Review | The Miraculous
Title: The Miraculous
Author: Jess Redman
Genre: contemporary fantasy
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. These miracles fill Wunder with the feeling that he is not alone, that the world is magical, that he is part of something brighter than he can imagine.
But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles don’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. And he stops believing.
Then Wunder meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and the old woman who lives there—and who might be a witch. The old woman asks for Wunder and Faye’s help. She asks them to go through graveyards and forests, to townhalls and police stations, by bike and by train. She asks them to believe. And together, they go on a journey that leads them to friendship, to healing—and to miracles.
What I Liked
The overall sweetness of this story is its real strength, along with the very real and painful consequences of bereavement and grief. Wunder's parents, but especially his mother, are devastated by the loss of his baby sister, and the effect their grief has on their relationship and on Wunder is very realistic. The way the kids act in this story is very accurate to how grief can play out in real life: from Wunder's rejection of anything good or "miraculous," to his friends' uncertainty of how to approach the subject with him, there's a range of emotional interaction with his sister's death.
What I Would Have Liked to See
I think the story did everything it set out to do! I need nothing else from it.
Faye! Especially this line: “I’m only human, Wundie. Sometimes you have to scream.” What an honest statement. Faye is an incredible new friend for Wunder, coming to him at a time that he needs her and someone with her insight the most.
Wunder Ellis loses his belief in miracles when tragedy strikes his family, and maybe only a weird girl at school and a witch in a spooky house can help him get it back.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!
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