So I won't start this one with an apology. Not really.
The good news is I'm back to reviewing. Well, good news for someone. Me, mostly, since it means I'm reading again and giving my brain a bit of a workout.
Except. I actually read FRACTURE ages ago. I think I read the pre-ARC, actually. But why split hairs?
FRACTURE by Megan Miranda
Goodreads Summary: 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.
I first sat down to write this review kind of worried, wishing I'd written it when I first finished the book because I read it quite some time ago--May 2011, I think. I delayed reviewing it until it got closer to the release date, intending as well to pick up a signed copy of the book so I could pass it on to one of you guys, but fate sort of got in the way, and my best shot for a signed book came while I was in Haiti, and now it's freaking February. So I tried to recall what impressed me about this book. And discovered the most impressive thing is possibly how vividly I remember all of it after so much time--because it was just that good. Just thinking about it makes me want to pick it up again.
If you've ever read Megan Miranda's blog, you know what a gifted writer she is. You'll be happy to know that same gift is evident in FRACTURE. But more importantly, you should know how taken you'll be not just by the writing, but by the story itself. Page after page, I found myself holding my breath. The summary kind of makes it seem as if it's mostly just a contemporary novel about a girl who came close to death, maybe with a slight supernatural element (or not). And it is that, but also so.much.more. While FRACTURE explores the psychological impact of survival after a tragic incident, at times it's a bit of a psychological thriller, too. Honestly, I don't think a book has ever surprised me any more than FRACTURE. I figured it would be good, given Miranda's skill, but dang. It blew me away. That ending? Didn't see that coming.
Miranda takes the reader deep into Delaney's mind, giving an eerily genuine account of what it's like to suffer from brain damage. And because the reader is so immersed in the experience itself, it becomes impossible to know what is real and what's imagined, just as it is for Delaney. Can't help but feel the story as much as read it. The frustration, the anxiety, the joys, the relief. This isn't a story where the reader just waits for the protagonist to get it together and figure things out. In FRACTURE, you're working things out with her, piecing the clues together, sometimes with chills running up your spine. And just as you think you've got it figured out...dang.
But the characters are pretty amazing, too. Not only do we get a good sense of who Delaney is, but also what it's like to fall through the ice--and then to come back to life and learn how to live again. If I didn't know better, I'd say Miranda must have first hand experience. And Decker? Oh man, I love him. What a well written, complex character. Troy, too, although in a completely different way.
When I finished FRACTURE, it felt like I'd just hung up the phone after a long conversation. As if I'd been listening to a first hand account. I got so invested in this story, in part because of the ethical questions it inevitably raises. So beautiful and lyrical and breathtakingly suspenseful, FRACTURE will grip you with its pages.
****************************Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today:
Christine Fonseca takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS
Carolina M Valdez falls for FRACTURE
Jen Hayley surrenders to THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED
Stasia Ward Kehoe is dazzled by DARK COMPANION
Nikki Katz wonders at THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Debra Driza is overwhelmed by UNDER THE NEVER SKY
Jessica Love gives a trophy to BEAUTY QUEENS
Shelli Johannes-Wells takes you on a tour of The Reading Room
Tracy Banghart has double-love for THE SILVER PHOENIX and FURY OF THE PHOENIX
Hilary Wagner is in the grips of THE GATHERING STORM
In other news, I believe I forgot to give a hearty congratulations to sweet pea Jessica Love after she signed with her agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency. This was a while ago, so clearly I suck. But I still want to give a shoutout.
CONGRATULATIONS, JESSICA!! You rock!!
Also, be sure to stop by and check out the live chat hosted by The Reading Room with Shelli Johannes-Wells on February 14 at 7 PM EST. Shelli is an author and marketing guru and will be discussing writing, marketing, and indie pubbing. GO HERE to sign up and check it out!
And while you're at it, check out Shelli's latest tween novel, now available:
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE by S.R. Johannes
Goodreads summary: As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven.
Back on earth, Angela starts hitting on Michael, Gabby’s crush and should-have-been boyfriend. Gabby’s pranks to quell the love are harmless at first until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, Celestial Sky Agent, Lawrence, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, steps into reveal that Angela has big problems, and what she really needs is Gabby’s help.
Determined to right her wrong and ease her mother’s grief, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.
I'm looking forward to reading it!
P.S. I have no idea why all my text is highlighted like this. Stupid Blogger.