Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

 

Title: Fracture

Author: Megan Miranda

Publisher: Walker Books

ISBN: 978-0802723093

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine
-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Review:

I picked this book up to while away some time before our New Year’s Eve festivities got underway.  What a mistake!  I didn’t want to put it down, so after we returned from our annual family dinner, I rat holed myself away with the book.  I was so engrossed that midnight didn’t even register for me.  It’s a good thing that Dean doesn’t really care for the holiday, and he was just as engrossed in bad horror films as I was in this book.

I loved Delaney from the first page, and I suffered with her as she tried to make sense of her death – and subsequent second chance at life.  After her best friend, Decker, pulled her out of her watery grave, giving her CPR even though she’s been submerged in icy water for eleven minutes, she is, miraculously, resuscitated.  In a coma for six days, she suddenly awakens, wondering what happened to her.  As she struggles to understand how much her life changed in those eleven minutes, everything starts falling apart.  Her dreams of becoming valedictorian, her friendship with Decker, her relationship with her parents.  Delaney’s difficulties felt real and were so compelling that I couldn’t put the book down.  It’s a good thing I didn’t have to go to work on New Year’s Day!

Fracture reminded me of Jen Nadol’s The Mark series.  Delaney is an ordinary girl, but she has to deal with very extraordinary circumstances.   By all accounts she should be dead.  Even scans of her brain map out the damage those eleven minutes without oxygen wreaked on her gray matter.  Suddenly, nothing is the same as it used to be.  Worse, she seems to have acquired an empathy for death; she can sense when something bad is going to happen to someone, but she is powerless to help them.  It makes it challenging to study for finals when you are freaked out by a sense of impending doom. 

When Delaney meets Troy, another accident survivor, she thinks she’s found someone who can understand what she’s going through. Someone who can help her deal with the overwhelming guilt and her feelings of inadequacy.  Help her find an answer to the one question that keeps burning away in her mind – why is she still alive?  As she gets to know Troy, however, her other relationships begin to spiral hopelessly out of control.

Fracture is an emotionally gripping book about a girl who is impossible to not rally behind.  Delaney just wants to know where she fits into her new life, and the reason why she was granted another chance at life, when so many others aren’t.  What a great book, and what a great way to get my 2012 reading underway.

Grade: A-

Review copy provided by publisher