Sometimes you come across a jewel of a book that speaks personally to you.  This book will remind you why you fell in love with reading in the first place.  At least that has what just happened to me. The book I am speaking of is The Miles Between.  I first discovered its author, Mary E Pearson, 5 years ago. I was in the mood for a weepy book and Scribbler of Dreams just jumped off the shelf at me.  It was the perfect book for the mood I was in.  I couldn’t wait to see what else the author had much less wait to read her future endeavors.  Adoration of Jenna Fox was the last book of hers that I read, which by the way, I loved as it was a perfect blend of a medical thriller with complexity of how human relationships work.

Destiny is a girl who is determined not to get close to anybody or anything.  A child of private boarding schools, she feels completely abandoned by her parents.  They never write, call or visit and when things are not going right in one place she is moved to another school as the solution.  Destiny likes order and routine and she rarely strays away from it.  She is also big on the power of numerical coincidences like everything possible will go wrong on October 19. I don’t want to write too much more on the fear of giving something away which probably would happen (knowing me and my big mouth).  But I will tell you there is a road trip, an unauthorized road trip at that, with classmates from school in search of that elusive “one fair day.” The ride, the day and all of their encounters turns out to be the road trip of their lives.  Chance, coincidence or fate? You decide.

Besides the story and the characters, the following paragraph and a few other diddys is why I loved this book.  I read this part aloud to one of my students whose reader like me and she got it, she understands just how much magic words stringed together can have.

“Life has never been explainable.  It’s been a lopsided, illogical, messy affair, where answers are in short supply but maybe that’s the way it is for everyone.  Sometimes the fairness is all bunched up in one place, and all the injustice is bunched up in another, and sometimes it is all bunched up in the most improbable ways, but whatever you get, wherever you are, there are still those moments that pin you to the world when you just want to float away.  Small, in-between moments, where there is magic and purpose and design and they are so perfectly beautiful they ache.  Like the in-between moments of today.  Maybe the good guy doesn’t always win.  And maybe fairness doesn’t always land where it should.  But today felt good, deliciously and wonderfully good.  And sometimes that is enough.”

There is a little bit of everything in this book – separation, love, death, friendship, and hope with a dash of fantasy thrown in. This book, small in size was big in its messages. Besides the paragraph above, I really loved Chapter 34 and what it says about Chance. All in all, The Miles Between was very readable and once I started getting into the story which was profound, compelling and oddly charming, I was swept along and finished it in less than a day. Pearson (as usual) gives us some strong writing and a wonderful set of characters. You got to love Lucky the lamb who thought he was a dog…..

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