Megan is the only survivor of a small airplane crash, and everyone keeps insisting she is "a miracle." Megan doesn't feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn't feel anything. She doesn't remember anything about the crash, but has told her friends and family she's fine and dealing with it.
It very quickly becomes obvious, at least to the reader, that Megan is NOT fine. She quits the soccer team, she can't sleep, she's having visions of the other people on the plane, she's alienated herself from all her friends, and she very seldom can go to school. But, all is forgiven by her parents, coach, and teachers. Even after her coach and teachers begin to realize that Megan is failing miserably, her parents still don't call her on her behavior. They are just so happy she's alive that nothing else matters.
There are a couple of redeeming people in Megan's life. Her neighbor, Margaret, seems to be very perceptive. She tries to help Megan, but with Megan's parents' disbelief and dislike of Margaret, nothing much can be done.
There's a neighbor, Joe, who begins to talk to Megan. He's had his own problems -- his little sister died several years ago, and Joe's family has fallen apart. Joe is the only person who Megan feels understands her at all.
I had some problems with the basic premise. First of all, wouldn't doctors realize that it is likely that Megan doesn't remember the accident? Why didn't they push harder to get Megan some help? Also, even after her coach realized Megan was failing, all he did was talk to her about working harder and catching up. Why didn't it occur to him that this was a cry for help?
Megan, by her actions (not her words), really begged her parents for help. I refuse to believe that two caring, intelligent people could remain in denial for so long. I know Megan's brother, David, had something to do with this, since they had experienced the stress of his illnesses, but I still didn't buy it.
However, Scott writes great characters that you can't help but care about. I really got wrapped up in Miracle, and it is a quick read that will appeal to my reluctant readers. The pace moved along, and I never felt it dragging, although I was sometimes frustrated with the plot.
Miracle is a very accessible book for teens and preteens. It's prose is simple, but still beautiful. The story is dramatic enough to hold attention, and the characters, like I said, are relate-able if not always likable. There's also a teeny bit of a romance, just to tug a bit at your heart. I'll encourage teens to give Miracle a shot if they like contemporary "problem" novels.
Published by Simon Pulse, June 5, 2012
ARC obtained from Around the World Tours
217 pages (qualifies for my BYCRID Challenge!)
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