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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
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The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

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1,8572363,722 (3.68)117
Member:Fliss88
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Public library book
Rating:***
Tags:Read, Fiction

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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English (237)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (243)
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
An enjoyable enough read, but not nearly as good as it should have been. There was so much potential here, and at the end it was an absolutely typical YA coming of age story that just happened to be set at the end of the world. In fact (and this is probably not far of the mark for a teenager) the protagonist is much more concerned with her loneliness and then her boyfriend than she is with the fact that everything and everyone is going to die. Initially I was intrigued by the angle that puberty is its own little apocalypse, and the two cataclysmic events - time slowing and middle school - paralleled each other. Then the author just dropped that and went to the blah blah blah bad things happen, love is magical and affirming that then lost, classmates are mean, storyline that you can find in Eleanor & Park, The Fault in our Stars, (both better written) and a million other YA books. What a shame. If the author had done even the slightest bit of work to learn something about the science of what would happen if the Earth's rotation was slowed and then had the people live through that rather than telling us that crops die when there are 48 hour nights and the electric grid can't handle the needs of a planet dependent on sunlamps to grow all food and otherwise live (duh!) this would have been an exponentially better book. I toyed with making this a 2 star, but this author writes pretty prose and I enjoyed reading it so a low 3 seems fair. ( )
  Narshkite | Aug 19, 2014 |
This was something that I wasn't sure I would like, but it really held my interest from beginning to end. It's fascinating to think about what would happen if the earth actually stopped doing what we expect/need it to. More than the characters' individual stories, I was interested in the ways that the governments and scientists tried to cope with what was happening,the way that some people refused to accept that there are things beyond human control. It was a good one, I would recommend it. ( )
  Hanneri | Aug 15, 2014 |
wow. This is a very thought provoking and well written book. I must admit, I kept looking at the clock and at the daylight. I felt as if I was there. Honestly, this book freaks me out a bit. I find it very disturbing as there isn't really any hope left, or very little. Life seems to be going on, but for how long. It makes me wonder how we would face such a situation. I think it would be much like in the book,although probably more violence than we see. Overall, this book has left me rather disturbed. ( )
  morandia | Aug 1, 2014 |
A lovely read that starts with the idea that the rotation of the earth is slowing down and then tells the reader what happens to the family of an 11-year-old girl from the period of the 'slowing'. This gives a human scale to a major disaster and we see the whole thing from her point of view. This, therefore, is not a novel full of science it is about emotions and teenage concerns. Julia, the 11-year-old, is a loner and is an observant teenager and she tells how the world changes, both the world outside her home and within her family, as the world slows further and further down. Well put together and an interesting novel. ( )
  Tifi | Jun 29, 2014 |
Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 3 stars
Style: 4 1/2 stars
Pace: 4 stars

So ephemeral, and it pops like a soap bubble afterwards, but while reading it, I really enjoyed it. ( )
  Jami_Leigh | Jun 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
What sets the story apart from more run-of-the-mill high-concept novels is Ms. Walker’s decision to recount the unfolding catastrophe from the perspective of Julia, who is on the verge of turning 12. Her voice turns what might have been just a clever mash-up of disaster epic with sensitive young-adult, coming-of-age story into a genuinely moving tale that mixes the real and surreal, the ordinary and the extraordinary with impressive fluency and flair.

“The Age of Miracles” is not without its flaws. There are moments when the spell the author has so assiduously created wobbles, and moments when a made-for-Hollywood slickness seeps into the story. Some minor plot developments feel as if they had been created simply for pacing, and Ms. Walker sometimes seems so determined to use Julia’s circumscribed life as a microcosm of the larger world that the reader has to be reminded that “the slowing” is supposedly a planet-altering phenomenon.
added by ozzer | editNYTimes, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (Jun 18, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
Here in the last minutes, the very end of the world,
someone's tightening a screw thinner than an eyelash,
someone with slim wrists is straightening flowers...

Another End of the World, James Richardson
Dedication
For my parents and for Casey
First words
We didn't notice right away.

We did not sense at first the extra time, bulging from the smooth edge of each day like a tumor blooming beneath skin.
Quotations
Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(from the publisher)
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, twelve-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow.  Amidst this altered environment, Julia also faces a new kind of transformation – growing up.  Coping with the normal disasters of everyday life (the loss of friends, struggles in her parents’ marriage, and the anguish of first love) she grapples to find her way on a changing world.
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Imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

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