Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Age of Miracles by: Karen Thompson Walker

Title: The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Pages: 369
Publisher: Simon and Schuster


"It is never what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophies are always different - unimagined, unprepared for, unknown...." What if out 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on an eleven-year-old girl, grappling with emotional changes in her own life...? One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. and yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impac of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her famil and on herself.

My thoughts:

First-time author Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles will be a delight, a fresh voice for those who are bored of reading very similar books in the YA genre.

We take the 24 hours in a day for granted; in fact, we plan our entire lives around it, second by second. I use my phone's clock, and I've aligned it with the clock that public transportation uses because I never would be on time for work. In The Age of Miracles, all this turns upside down. Days and nights start getting longer, slowly but surely. 11-year-old Juliet, who lives in the suburbs of California tells us that sometimes 20 hours pass between the rising and setting of the sun. The majority of the people in her community continue to live their lives by the 24-hour system, and those who choose to live by the rising and setting of the sun are mostly considered freaks.

We see how the world changes through Juliet's eyes. The world continues to spin, but birds and other animals as well as plants start dying. Some people continue their lives as if nothing has happened, nothing is wrong, while some truly believe that the world is coming to an end. Among this commotion, Juliet also deals with the hardship of leaving childhood and becoming a young girl. I liked that these hardships weren't overdramatized; Juliet's problems are problems that every 11-year-old faces, will face. Because she's not one of the popular girls at school, she battles with loneliness. She's trying to win the affections of the boy she likes. And, she witnesses how her parents solve their problems.

The only part of the book that was tough for me was keeping in mind that Juliet is 11. Throughout the entire book, I felt like she was at least 15-16. Since I don't really have any kids around me, I'm not sure what 11-year olds act like these days, so I can't say for certain if anyone will feel the same way. I do definitely think this worth a read for those who are looking for something different.
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