bit of magic appears; it is accepted as part of life in Promise and the characters work with it. Wunder also thankfully keeps mythical creatures to a minimum: no vampires and no wizards, just one messed-up donkey.

    It¿s a redemption story: For years Cam and her family¿s focus has been on Cam and her illness. Unintentionally and understandably, Cam became centered on. . . herself. As Cam starts to enjoy and live her life in Promise, she realizes her wrongs: impatient with her sister¿s belief in unicorns, unsupportive of her friend¿s relationship, dismissive of the man who loves her mom. Cam sets out to right these wrongs: she stops thinking of herself and instead finds ways (really funny and clever ways) to show her loved ones that she cares about them. It¿s a book that leaves you feeling good. Sounds simple, but isn¿t that the goal of a good read?

    Most importantly, The Probability of Miracles will make you laugh! Wunder is so funny: Cam¿s witty observations, the characters¿ dialogue, and the action of the story come together to make this really well-written book a place to get happy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2014

    Ever wondered what having cancer as a teen is like? 17 year old

    Ever wondered what having cancer as a teen is like? 17 year old Cambell knows. Campbell is uprooted from her home to go on a trip with her mother and sister to a tiny town in Maine. There she finds first love, friends, and the meaning of family. This trip is supposed to make her feel better. So why isn't it? I believe this book should be read by girls in the late years of middle school and the first years of high school. I think that Campbell's struggles with fitting in will show that it is perfectly normal to have these problems. Another reason I believe a young high schooler should read this is to show them how to deal with frustration. If something goes wrong, it's not the end of he world. Lastly, I think this will aid younger kids on how to make friend even if they feel different. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2014

    Cam is so wonderfully cynical, she'll make you want to hug her a

    Cam is so wonderfully cynical, she'll make you want to hug her and laugh with her at the rest of the world's folly all at once. Despite being a semi-Mary-Sue, constantly needing the aid of the love interest, Campbell Maria Cooper's story is one I wouldn't miss for half the world. Her Lands End friends and her tree-robbing Nana make the book well worth the read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2014

    Loving this book!

    I love this story! Its so beautiful in a sense that there are people like cam. People who seem to have no hope but then suddenly find it when they stop looking. I love the change in cams feelings and her growing relationship with Asher. I would certainly reccomend this to someone who wants a great story to inspire them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    Believe is a great book

    Havnt read it yet but by just reading the description i think it will very interesting for me

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

        I've wanted to read Probability of Miracles for quite some t

        I've wanted to read Probability of Miracles for quite some time now, and am pleased to finally get that chance. Ever since falling in love with Lurlene McDaniel's books when I was younger, I have been attracted to any stories with cancer or illnesses, so of course the synopsis caught my attention. 
       This is more than a story about cancer though, it is a journey of family, accepting that sometimes life deals crappy hands and deciding how to live the life that you have. It is also a different kind of protag. Cam is a Samoan, which is a culture that I don't know much about, and glad to read about. She grew up at Disney, the Polynesian resort, and as a Disney lover myself and member of vacation club, I loved the backdrop of the setting before they head off to Maine looking for their miracle. Cam is also fiery and sarcastic, and I love her brand of humor. She is pessimistic but then learns to hope and wants to help her family who believes in miracles while she doesn't. 
        Her mom is a non-traditional but she is involved in Cam's life, and supports and loves her and Perry, Cam's little sister. I loved Cam and Perry's banter, light hearted for the most part but they have some real conversations. 
       As for Asher and the romance. I very much enjoyed it, and that it didn't revolve around her illness. He saw her whole person and they helped each other to live more than they thought they would or fuller than thought possible. There are some hot and also fade to black scenes. 
        The ending was fitting but sad. I wasn't completely satisfied right as I put it down, but looking back I think that the real miracle was the closeness she got with her family, the time that she wasn't thinking about dying and being sick and finding love with Asher. 




    Bottom Line: Sarcastic main character going through a hard time with her illness goes on a journey that brings her closer than ever to her family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Great!!!!!!

    Read this book about a year and a half ago and was just browsing through books on my nook and instantly remembered everything and wanted to write a review.
    Its 2:38 am
    This book was an amazing book (5stars) the author realy did a great job of making you fell like you were there.
    The one thing i didnt realy enjoy is that for most of the book the main character is throwing herself a pitty party.
    The romance was believable as was her family and impending death i would reccomend this book to ages14 and up because there was an awkward romance scene or two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Awful

    Bad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Best book I have ever read

    I absolutist fell in lobe with this book. Its just so realistic. My mom had cancer when I was 13. It was heartbreaking to see her go threw it but she survived. This book gabe me closure. Cam was so relatable for me. Id always held a guilt for my mom gettinh cancer thinking I should've been the one to get it. After reading cams struggles and the flamingo list and true love actually happening it gave me hope and lifted the guilt away from me. Thank you Wendy for making such a beautiful book that I couldn't put down. It sure did touch this young teenagers guarded heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Definitely 5 stars

    I read this book last year but still remember the whole thing. It is a touching story and good for teenage girls. Like me! :) I highly reccomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    I read this book in 1 day because I couldn't put it down. I love

    I read this book in 1 day because I couldn't put it down. I love the fact that Wendy Wunder makes the most outrageous thinks become real. I would read it again in a heartbeat.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    The Probability of Miracles written by author Wendy Wunder is a

    The Probability of Miracles written by author Wendy Wunder is a hard hitting look at what a person goes through when dealing with cancer. Wendy Wunder shows this not only from the patients, Campbell Cooper, view, but from family and friends as well. Campbell shows a strength beyond her years to those around her when dealing with her cancer, but down inside she is scared of the unknown. Wendy Wunder will captivate readers with the realistic portrayal of her characters as the story moves along from the state of Florida to settle in the state of Maine. From Cam who is emotionally strong, stubborn, sarcastic, brutally honest, overall hard outer shell yet cares more for those around her then herself. To Perry, Cam's half sister, who is quiet, very optimistic, willing to go along with anything that Cam wants to do. To a mother, single, trying to divide her time between her daughters and work, full of love and faith that God will make everything work out. The Probability of Miracles a book that will tug your heart stings pull in every direction. You will laugh and cry with the characters, hope and pray along side them, you will be shocked and want to reprimand them when they go astray or feel their lack in faith. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder is a must read for anyone who loves a book that with bring you to an emotional cliff and back again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Bad.

    I hated it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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