Daily Archives: January 2, 2012

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder: Audiobook Review

Book: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, Penguin Audio, December 8, 2011

Genre/Format/pages:  Young Adult Contemporary genre, Audiobook provided by the publisher,  Audio length: 8 hours, 7 minutes, read by Emma Galvin. Also available in Hardcover (336 pages)

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

More Info: Audible | LibraryThing | Goodreads | Amazon

Campbell (Cam) Cooper has been battling cancer for years, but now her doctor says only a miracle can save her now. Cam is realistic about her chances and starts to pull out her “flamingo list”, a checklist of tasks to perform before she dies. Cam’s mother says not so fast, and moves the family to Promise, Maine, a place where magical events occur, to try to find that elusive miracle.

Wow, I didn’t expect to read one of my favorite books of the year in December. But this emotional, bittersweet, yet surprisingly uplifting story took me on quite a journey. Going into the book, I worried that it would be too depressing. And though cancer is always looming over the story, there are many very funny, sweet, and touching moments that keep it from being too much of a downer. I felt invested in Cam’s story from the first lines and it kept me riveted all the way through.

Cam’s voice is one of the things I loved about the book. She’s sarcastic, tough, and accepting of her fate. She’s smart, loves animals, works in the kitchen at Disney World, and later at the vet, and doesn’t curl up in a ball of despair. She loves her friends and family and is protective of them and wants to see them happy.

The town of Promise is really special; from the community of new friends Cam joins, to Asher, the sweet guy who’s there for her when she needs him, to all the magical events that happen in the town. And the animals in the book really steal the show at times and contribute greatly to the magical feeling of the book. Cam’s best friend Lily, and hilarious Nana were also standout characters.

In addition to the Promise location setting, the story starts out in Florida, where Cam and her Mom Alicia have jobs at Disney World. It was fun reading the behind the scenes info about working for Disney, and the role it plays in her family’s life.

Emma Galvin, who is one of the best YA audio narrators around, reads the audiobook. She also narrated Divergent, and I had to shake off the feeling that Tris has cancer at first. But, seriously, this narrator has the perfect voice for Cam, and conveys her sarcasm and the necessary emotional range expertly.

If you are a fan of Before I Fall or If I Stay you will probably love this emotional and satisfying read. I can’t recommend it highly enough and look forward to reading more from this author.

Other Reviews of the book:

The Story Siren

The Paper Reader

Waking Brain Cells

The Compulsive Reader


Enter to win an ARC of the book here. (Ends Jan. 8)

Watch the book trailer:

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End of Year Book Survey: Adios 2011!

It’s time to close out 2011 with a final year-end wrap-up. This survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner as a way to reflect on some of the highlights of the year. This is her second year hosting the survey and my second time participating. These surveys stress me out a little because I’m always second-guessing my choices but it’s a fun way to remember the year. Sorry that some of the book choices get repetitive…

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

Okay, we are jumping in with the hardest question! I am totally cheating by picking multiple books. Let’s break it down by category:

YA Contemporary: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

YA Dystopian: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Blood Red Road by Moira Young

YA Fantasy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Chime by Franny Billingsley

Middle Grade: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Adult Fiction: The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Audiobook: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, David Levithan

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did? 

Crossed by Ally Condie was a bit of a letdown. I was excited to read it since I liked Matched so much, but it just didn’t work as well for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake took me by surprise. I didn’t know I would enjoy a horror type book so much.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Anna/Lola by Stephanie Perkins.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

The Birthmarked series by Caragh M. O’Brien, Legend by Marie Lu, and Wither by Lauren DeStefano

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Tabitha Suzuma, Beth Revis, and John Green are some new authors I’ve read this year.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – the subject matter is uncomfortable but it’s such a powerful book. Want to Go Private? is another book that got under my skin. Also, I enjoyed reading books written in verse such as The Day Before and Audition.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The Faerie Ring cover is lovely.

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Tris from Divergent, Briony in Chime are a couple that first come to mind.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Chime and Daughter of Smoke and Bone stand out to me.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder is a recent read but is one that resonated a lot with me.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is one that I had on my radar for a while. It’s a fantastic audiobook too.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

I’m not good at remembering favorite quotes but the first line of Daughter of Smoke and Bone is memorable:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

Blood Red Road by Moira Young, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Last Breath by Rachel Caine had some surprises!

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011?

I couldn’t pick one favorite, so I’ll go with ten. There are several that I discovered this year that are wonderful: Bookchelle, bookgoonie, Books, Bones & Buffy, Book Labyrinth, IceyBooks, Just a ‘lil Lost, Nicole’s YA Book Haven, Poetry to Prose, reutreads and The Guilded Earlobe. There’s many more that I discovered late in the year too, and several that I continue to visit from last year. Love the book blogging community :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011?

I am critical of my own writing, but two of the most commented review posts are Daughter of Smoke and Bone and A Monster Calls.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Still haven’t had any discussion posts. Reading and posting reviews are keeping me busy, though I would like to try writing a discussion post sometime.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

There have been some interesting topics this year and one at the top of my mind is YA Saves.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Comic-Con is the biggest book event I participated in. Also enjoyed participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon, Armchair BEA, NetGalley Month, and Top Ten Tuesday.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

Participating in blog tours, my first author interview, and having a post on the WordPress home page were all highlights.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By far the most popular post on my blog of the year and most likely all-time is the one that was Freshly Pressed on WordPress. This Top Ten Tuesday post about bookish/blogging resolutions received 4,404 views (!) on January 11th. Crazy. For the record, my number one goal was to post everyday of the year and I failed miserably. Actually, the comments on that post made me really rethink my goals for reading and blogging in general, and allowed me to not put so much pressure on myself.

Besides that post, and for comparison’s sake, the second most popular post is Summer’s Crossing by Julie Kagawa at 1300 views total, and Water for Elephants Book & Movie thoughts at 900 views total.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My reviews of Liesl & Po and How to Save a Life could use a little love.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Audiobooks! I listened to about 25 of them this year, and expect that number to grow this year. I love that household chores and workouts can be made enjoyable when you are listening to an audiobook.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed my goal of 100 books this year. (Including audiobooks – does that count?) I also read 22 books by debut authors, and 15 books for the Dystopia challenge. I did not get anywhere close to my goal for historical fiction books however.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta are two much loved books that I will be reading this year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

How about three? Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’m challenging myself to read 125 books and have signed up for these reading challenges.

I also want to do more author interviews, and participate in blog tours. Also, keep up with reviews in a timely manner, and be active in the blogging community in general.

Well, that’s a wrap for 2011! This year has been a year of learning and growth for the blog and I look forward to more fun and challenges in 2012. Thanks for reading!


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