The Age of Miracles is an intriguing book, written by Karen Thompson Walker.
One Saturday morning the world wakes up to discover that the earth’s rotation has begun to slow. Birds fall from the sky and people start to flee – except there’s no where to escape to.
Julia is already trying to cope with the disasters of everyday life. And then there’s Seth: tall, mysterious, and someone who knows all about disaster. As the world faces a catastrophe, Julia and Seth are facing their very own journey into the unknown.
I was really excited to start reading The Age of Miracles but I felt as though this book let me down. I expected this book to be a lot more full of action or problem or something other than just staring at a cute guy and complaining about the people who you used to be friends with. I hoped this book would be one that I loved reading, and it just wasn’t. This book was initially really interesting and it was fast paced in the beginning, but I felt as though it just went downhill from there. The beginning was fascinating and the rest was just meh. I could probably have just read the beginning of the book and the last chapter. I felt like the middle of this book was quite slow and it didn’t hold my interest enough for me to care about either the characters or the plot.
One thing that I really didn’t like about this book was the age of the main character. She was eleven. And it’s not like I have anything against eleven year-olds, I just felt like this book is targeted to teenagers and sometimes I find it hard to connect with people that seem that much younger than me. Her actions seemed childish and her personality often annoyed me. She flicked between being too mature for her age and being ridiculously naive and frustrating. I never had a stable connection with her because of how quickly her personality seemed to change. When I started reading this book, I expected her to be fifteen or sixteen years old. I was surprised to find out that she was this young and I feel as though I had this picture of this reasonably mature teenager and instead I got an eleven year-old who desperately wants to have a boyfriend and be popular. Some of her motivations were so immature and they just frustrated me.
Another thing I didn’t like about this book was just most of the characters. I got to know Julia’s parents a bit, and they were a big part of the story, but I didn’t feel connected to them and I just didn’t care, which was a big issue for me. I desperately wanted to feel something for these characters. Julia’s crush was immature as well. I felt like he was hardly in the book at all and because the cover of this book has two teenagers who look about sixteen or maybe seventeen, I expected there to be more romance, and well-written romance. If there was chemistry between Julia and her crush, I didn’t feel it at all. A lot of this book was dull and completely uninteresting and the lack of depth to the characters didn’t help and a lot of them were purely one-dimensional.
While I would have liked to have read more about the slowing of the earth, this book focussed mainly on the relationships Julia had with the people around her and how her life was changed by the slowing of the rotation of the planet. Although it was interesting to see how something like this affected people and their relationships, I felt as though this book let me down. This book was just a contemporary, except the earth was spinning a little slower. There was hardly anything in this book about the science of the slowing or how people were trying to fix it, so it seemed like more of an inconvenience rather than the skeleton which the plot was strung from.
One thing I liked about this book was the way it was written. Sentences seemed really well formed and they all flowed prettily. Parts of this book were beautiful pieces of prose and I loved reading them. On the other end of the spectrum, some of the conversations seemed dull and young, but I suppose the author didn’t want the eleven year-old to sound too mature for her age or exceptionally intellectual because it could have come across as fake.
Overall, this book was okay. I won’t be reading it again, but it was good enough to pass the time. I’d give The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker a score of 6 out of 10. If any of you have read this book, I’d love to hear what you thought!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!