Book Review

Review: Fracture

Synopsis (from the author’s website): By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.  But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….

Megan Miranda’s Fracture explores human relationships with each other and with death; far from a light supernatural tale, this is a story that explores what it means to be human and shows both the beautiful and ugly sides of humanity. None of this is what I was expecting when I started reading; and while I’m normally a girl who hates surprises, this surprise was a good one. Just like the ice on top of a lake covers an entire ecosystem unseen by most, the characters in this story hide layers of emotion and life not always visible on the surface.

The thing I loved most about Fracture was the mystery. In Delaney Maxwell’s small town, where everyone knows everyone (or so it seems), duplicity is a full-time sport. In other words, it’s pretty much like most towns in the world. As Delaney tries to readjust to school and home after her accident, she realizes that the world around her continued to turn while she was in her coma. Her friends, ostensibly happy to have her back, have formed new relationships with one another and Delaney struggles to figure out where (and if) she fits back into the group. In the meantime, the fact that she keeps having hallucinations and seems to somehow be able to sense death, has set her family at odds. Her mother, obsessed with keeping up the appearance of the perfect family, desperately tries to get the “old” Delaney back. Things become even more complicated with the arrival of Troy Varga, who initially seems only capable of telling lies.

Those expecting a ghost story or paranormal romance should look elsewhere. Instead, Megan Miranda has crafted a deft exploration of humanity, indeed Delaney questions what it is that makes us human. The interplay between the characters, the awkward moments, the tragic moments, the anger and the pathos, all made me question how I would react if placed in the same situations. What I wanted more of, though, was an exploration of the characters’ back stories to help explain their motivations. With no character was this truer than with Delaney’s mom. A tale of betrayal and hurt is hinted at but never fully explored. Perhaps this is limited by Delaney’s first person narration, in any case, I wanted to know more.

Deftly executed with just the right amount of science thrown in to make things believable, Fracture is a great story and will challenge readers to reevaluate their own paths and to answer Delaney’s question, “what would you do if you only had one day to live?”

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not this book is for you, check out  the first two chapters of Fracturehere courtesy of Bloomsbury.

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