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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 19 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.2 out of 5
19
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    An emotional roller-coaster that will haunt me

    Miracle Creek – Come for the tricky mystery and courtroom drama, stay for the characters I’m not sure that any review from me will do this book justice because it absolutely blew me away! I can’t believe this is a debut novel because it’s just so well constructed and written. This is a complicated, detailed story and there is not a thread dropped or an improbable potential suspect in the bunch. The author has done such a great job with the mystery that I was suspicious of everyone at some point and was still surprised by the final reveal. I was sure I knew who set the fire but then changed my mind over and over. The story is revealed piece by piece in courtroom scenes and flashbacks. I don’t know about you but when I see “courtroom scenes” I automatically think “boring.” That is definitely not the case here as the testimony triggers memories and confessions and it is exciting to see the real story through the lies. As the truth comes out we see just how many secrets are held in this small group of seemingly perfectly normal and rather good people. While the story is amazing this book really shines through its characters. They felt like they were real and my heart broke for them so many times. This is not a particularly happy story and a lot of awful stuff happens. These characters and their relationships are the heart of the book and it is an emotional and touching story. The basic premise of treating autistic children in a hyperbaric chamber was something I wasn’t aware of, although I know it is used for many different conditions. I think my exposure to other media has given me the impression that people with autism are often geniuses and can live fairly normal lives, as authors, doctors, detectives. My eyes have been opened to the reality of the condition in children. It is much more difficult than I ever imagined. It is all portrayed so authentically and I see in her bio that the author has a child that undergoes “submarine” treatment. She knows what she is talking about and it shows. There is never any preaching but I sure learned a lot through this story. The caretakers of children with disabilities or autism deserve a medal for their selflessness and seemingly endless patience. This emotional roller-coaster will haunt me for a long time and I think it has ruined oxygen therapy for me forever. Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
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    Great Individual POVs

    “Good things and bad—every friendship and romance formed, every accident, every illness—resulted from the conspiracy of hundreds of little things, in and of themselves inconsequential.” Wow. An intricately put together story of a deadly event, those who may (or may not) be responsible and the enduring relationships people form. Written from a own voices perspective (Korean immigrant to America as a child) and with an in-depth understanding of the law; Miracle Creek is at once poignant, beautiful, horrifying and deadly. Let’s get into some of the details. Narration There is a large cast of characters in Angie Kim’s story. Each of them are distinct and easy to remember, which I appreciated. From the parents of the children to the children themselves and the other adults involved in the submarine therapy. Each of them has a small piece of the overall story and what happened on the fateful day when an explosion injured and killed people. Therefore, in their own way, each character is an unreliable narrator. It's not until every single perspective has been considered, heard from and pieced into the overall puzzle that the ending reveals the truth of the situation. Disabled Children and their Parents Miracle Creek has excellent portrayals of the exhaustion that happens to parents of kids whom are disabled, suffer from chronic illnesses, etc. Two mother's in particular are found to say things like "somedays I think my child would be better off dead" and similar phrases. This seems innocent enough right? Parenting is hard work and certainly anyone who has known someone caring for a child with special needs can understand the intent of the statement. Well that is until someone murders one of those children... Now that innocent statement becomes a whole new piece of 'evidence'. I really liked the way Kim played this out and showed reality. We all say things that could be construed incorrectly but aren't actually meant to be taken literally. It’s not until an extreme context is applied that those innocent words take on a more literal meaning. Everyone's a Suspect I don't read a lot of murder mysteries generally (maybe a couple a year?). I always like to read bestsellers and inevitably thrillers or murder mysteries hit the top of the charts so I read them. That, plus the disabled representation and discussion of unconventional medical treatments, drew me to pick-up Miracle Creek. Because I'm not a big murder mystery fan I'm not sure how common it is to have every single person (more or less) be a suspect in an incident. That is the case here. Each of our characters had a number of motives, opportunities, etc. to sabotage the compression chamber (submarine). And so because of this there is a lot of awful thoughts and theories to slog through. It makes the characters seem fairly 'icky' (if you will) at times. However, reflecting on the characters individually, I think each of them is actually very realistic. And let's face it, at our worst we all have undesirable traits; and the time for those undesirable traits to surface will always be when someone is digging for information, like during a murder investigation. Courtroom Talk If you're a fan of John Grisham (or the like) then the courtroom talk here will seem tame. Kim is a trial lawyer herself, yet I didn't find the court discussions or descriptions difficult to follow. That may be because we don't have an omniscient narrator here; but instead see the courtroom through the eyes of different participants at their understanding of educational level. Given that a lot of the story is told in the courtroom as flashbacks (which I usually dislike) there is still a good flow to the novel. I could still picture and feel the emotions as events were told to the court. I attribute this to excellent writing by Kim. This is especially impressive as this is Kim’s debut novel! I’m expecting her next to be that little bit better to get five stars! ;) Pacing As with most books there is a lull in Miracle Creek. It's relatively short (not even 50 pages probably) and it's right smack dab in the middle of the novel. When you hit this point I recommend just pushing forward a little harder to get to the last half of the story as it is well, well worth the ending. Overall I wouldn’t say this book is amazing or at the top of its (very crowded) genre. However it is certainly worth reading if you like some court drama, murder mysteries or puzzling a situation out based on comments from different points of view. KIL has written Miracle Creek so well that I believe everyone can find something to like about it. A well written book, with solid characters and an organized plot, will always transcend genre boundaries. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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    Terrific debut!

    A very well developed plot. The writing is excellent! This book is a very enjoyable entertainment and easy to follow. I thought that the author showed a great insight of human nature. I loved all that POV and multiple perspectives and so many possibilities. I just wished I could have felt some connection with the characters, or at least one, but unfortunately that did not happen, otherwise I would have rated it 5 stars.
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    Miracle Creek

    Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, is told from various points of view. Miracle Creek is a mystery in which Ms Kim does an excellent job of keeping the reader in suspense as to who did it. I was given a copy to review.
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