Fracture by Megan Miranda, published by Bloomsbury on 5th January 2012
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….
I have so much love for this incredible debut novel! This was an outstanding read from an exciting new author who is definitely one to watch. She literally blew me away with this captivating title which I adored from start to finish. As soon as I'd finished then I wanted to start reading it all over again. It's difficult to really put into words how much I enjoyed this book and how immersed I became in the story but suffice it to say, 'Fracture' already has a permanent place in my list of favourite reads for 2012.
Delaney's life changes after she falls into a frozen lake. Trapped underwater for eleven endless minutes her heart stops and she's declared dead but then miraculously starts breathing again after being pulled from the ice. But Delaney has changed and she isn't the same person she used to be. She can't make sense of what she's feeling but she finds herself mysteriously drawn to the dead and dying.
Central to the book is the bond between Delaney and her childhood friend and neighbour Decker. I loved their friendship and although they both won't admit to their real feelings for each other, you can tell that these are two people who are destined to be together. They complete each other perfectly. I adored Decker who is the gorgeous boy next door type and who is sensitive and caring inside. I wish I could just pluck him out of the pages of the book and conjure him up right in front of me! As much as I fell in love with Decker, I seriously disliked Troy who Delaney meets after her accident. He's an ominous presence in the book and actually pretty creepy and sinister. He's the complete opposite of Decker and seems to be the bad to Decker's good.
I loved Delaney who narrates the story from a first person perspective. She is strong and stubborn and brave and became a character who I could really relate to. Her relationship with her mother becomes strained after the accident and I thought the exploration of this was extremely interesting. Her mother wants to keep her safe but can't come to terms with the person that Delaney's become. She wants the old Delaney back but she's been changed forever after her near death experience. Delaney in turn has to try to understand her mother's motivations which have been shaped by her own family history.
'Fracture' is a novel about life and death, love and friendship and the meaning of family. I felt quite emotional during and after reading it because I really became connected to all the characters and their lives. Brilliantly written, I was gripped and absorbed by every single second of the story. It's quite literally one of the best debuts I have ever read.