The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott
Release Date - October 2014
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Thirteen-year-old Ava is just one of the residents of Stone Temple affected by the crash of a stunt plane during a festival. Ava and her best friend Wash are trapped in the rubble, and Wash is wounded and dying. It's at that moment that Ava reveals a secret, she can heal people. While she saves Wash's life, it also opens her up to people from near and far coming to her demanding she heal them.
Ava's father, the town sheriff, has plenty on his plate. He's a widower, now remarried, and his wife's pregnancy is on shaky ground given her history. Above all, he is determined to keep Ava safe. Each time she heals something or someone, she puts her own life on the line. Trying to balance the public's demands with what he knows is best for his family is becoming increasingly difficult.
I loved Jason Mott's first novel, The Returned, and I love the TV series that became of it. I also loved the opening of The Wonder of All Things. I was drawn into Ava and Wash's long-time friendship and the relationships of the adults around them. Each character was created with such care that they seemed real. The setting felt real. The situation was unbearable, though. People were asking Ava to risk her own life to save someone they loved. Sadly, I'm sure if this happened today, that's exactly what would happen.
Despite all that, I felt at times that the story dragged. I found myself too eager to skip sections, particularly the flashbacks to Ava's mother. This was enough to turn a book I loved into one I thought was just okay.