31 October 2011

Review: Fracture

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?

I call this year the Year of Debut Authors (granted this book comes out in 2012, but I'll include it anyway). I feel like there have been more and more new authors this year than most. I don't know why. Maybe I'm just noticing this more since starting a book review blog. Anyway, most of the debut books I've read have been, surprisingly, pretty good (maybe I've been lucky?) and Fracture by Megan Miranda is no exception. In fact, I would put Fracture above most. It does not read like a first time novel and I would never have guessed that Miranda didn't go to school for writing but for biology (you mean she didn't just get her MFA in creative writing?? Blasphemy!)

Even with the paranormal aspect, the world felt realistic. Delaney's new ability just...fit. I loved being inside Delaney's head as she struggled through her thoughts and her mixed emotions about coming back from death. This book would not have had the same effect if it had been told in the third person. I had to put Fracture down a few times and not because it was bad but because it was breaking my heart. See, I have this thing, I think it's called anxiety, where for example, I can become anxious when two people I like argue and it's not resolved right away. I felt like that while reading. That's how attached I became to Delaney and her friend Dekker and the other characters. Miranda's characters were true and the story kept me through until the end.

It's hard for me to put more thoughts into words, but I really loved this book. It was heart-breaking, tragic, and beautiful. And look at that cover! Fits the story wonderfully, so kudos to its creator and publishing team.

I look forward to what Megan Miranda writes next. And she'd better write something next!

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