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.
Hardcover, 264 pages
Expected publication: January 17th 2012 by Walker & Company
Three stars: A near death experience, leaves Delaney with a startling new supernatural ability.
Delaney bounds down the stairs, after wriggling into thermal wear, that has mysteriously shrunk since last year. Her best friend and next door neighbor, Decker is waiting for her. It is December in Maine, and the pair is headed to the ice crusted lake to spend an afternoon engaging in a game of "manhunt" in the snowy woods. Delaney slips into her bright red coat, she is going to stick out like a sore thumb against the wintry white background. They are running late, so Decker decides to take the short cut and head across the frozen lake. Cautiously, Delaney trails behind Decker on the slick ice, trying to keep her footing. As she reaches the half way point, she looks up to see Decker and the gang waving at her to hurry up. Delaney picks up the pace. Her foot slides and she falls onto the ice-covered lake. The thin ice shudders and groans beneath her weight. Spidery cracks form around her body and then the ice breaks. The bitter cold water slams against her skin, sucking her breath away. Her heavy winter gear drags her down into the dark, icy depths. She is sinking and dying..blackness washes over her she fades into oblivion. A bright light flashes against the backs of her eyelids. Consciousness slowly pricks at her numb mind. She overhears a voice, not an angelic voice, but a doctor. He is telling her parents she may never wake, she might remain in a vegetative state for an indefinite period. It has already been six days, the prognosis isn't looking good. Wait...she thinks..six days? Delaney's eyes slowly flutter open, she is alive! Miraculously, she seems almost untouched, after her arctic plunge, much to everyone's surprise and relief. She spent eleven minutes trapped below the sheet of ice on the lake. She should have died. Decker nearly fell in after her, as he tried to rescue her. Turns out her red coat saved her life. Delaney hopes to slip back into her normal life, but something isn't quite right. She feels an uncontrollable itching sensation and a strange pull in her brain, guiding her to those souls, near death. Then she meets a mysterious boy named, Troy, who seems to know a great deal about her accident. Why does she feel this strange tugging? What is Troy hiding?
What I Liked:
- The opening of this book grabs you and drags you right into the freezing depths of the lake. The author does a terrific job in conveying the terror of falling through the ice and then the daze and confusion that follows waking up in the hospital.
- Ms. Miranda, is an excellent story teller. Her story flows smoothly as she takes you through Delaney's accident and recovery. I enjoyed Delaney's voice. She is funny, without being sarcastic. She has some curves but takes it in stride. She does obsess a bit over her studies but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Delaney is a likable female protagonist.
- I enjoyed the strong friendship between Delaney and Decker. They have been inseparable best friends since childhood. The comfortable warm bond between them was one of my favorite aspects.
- I liked the real depiction of a girl who returns from the clutches of death. The emotional upheaval that Delaney experiences as she plugs back into her real life, was eye opening. The struggle to understand what happened and a bit of guilt blended with her strange new sense provide an interesting story line. I appreciated gaining an understanding of the strain her near death experience is for everyone around her. This book brings to light the range of emotions that survivors and their loved ones encounter.
- I liked that the story resolves neatly and most of my lingering questions are answered but the door is left open for a continuation.
And The Not So Much:
- While I loved the idea of Delaney returning from near death with a supernatural ability, it lacked a bit of originality. Having just recently read, The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent, I found Delaney's new sense had shades of both of these books. While the best friends portion was reminiscent of Violet and Jay. I found myself drawing comparisons to the other two series. If I hadn't read these books before reading Fracture, I would have enjoyed the book more. Unfortunately, I found that Fracture suffered from a lack of originality. Thus, the reason I gave it a lower rating. It would have been a four star read otherwise.
- One of my favorite aspects of the book was the easy companionship between Decker and Delaney, I hated to see the relationship struggle a bit after the accident.
- Troy, this character left me conflicted. Even after his story was revealed, I couldn't feel warmly or sympathetic toward him. I wanted to like him but I couldn't.
- It seems that Delaney's mother suffers more from survivor's guilt than Delaney. Interesting glimpses are offered on her mother's history that help explain some of her strange behavior. At the end of the book I was left with a few remaining questions and left wondering if her mother was going to fully recover.
If you are looking for a new read with a slight touch of the supernatural, then I would recommend you pick up a copy of Fracture. Especially, if you enjoyed Body Finder and Soul Screamers. This book is reminiscent of both of those books, but still an enjoyable and entertaining read. Megan Miranda's is another debut author I will be watching, her book shows she is a promising new talent.
A copy of this book was provided by Walker and Company courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
"A man in white who was decidedly not God stuck a penlight into each eye, once, twice, and pulled a tube the size of a garden hose from my throat."
"There was a hole of time, and nobody would fill it."
"The house transformed into a living entity. It smelled of life, fluttered with activity, absorbed sounds, and produced warmth."
"I wasn't athletic and had no desire to work out, so I watched what I ate. Correction: I ate what I wanted and felt guilty."
"I loved the smell of books. I kept breathing in until I felt too light, like I was inhaling all the knowledge from the books and there was no place for the information to go."
"Maybe hell was just an absence of something. A void wanting to be filled."
"Decker was always able to believe in the impossible--that I could live when I was dead, that it could snow in August, that loving me was enough."
"Funny how everything can change in an instant. From death to life. From empty to full. From darkness to light."