The Wonder of All Things
author : jason mott
pages : [hardcover] 304
favorite characters : ava & wash
From critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott comes a spellbinding tale of love, sacrifice and the power of miracles.
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear. Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. But now the whole world knows, and suddenly Ava is thrust into the spotlight. People from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to glimpse the wonder of a miracle. But Ava’s unusual ability comes at a great cost, her own health, and as she grows weaker with each healing, Ava begins searching for an escape. Wash agrees to help Ava, but little does she know he has his own secret he’s been harboring, and soon Ava finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to save the one she loves most.
I was fortunate enough to be approved to read this book on NetGalley a long time ago and finally got around to reading this one. I realized after requesting it, because it sounded incredibly interesting, that the author–Jason Mott–also wrote the novel The Returned. That book was turned into a TV series and, I have to admit, wasn’t a great read for me, so I was wary going into this one.
In the end, I did like it a lot more. The Returned bothered me mostly because I failed to connect with the writing style. The Wonder of All Things didn’t give me such problems. I loved the choppy way the story was told because the multiple perspectives added suspense, increased the aura of mystery, and gave a broader view of how the world reacted after Ava helped Wash.
Ava and Wash’s relationship was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. In the murk of political talks, philosophical hypotheses, and crazy people trying to get to Ava, their childhood friendship was so incredibly normal and sweet. They’re best friends and clearly made for each other. I loved seeing how they so fiercely tried to protect one another while not thinking of themselves. For thirteen year olds, they’re incredibly unselfish.
What didn’t captivate me about the book was the lack of a conclusion. It felt like the novel was building up to something, carefully setting up the pieces of a puzzle involving Ava’s mother and the glimpses we get of her through Ava’s memories. Many characters have their own tiny plots that never see a resolution. The end of the book, while enjoyable, was less than satisfying when set in combination with all of the other things we don’t get to find out about these characters.
I do think that I’ll pick up Jason Mott’s next novel, whenever it comes out and whatever it might be. I have to admit that he’s a skilled writer, though I’ve yet to try one of his books that I’ve really loved!