Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Finished: January 14, 2012
Pages: 264 (Hardcover)
Author: Megan Miranda
Add It: Goodreads
Publisher: Walker & Company (Bloomsbury)
Source: Purchased

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?

Read the first two chapters of Fracture here

“I hadn't known that a light could be a feeling and a sound could be a color and a kiss could be both a question and an answer. And that heaven could be the ocean or a person or this moment or something else entirely.” 

Cover Love: I think this cover fits the story. I like that Delaney is wearing her red coat. I almost didn't notice her reflection.

Thoughts: Fracture is a quick read and is sure to please anyone who enjoys a darker YA novel, but this debut is most certainly not without its flaws. For this review I'm going to break the positives and negatives into sections.

Positives: Fracture tells a gripping story and the story is fast paced enough that it is never boring. Megan Miranda's writing flows nicely and is enjoyable to read. She approaches some darker questions pertaining to whether or not it's ok to end someone's life if they're suffering, and even goes so far as to question whether or not it's ok to make that decision for someone. I like that the novel focused on these questions and didn't get so bogged down with romance that it distracted readers from the issues it was exploring. I like the use of "To love another person is to see the face of God." throughout the story, and thought the relationship between Delaney and Decker was sweet and genuine. I loved Delaney's mother's story. I also liked that Troy wasn't made to be a sexy bad boy type. I imagine him being played by Ian Somerhalder and acting just like Damon on The Vampire Diaries; messy hair, abusive personality, pouty emo face and a death wish.

Maybe that appeals to some people but certainly not to me. I liked that he wasn't really romanticized or made to be the hero, and I applaud Megan Miranda for that decision. It's nice to see the stalker not turn out to be the main character's true love. I think it's unfortunate that books ever go in that direction.

Negatives: My main gripe is that Delaney was inconsistent as a character. One minute she is hiding from Troy in a locked room shaking in fear. The next she is hopping into cars with him. One second she is making sure her window is locked because she knows he is outside stalking her. The next she follows him alone on to thin ice. I'm glad that her decisions weren't based on romance (elated!) but it still seemed off to me. Delaney was also very inconsistent in her interactions with Decker. Her reactions to things often felt melodramatic and frustrated me. I mean, she did have brain damage, but a lot of the drama felt unnecessary. Another thing I took issue with was the character of Tara; clearly created to be your typical pretty/evil nemesis of our nerdy heroine. I had the same problem with The Body Finder, and I thought the stereotype was handled at least a little bit better here, but not by much. I thought her character was a bit cliche, and do not like to see slut shaming in novels. I wish she would have been given more depth or not been included at all. In fact, most of the side characters, even Janna (who the author clearly tries to give more depth to but doesn't include much of an ending for her character), were pretty flat. The ending of the novel felt abrupt, with too many characters left dangling, and the main issue of the novel (Delaney's mysterious new power) is never really explored. It felt a bit like wasted potential.

Fracture was an enjoyable read even if it leaves a little bit to be desired. I thought that as far as the romance was concerned it was a breath of fresh air for the YA genre. I'm glad this was my first choice for the Debut Author Challenge and can't wait to read more debut books this year.

Recommendation: Those longingly searching for an enjoyable standalone novel in a sea of series.


 Three out of Five Coffees

Fracture is on sale now in hardcover. You can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and other retailers.

Looking for other books similar to this one? You might also like If I Stay or The Body Finder.


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