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Monday, January 9, 2012

eARC Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

TITLE: Fracture                                     AUTHOR: Megan Miranda
PUB: Walker and Company                      PUB DATE: 1/17/12
FORMAT: eARC                                    SOURCE:

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? 

THREE WORDS: Haunting, Captivating, Thought-Provoking

MY REVIEW: Megan Miranda’s Fracture wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be, but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it turned out to be more-deeper, thoughtful, gripping-than I thought it would be based on its synopsis.

Delaney Maxwell should be dead. After spending 11 minutes underneath the ice, submerged in the icy water of Falcon Lake, she should be dead. But she isn’t. Pulled out of the lake by her best friend Decker, Delaney surprises everyone, herself included, by waking up seemingly fine. Desperate to return to her normal life and get back on track at school (and become valedictorian), Delaney returns home and hopes everything will go back to normal. But it doesn’t. Delaney soon finds herself drawn to the dying and drawn to Troy, a boy just like her. Delaney begins to question everything she ever thought she knew about life and death, but most of all she begins to question her own fragile state of living.

Based on the synopsis, I assumed Fracture was going to be more paranormal than contemporary, but the paranormal elements (if that is even what they are) are really more in the background. It’s Delaney’s emotional story that takes center stage, as it should. The subtle paranormal aspects were perfectly and beautifully intertwined with the emotional and heart-wrenching story of Delaney’s journey from living to dead to alive to living again.

A captivating and gripping read, Fracture not only held my attention from beginning to end, but consumed my thoughts long after I closed the book. Miranda has woven a haunting story that is as startling as it is lovely. Fracture is told from Delaney’s perspective, creating an immediate sense of intimacy between readers and the story. I always love when a book makes me feel more like a participant than a simple reader, and this book as done just that.

Delaney’s new, scary pull toward the dying is never explained completely or even determined to be paranormal in nature, which I really liked. It doesn’t need a definite explanation because, at the core of this book, it is not the most defining aspect of Delaney’s journey. But I was fascinated by it nonetheless.

Like the so aptly named titled, Delaney’s brush with death leaves her fractured, slowly breaking piece by piece, and I found her breaking, her unraveling to be utterly spellbinding. It wasn’t always easy to witness, at times it was relentlessly heart breaking, but always captivating. And those fractures don’t  end with Delaney herself, they extend outward, touching everyone she cares about. Delaney isn’t the only one breaking, her family, her friendships, they crack as well and Miranda does a wonderful job of exploring that. Miranda has mastered the art of compelling, thought-provoking storytelling.

Miranda has certainly created compelling and intriguing characters. Delaney isn’t extraordinary-yes, she’s smart, pretty, and a good person-but other than her new found abilities, she’s quite ordinary…but this is what makes her story so extraordinary. She wasn’t always easy to connect with and I didn’t always like her actions or logical train of thought, but I was always and completely invested in her story. Miranda has done a great job of portraying Delaney realistically.

We get two main male characters in this book- Decker and Troy. Decker is one of the best, most realistically protrayed male YA characters I’ve come across in a long time. I loved how much he genuinly cared for Delaney and even when he did stupid boy things, I still really loved him. And I actually loved the fact that he wasn’t the perfect swoon-worthy guy because his flaws made him that much more endearing. Troy is a complex and complicated character. I was fascinated by the fact that I was equally entranced by and terrified of him.

One of the most interesting and well written characters to me was Delaney’s mother. Miranda does an excellent job of showing how much Delaney’s accident affected those around her through this character. Mrs. Maxwell’s own emotional fracturing and breaking is just as heart-wrenching and compelling as her daughter’s.

I don’t want to give too much away where the romantic aspects in Fracture are concerned because I think readers need to discover them on their own. But I will say that Miranda explores the fragile line between truly loving someone and simply wanting to love them, and the overwhelming realization that one is in love, in a very realsitic and believeable way. There’s none of the dreaded insta-love in this book (whew)! And I will also say that I was surprised, yet completely impressed  with how the character of Delaney handles many of the romantic revelations in this book.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Fracture is a stunning debut from Megan Miranda. This book captivated and touched me, and left me thoughtful. Fracture will break your heart in the most beautiful way and leave you grateful for the ache. A definite MUST read!

5/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Pre-order/purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Dep.

Megan Miranda was a scientist and high school teacher before writing Fracture, which came out of her fascination with scientific mysteries—especially those associated with the brain. Megan has a BS in biology from MIT and spent her post-college years either rocking a lab coat or reading books. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor. Fracture is her first novel. Megan is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency


Rhiannon said...

I also adored this book, and it stuck with me long afterwards. I thought Decker and Delaney's relationship was the most realistic teen relationship I've ever read about.
She's an amazing writer that I can't wait to read more from!

ps-I'm giving away a copy of fracture over on my blog if you're interested!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, this review makes me happy! I am really looking forward to reading Fracture and every positive review I see makes me anticipate it even more.

Also, hooray for no insta-love!

Amy said...

Great review. I just started this book. I hope I love it as much as you did.

In Julie's Opinion said...

I won an ARC of this book and just got it in the mail today! Thanks to your very awesome review, I'm moving it to the top of my must read list! Thanks so much:)

Anonymous said...

Helpful review. I am a character oriented reader. Can't wait to read Fracture.
-FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews