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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles (edition 2012)

by Karen Thompson Walker

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2,0762543,191 (3.67)133
Title:The Age of Miracles
Authors:Karen Thompson Walker
Info:Wheeler Publishing (2012), Edition: Lrg, Paperback, 397 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:coming of age, middle school, california, end of the world

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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English (258)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (264)
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
beautiful book, really enjoyed it! Review soon... ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
I started it and couldn't put it down. ( )
  DavidCady | Nov 19, 2015 |
How many times have you wished for more hours in a day? I do it all the time, either when I want an extra day of sleep, or when I have tons to complete in an impossible time span. In The Age of Miracles, your wish comes true - the days start getting longer. It's called "the slowing," and days grow longer, sometimes by hours, sometimes by minutes. But when you're wishing for extra time to accomplish things, you don't think about the consequences - and there are intense consequences.

     Daylight might last longer than twelve (or twenty, or forty) hours, but that means night lasts just as long. There's confusion over how to account for time; schools are unattended, businesses don't know when to open. The government eventually insists that the world continue on our standard twenty-four hour clock, now called "clock time." However, some portions of the population want to live naturally: they stay up during daylight, even if the sun is still shining at 2am; they try to sleep for the entire time of darkness. As "clock time" becomes widely accepted, those who live on "real time" are harassed until they leave to form their own communities.

     There are also issues of the slowing of the earth's rotation affecting tides, gravity, and global warming. When the sun shines for over twenty-four hours straight, it gets too hot to go outside. You get sunburned through your clothes. Likewise, the long stretches of night get unbearably cold.

     In the middle of this changing landscape is Julia, an eleven-year-old girl who is trying to find her place in her school's social standing, her family, and herself. She is incredibly wise, despite living in a time of unknown variables. She struggles with loneliness, keeping friends, and becoming close to the boy on whom she's had a long-term crush.

     The concept itself is fascinating and took over my mind from start to finish, and still has a grip on my imagination. It is also beautifully written. Certain sentences were so perfect, I teared up. Though the concept is (hopefully!) impossible and fantastic, the whole idea, paired with gorgeous writing, really makes you appreciate things you have now. Ex: When a spaceship was sending up a disc of information about the history of the 21st century, in case there are others in the universe who might someday find it, Julia notes, "Not mentioned on the disc was the smell of cut grass in high summer, the taste of oranges on our lips, the way sand felt beneath our bare feet…" ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
The premise of this story is unique, a storyline no one (that I know of) has ever written about in the past.

I also really liked the main character, Julia. Despite the potentially catastrophic global event that is being covered day and night by the news, she behaves much like an ordinary teen would - by watching her parents reactions to what's happening, worrying about her family and how they will deal with what may be coming, all the while maneuvering through the day to day dramas of today's current teen environment. Old friends come and go, new friendships are forged, and meanwhile, in the background, there is the constant presence of this "slowing," and Julia's observations about how the people around her are handling it.

Given what was happening, I was really curious as to how the author was going to conclude her story, and when I got the end, I had mixed feelings. Eventually, I decided it was realistic, yet I had wished for something more, and I think that's because I was enjoying the story so much. Her sentences are beautiful in many ways, although there were times I thought she was overdoing the analogies to some degree. But in the next paragraph, she'd break out a line that would make my heart clutch.

All in all, this book deserves five stars... ( )
  DonnaEverhart | Oct 27, 2015 |
I had such high hopes for this book. It had gotten lots of good press, and it sounded like a new type of apocalyptic story. Instead, it was a rather bland coming-of-age story that just happened to take place in a world where suddenly things were changing.

One day, Julia Walker wakes up and the Earth's rotation is slowing. The implications of this far-reaching but they take a back seat to Julia's story of growing up in this environment. The writing style was a bit detached, and seemed to keep the disastrous changes at a distance. And the story focused on Julia's trials and tribulations with school, friends, her family, and that boy she likes.

And I was just very disappointed at the ending, which seemed a bit of a cop out, glossing over events between early teenager to young adulthood, and foreshadowing to the inevitable extinction of life on the Earth. ( )
  wisemetis | Aug 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 258 (next | show all)
"The Age of Miracles"? More like: "The Age of Disasters"! Before I get into why I say that, I'll elaborate on what the book is about. First off, it's actually a very well written book. it's told from the point of view of a middle school aged girl and the events in the story take place are told through her perspective. Everything was fine, until the days started to get longer. First it was only by a few minutes everyday, then it escalated to half an hour, then a full hour, then hours, until people who were stuck on the side of the hemisphere facing the Sun found that the suns hostile rays make the outside world totally inhospitable. people were forced to permanently take refuge inside their household as a slight reprieve to escape a heat-related death.

The reason I call it "The Age of Disasters" is because of how terribly things spiral out of control. Everyday lives are thrown out of whack as people scramble to reorient themselves into their new reality. I went into the book having almost no prior knowledge about its plot. I thought it would be a lot happier than what it was on account of it having the word "Miracles" in the title. And boy was I wrong.

The ending of this book doesn't even come close to the word "bittersweet." It's just plain bitter to me. It doesn't delve too deeply into the fate of humanity, but a 20 year time-skip does show you what becomes of the main character and her family, sans her love interest who she hasn't seen since the suns powerful rays gave him cancer and forced him to move to new mexico for treatment. They promised that they'd keep in touch, and meant it, but due to unknown reasons the letters the main character sent to him were never returned and they never saw one another again. My guess is that the treatment failed and he didn't survive, or maybe they never made it to new mexico at all.

This is a great, albeit depressing book.
added by morgan434 | editReading the actual book, who else? Me (Apr 17, 2015)
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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Thompson Walkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Emily Janicemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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
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.
Sometimes the saddest stories take the fewest words...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
(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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