TLC Book Tour: The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles

Karen Thompson Walker

Random House

288 pages

Julia awakes on a summer day to what seems like a normal Saturday.  It only takes a few minutes for everything to change dramatically.  The news stations suddenly have breaking news to report: the days are getting longer.  It’s only by a few minutes, but scientists are reporting that it’s indicative of the earth’s rotation slowing down.

As The Age of Miracles goes on, the situation quickly becomes more dire.  As the days go on, the idea of a 24 hour day becomes a distant memory.  The daylight hours stretch on for days, to be followed by long bouts of darkness.  The government decides to go ahead and stick with “clock time”, meaning that people are expected to live by the 24 hour clock regardless of whether 3am falls in the middle of the day or noon is smack dab in the middle of the night.  Conflict arises when some citizens decide to go by “real time”, meaning they sleep when the it is dark and stay awake during daytime hours.

There is a LOT of YA dystopian fiction out there.  I think we can all agree on that.  So it can be difficult for a debut author to step onto the scene and be successful. For that reason, I was kind of skeptical when I picked this one up.  I was interested in the premise, so it was a matter of whether or not Walker could deliver.  And guys, I am happy to say she did! The Age of Miracles was wonderful. I could not put it down!

There seemed to be a little something special about this book.  It kept me rapt, which is typical for YA dystopian but there also seemed to be an additional weightiness to the text that I don’t always find with the genre.  It almost seemed a little more realistic than what the genre typically offers.

I urge others to read this one ASAP.  It’s a great beach read because it will keep your attention from page one! I will definitely keep an eye out in the future for more from this author.

About Karen Thompson Walker

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and is an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Simon & Schuster. The Age of Miracles is her first book.

For more information about Karen and The Age of Miracles, please visit the book’s website, www.TheAgeofMiracles.com, and Facebook page.

Karen Thompson Walker’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 4th:  Layers of Thought

Wednesday, June 6th:  Rhapsody in Books

Thursday, June 7th:  A Chick Who Reads

Monday, June 11th:  Reviews by Lola

Tuesday, June 12th:  Book Chatter

Wednesday, June 13th:  Alison’s Bookmarks

Thursday, June 14th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves

Monday, June 18th:  Inklings Read

Tuesday, June 19th:  Life in the Thumb

Wednesday, June 20th:  Under My Apple Tree

Thursday, June 21st:  Twisting the Lens

Monday, June 25th:  Taming the Bookshelf

Tuesday, June 26th:  Stephanie’s Written Word

Wednesday, June 27th:  Jen’s Book Den & Literary Review

Thursday, June 28th:  Conceptual Reception

Monday, July 2nd:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

Tuesday, July 3rd:  It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life

Thursday, July 5th:  The Brain Lair

Monday, July 9th:  Great Imaginations

Tuesday, July 10th:  Sweet Southern Home

Wednesday, July 11th:  The Scarlet Letter

Thursday, July 12th:  In the Next Room

Monday, July 16th:  Regular Rumination

Tuesday, July 17th:  She Treads Softly

Wednesday, July 18th:  Book Addict Katie

Thursday, July 19th:  Fiction State of Mind

Monday, July 23rd:  Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, July 24th:  Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, July 25th:  Ashley Loves Books

Thursday, July 26th:  Becky’s Book Reviews

Date TBD: Tuesday, June 5th:  Book Drunkard

TBD: Chick Lit Reviews and News

Book Review: Bumped

Bumped

Megan McCafferty

Balzer & Bray

336 pages

The year is 2036 and a widespread virus has made anyone over the age of 18 infertile.  Thus, the teenage population has the sole responsibility of reproducing for the rest of the population.  Many teenagers are under contract, with many perks promised once they deliver a child.  Melody is one such teen.  She has a very promising contract but has yet to get pregnant as the couple that contracted her haven’t settled on a male donor yet.

Meanwhile, Melody has just discovered that she has a twin.  Harmony has grown up on a religious compound, so the world she is used to is quite different from the one Melody inhabits.  She is visiting Melody in an attempt to convince her of her errant ways, but in turn, she is influenced by Melody’s environment.

My plot synopsis is paltry at best, but I think Bumped is best experienced when you have little knowledge of what to expect.  One element to be aware of though would be the slang involved in the text.  It was overwhelming to me for the first 30 pages or so, and I was skeptical as to whether I would be able to overcome that.  By the end, I had come to appreciate the vernacular and how it added to the climate of the story.  Just be forewarned though that it can be a little difficult to ingratiate yourself.

I have read other reviews that have an issue with the serious issue of teen pregnancy being somewhat glamorized and not seen with the gravity it demands.  I certainly see the argument of that line of thinking, and I am not sure where I fall on that continuum.  I can see how the novel could be seen as a bit distasteful but it is, after all, a work of fiction and in the end, my enjoyment of the novel wasn’t altered.

Bumped is the first book in a series, which is problematic to someone like me who ultimately enjoyed the book so much that I want to immediately get my hands on a copy of the second book in the series.  Bumped was just published last month so I am guessing we have a long wait. If you have any information on the second book, please let me know! I have tried to find more information, but have come up with nothing!

Other Reviews:

Book Addiction

Presenting Lenore

The Zen Leaf

I purchased this book for my Kindle.

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Ballantine Books

208 pages

Guy Montag is a firefighter.  In the world he lives in, firefighters do not fight fires though, they actually start them.  The government, in an attempt to control the population, has banned any written word, so all books are set afire.  If neighbors or acquaintances suspect someone is harboring books, they will report them and the entire house will be immediately burned down.

The world Guy lives in is so completely unbelievable–it actually reminded me of the movie Pleasantville with Toby McGuire and Reese Witherspoon, in the sense that the government is attempting to stop the flow of any emotion and feeling.  Without those, no one cares enough to question any motives.  Guy’s wife, Mildred, was the worst! She had her “family”, which were really the people on TV, and that was all she seemingly cared about.

Shockingly, I was never assigned to read this book in school.  I know it is assigned reading in a lot of high schools and I am so glad that that was not the case for me, because I highly doubt that I would have appreciated this book to the extent that I do reading it now, as an adult.

This is the type of book that is tiny but packs a BIG punch.  There were so many lines that I would just read and reread because they were so great.  Some of my favorites:

“You weren’t there, you didn’t see,”he said. “There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there . . . “

page 51

“Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money, or that many friends.  The things you are looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. “

page 86

I think any serious reader will appreciate this book.  My husband was incredulous to find out how much I loved this book, seeing as he read over half of it and eventually put it down in disgust.  I think, had he stayed with it, he would have seen the “big picture”.  This book just stands for so much more than just the plotline.

I didn’t intentionally read and review this book for Banned Books Week–it just kinda happened!

Other Reviews:

The Book Lady’s Blog

Rhapsody in Books

Fizzy Thoughts

Presenting Lenore

A Book Blog. Period.

things mean a lot

Nose in a Book

I purchased this book . . . maybe from Target?

This book counts towards the RIP challenge.

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