Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Miracle (YA) Spoilers

Miracle. Elizabeth Scott. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages.

When I woke up the sky was burning. It was orange-red with flames, breathing hot all over me, and thick black smoke bloomed like clouds. I rose to my knees and the sky grew hotter and closer as water poured over me. I knew I should turn around, that there was something behind me. I didn't even know how I knew that. I just did. I didn't turn around, and in front of me, through the bright flame of the sky, I saw a hint of green. I started walking toward it. Smoke was winding itself inside me, slipping down my throat every time I breathed. 

I have a feeling that it isn't exactly fair to judge a book by an author's previous books. But. I can't help feeling that Miracle just isn't as wonderful as some of the author's previous books. Even if I exclude Elizabeth Scott's contemporary romances and only consider her darker YA novels like Grace, Living Dead Girl, Love You Hate You Miss You. Do I like her darker books? Yes and no. Grace wowed me, I won't lie. It was definitely a strong book for me. Same with Living Dead Girl. It was very, very, very, very dark. And not at all pleasant to read. But I did feel that it was a powerful story well told. I felt their was a certain strength in the writing, not anyone could write like that. And the fact that the same person who writes like that also writes giddy-making (seriously giddy-making) YA romances, it is a lot to keep in mind. Scott doesn't just write the same book over and over and over again. Although some fans might prefer her to keep writing giddy-making romances. I certainly wouldn't mind reading *more* YA romance from her. But neither do I expect her to just write one kind of a book and only one kind of book.

So. I didn't exactly love, love, love Miracle. I didn't dislike it. I really didn't. There were things I definitely liked, and things that I definitely didn't like. So what didn't I like? Well, I HATED (yes, hated) Megan's parents. I HATED the way they treated Megan's brother. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. The way the parents treat David was all kinds of wrong. And the way we're led to believe that before the plane crash the case was reversed, well, it convinced me that Megan's parents need HELP. (Before David got 100% of the attention.) Is not liking the parents of a narrator reason enough to not particularly "like" a book, probably not. And I did like a handful of the characters. I particularly liked Margaret. She was one of two people who really got Megan, well, post-crash Megan. She was one of the only people who saw Megan for herself, who saw Megan's need and looked at it without turning away. The other person was Joe, a next door neighbor with swoon potential. If Miracle had more Bloom to it, well, it would be a different book. Still. Joe was an asset to this book. I did like the way he got to know Megan, and how he helped her through some of her darkest times.

I think Miracle is more of an issue book than a romance. It does go dark places. Being the sole survivor of a plane crash would be traumatic. Being a survivor--sole or not--would be traumatic. So there is a reason this isn't a giddy-making romance... 

Read Miracle
  • If you're looking for a novel about PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • If you're looking for a dark and gritty novel about a young woman tortured by what she doesn't quite remember--she's the sole survivor of a plane crash. 
  • If you prefer contemporary/realistic YA to YA romance.
  • If you're a fan of Elizabeth Scott. Particularly if you're a fan of Grace, Living Dead Girl, or Love You Hate You Miss You.
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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