12-year-old Julia wakes up one seemingly normal Saturday morning to find that the Earth’s rotation has begun to slow. As the days stretch longer and longer; gravity has been altered, birds’ behavior has oddly changed, and human behavior has shifted. Julia’s world has been shaken up in itself—the gap between her parents has begun to widen, and she has noticed strange behavior in her friends.
As the entire globe experiences an unexpected catastrophe like nothing they’ve ever known, Julia navigates shakily through her conflicted family relationships, weakened friendships, curious first love, and emotional isolation from the world around her. She struggles to understand the changes taking place at a large scale, to the Earth; and at a smaller scale, to her life and the relationships within.
I thought The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was all in all a beautiful, magical, enchanting story. A majority of this novel’s scenes did capture me in their gorgeously crafted moments. However, the story was mostly anticlimactic, with many obvious foreshadowings that led up to no major event at all. The ending was also extremely disappointing and slightly confusing, and I didn’t enjoy it since there was no satisfaction.
Nonetheless, if you are seeking a thought-provoking read to simply contemplate life and how temporary it is, The Age of Miracles is the book for you.
“It’s never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass—it’s the ones you don’t expect at all.”-Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Libby.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius who loves gardening, diagnosing medical conditions, and most of all, the number 7. Willow is bursting with knowledge and curiosity on the inside, but when she enters middle school, she discovers that the only people she finds comfort in connecting with are her adoptive parents.
Until one seemingly normal day morphs into the tragic disaster that becomes the center of Willow’s world—both her adoptive parents die in a car crash. What are the odds of losing both sets of parents in a lifetime? Apparently, Willow is right on the edge of the graph, in the one percent of the one percent. Twice without parents, she feels more alone than ever, because who is she with no family?
Willow embarks on a journey to find a permanent family to surround her. On her way, she finds her voice and casts herself magically on others. She helps to create an entire garden at a drab apartment building, inspires a taxi driver to continue his education, and makes her mark on everything she is involved in. She discovers herself surrounded by her loved ones, her chosen family, those whom she met on her journey.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan brings fresh emotion to readers—warmth, tears, and joy. Willow Chance shows readers that family is truly important, but that those you meet on your journey are just as significant as those you have known since you were born. I was thoroughly touched by this unexpectedly beautiful story. Willow may be a genius who makes all her meals with food grown in her backyard garden; but in the end, she’s just a young girl with feelings and emotions who will make readers completely rethink everything they’ve been through and appreciate all they have much, much more. Readers will close Counting by 7s with more than a new story under their wings, because this book is a lot more than that—it’s a whole new understanding of our world.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan can be downloaded for free from Overdrive.