The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

July 20, 2015 Coming of Age, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction 12

Happy Monday Bookworms!

I know Mondays are a total bummer, but they’re only 24 hours. Every day is, in fact, a gloriously predictable 24 hours. Unless, of course, you live in the world of my latest read, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Ever wished there were more hours in a day? Better be careful what you wish for, Bookworms, because in this book, the Earth, for reasons unknown, decides to slow down. An extra hour in the day, then more and more until the days stretch out so long that everyone’s sleep schedule is completely wacky, animals start going extinct, and food ceases to grow reliably. If you ever run across a Monkey’s Paw, you now know exactly what will happen if you wish for more hours in the day. DON’T DO IT!

theageofmiraclesJulia is eleven years old when the Earth’s rotation begins to slow. She tells the story of worldwide catastrophe through the eyes of a middle school girl. Because sixth grade isn’t hard enough, let’s throw an apocalypse in there, right?! I really dug this book, you guys. One of the biggest criticisms I’ve come across while scoping out this book is the fact that despite global calamity, Julia spent lot of time and energy worrying about middle school drama. To the critics, I say, FIE! (I’ve always wanted to say “fie.” I’m going to do it again. FIE!)

Julia is ELEVEN. And her middle school experience, though in the midst of extraordinary circumstances, is spot on. It hit me in the feels, you guys. The friendships and cliques and crushes and pressures and awkwardness took me back in a big way. Sure, I didn’t spend my sixth grade year watching the world slowly deconstruct, but kids are kids. Eleven is awfully young to grasp the hugeness of a worldwide event. How can you concentrate on the end of the world when that cute boy on the skateboard wants to hold your hand? Your eleven year old self knows it’s true.

Other than the fact that I now have an irrational fear of the Earth spontaneously slowing its rotation, The Age of Miracles was full of win for me. If apocalypse novels are your jam and you’ve ever been through middle school, this book is for you.

Let’s chat, Bookworms. I’m kind of fixated on this Monkey’s Paw thing now, which if you’re not familiar with it, is a short story involving wish granting that always turns out hideously. Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day? Do you now feel like you’re tempting fate because of it? 

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12 Responses to “The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker”

  1. AMB (Amal)

    This sounds great! I am one of those people who wishes there were more hours in the day, but I can see how it would be a disaster (really, I just wish I would use the time I have in the the day more efficiently!). It makes perfect sense to me that Julia would still worry about the daily tribulations of adolescence. It’s a rough time. Besides, even in the face of calamity, the daily routines and interactions of life have to go on.

    • Words For Worms

      Time efficiency is the dream, isn’t it? Part of what I loved about this book was the daily routines continuing. I think it’s one of the things apocalyptic fiction tends to dismiss, the normalcy. They go straight into chaos when it’s just as likely a decline would be gradual.

  2. Megan M.

    I *have* wished for more hours in the day, but I always imagined a time-turner sort of situation where I, alone, had the power and no one else was affected. I feel like we’re all like Julia, aren’t we? The world is crashing down around us all the time, and yet we are still focused on whether we’re five minutes late to book club or angry that Hulu doesn’t have our favorite show. #firstworldproblems, right?

    • Words For Worms

      TIME TURNER! I have a time turner necklace which I occasionally wear without a hint of irony. Unfortunately, the only magical power it possesses is to attract other Potterheads. The world is always crashing down somewhere. If we all just threw our hands up and melted down at the same time, nobody would ever eat dinner, dangit!

  3. Lindsey

    I read this one a few years ago. I thought it was so original in the midst of big explosion, corrupt government, general mayhem sort of apocalypse tales.

    • Words For Worms

      YES! So many books, especially YA tend to go the weird dystopia route (which can be great, but it’s becoming cliche) and this was so refreshingly realistic.

  4. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Ha, now all I can think of is that song from “Singing in the Rain” about “were there more than 24 hours a day / they’d be spent in sweet content dreaming away” aaaaaaand that’s now going to be stuck in my head until I die.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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