"Finding Miracles" is a beautifully told coming-of-age story about a 15-year old girl named Mily (Milagros, which is Spanish for "Miracles") who gains an understanding and acceptance of her cultural roots. At first, Mily keeps her identity as an adoptive child from another country a closely guarded secret. But when a boy named Pablo moves to her school, moving from the same country that her adoptive parents found her, she feels a strange sense of attraction and repulsion to him. Nonetheless, getting to know Pablo has her questioning the origin of her roots and upending doubts that have stood within her for a long time. I thought Julia Alvarez’s approach to Mily was well done, not only taking a personal perspective of how Mily voices her fears and concerns, but also describing the journey she takes to confront her past.
The first part of the book details how Mily comes to terms with sharing the fact that she’s adopted and how she comes to know Pablo. The second part focuses on the journey that she takes to the country while visiting with Pablo. She finds out much about who her parents might’ve been, and how fortunate she is to live the life she has. There’s also a sweet love story that’s intertwined within the story, which I thought was refreshing and worked very well with the character chemistries.
"Finding Miracles" caught my attention and held it with respect to its luminous prose, memorable characters, and intriguing subject matter. I would definitely recommend it for young adults who love coming of age stories and want a novel that illustrates a beautiful example of cultural and familial exploration.
Overall score: 4/5