Book Review: Miracle

Wednesday 2 March 2016 by

Miracle, Elizabeth Scott, Book, Reading, SimonPulseMiracle tells the story of teenager Megan who whilst travelling home from summer camp becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash, that she can’t remember, and a “miracle” to her parents and the residents of her small town. While those around her feel nothing but gratitude and amazement regarding her survival and struggle to understand why Megan doesn’t bound into her second chance at life full of joy, Megan struggles to be what others wish her to be whilst simultaneously trying to understand why she feels as she does and why no one can see what she’s going through. No one that is besides Margaret, the old lady from her local church whom others in the community shy away from, and Joe, her next door neighbour fresh home from military school.

Going into this novel I wasn’t really sure what to expect plot-wise as Scott writes both dramatic novels and lighter reads that involve romance, as the blurb hints at romance I was unsure which way it would go. As it turns out, the novel is a look at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the way in which it changes a person – that makes it sound like it’s really depressing, it’s not. At 217 pages, it’s a quick read but by no means flimsy. Scott is an extremely economical writer, able to convey depth of emotion, character, and situation in a beautifully succinct manner.

As always, Scott creates strong characters that she isn’t afraid to present as flawed, even if that means they won’t always be entirely likeable. Megan may not appeal to everyone; she’s angry, confused, and isn’t always nice to people. While that may cause a struggle for some readers it is what makes her so realistic and believable. I’ll be open here and say that, like Megan, I experienced PTSD in my late teens so I’m unable to say how readers without this experience/knowledge will find the main subject matter of this novel. However, what I can say is this: Scott nails it. Perfectly. There were moments during Megan’s narrative where her thoughts and feelings were so spot on that I felt I could have been reading about myself as a teenager. It’s a true testament to the Scott’s skill as a writer that rather than this being a difficult read it was a sincere and tenderly told story that felt reassuring. The longer I thought about this book after I finished it, the more precious I felt about it. The more powerful it felt.

What I admired so much about this book is that Scott steered clear of the clichés that so many YA novels fall into when tackling a serious issue. Rather than being flowery, she tackles things head on and explores the complicated nature of people and their experiences, no skirting. Best of all, and this is what I loved, unlike many YA authors out there, she didn’t have her female lead meet a boy then fall in love and suddenly recover from everything as if all that was needed was a boy to fix things. Whilst there is a boy involved, the troubled Joe whom Megan feels an affinity of understanding with, and while romance is hinted at the friendship never reaches that point during the novel. Nor does everything get wrapped up and resolved, which feels far from dissatisfying as this is the story of Megan’s steps towards recovery not the conclusion of it. It’s Elizabeth Scott at her the top of her game, and undoubtedly her best work since the incredible Living Dead Girl.

Whether you’re a teen or just a lover of solid, contemporary YA, whether you’re looking for further understanding of such a complicated condition or just an interesting and thoughtful read, I urge you to consider this.

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott (Copyright 2012) Published by SimonPulse

Nerissa is a writer, mummy and rather proud geek living in the countryside. In between playtime, cuddles and fun times she loves to read, knit, bake and write Young Adult and children’s fiction.

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