Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens (January 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802723098
ISBN-13: 978-0802723093
Series: No
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Cover: I'm so in love with this cover from the bleak, icy background to the bright red coat which is an image in the book that's hard to forget. I love the reflection right below the title and the calm serious look on the model's face. I feel like this works well as a YA cover but could easily be in regular fiction as well.
First Sentence: "The first time I died, I didn't see God."

Mini-Review: A stellar debut with unforgettable characters. Completely unputdownable. 

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.


It feels premature to say I just read one of my favorite books of 2012 but I'm going to say it anyway. Fracture is every bit the stuff favorites are made of. Every sentence is something I wanted to commit to memory and hold close, the characters all felt so raw and real and the story had me guessing until the last chapter... and speaking of the last chapter, it had me reeling. Beautiful, complex, and raw, Fracture is one debut you won't be forgetting.

There are too few characters that get under your skin and implant themselves into your heart. Delaney Maxwell, "miracle and anomaly", is most certainly one of those girls. From her first chapter, I could tell she was someone I was going to fall in love with and she didn't disappoint. True nerd to the core, she is witty and intelligent without seeming like a know-it-all and her inner turmoil all feels real and valid. The slow measures in which she went insane and then pulled herself out of it is so subtle, it sneaks up on the reader. Being a passenger in her head, we know the reasoning behind her actions and it is all valid. But then the author expertly slips in the reactions of other people and we, as readers, get a rare opportunity to view her as we probably would if we were around her. I loved how real Delaney was, how her actions and reactions and interacts all felt like something a living, breathing person would do.

And you want to talk about solid relationship building? I haven't seen a best friend story told like this since The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting. Just like Jay and Violent, Delaney and Decker are given the chance to fall in love. Decker is flawed, he makes plenty of mistakes in this novel, but for me, that's what made him human. I'm really tired of guys that are too nice or too rude. Decker was the perfect in between. But the most important part is that he was always there for Delaney, whenever she truly needed him. And Delaney knew she could always call Decker, no matter how angry they were with each other. Watching these two fumble around in the darkness of their own grief, each trying to figure out how to deal with it in their own way and still grow together was addictive, sweet and absolutely wonderful.

The only thing I knew about this novel was that "Decker pulled me out at eleven". I had no idea what to expect for a plot and was pleasantly surprised when what I found was part thriller, part contemporary with just a dash of the unexplainable. Like a runaway freight train, I had no idea where this story was racing to and was shocked when we crashed into the final destination. I literally had no idea where would end up and the ending completely shocked me in all the right ways.

Fracture had me laughing, it had me crying and it had me feverishly marking each page where I'd find even more beautiful revelations, heart-breaking emotions, or pulse pounding scenes. The range of emotions jammed into this relatively small novel is just incredible and the complexity of grief and happiness is remarkable. The author plays with the shadows between miracle and damnation with the mastery of an author with 20 novels under their belt. Yet, this is a debut writer. If this is novel number one, I can't wait to see what Ms. Miranda is going to proved us with next. My only small compliant is with the length. I'd have like to see 50 more pages not because it felt like the novel needed it but because I wasn't ready for Fracture to end. I didn't want to stop hanging out with Decker and Delaney.

Like cracks in the ice, there are a million different ways to express how beautiful and amazing Fracture truly is. But probably the best and most effective way is with the words of the author herself. Fracture is "a miracle, an anomaly". Fracture is "alive".


Favorite Lines:
I was still trapped. Only now, instead of staring through the surface of a frozen lake, I was staring through the surface of a frozen body.
--Pg. 2 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
It had been two days since I broke Best Friend Commandment Number One: Thou shalt not hook up with best friend's other friend on said best friend's couch.
-- Pg. 6 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
...I hated my room, claustrophobia personified in a hideous color.
--Pg. 14 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
Apparently I need to go to rehab to find out I didn't need rehab. It sounded like a Catch-22, but I wasn't sure since my English class started that book while I was comatose. It was high on my to-do list.
--Pg. 30 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
I was not a hugger as a general rule. I was not a fan of Tara as a specific rule.
--Pg. 52 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
"Now it's really not fair because I know you won't pick paper this time. I'll pick rock. I can't lose." (Decker)/ "I'm brain damaged, you know. That's just cruel." (Delaney)
--Pg. 94 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
And Decker said, "Tomorrow I'll make you smile."
--Pg. 103 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
...I let him, because I wasn't sure who I was most scared of at the moment. The stranger I was learning about too quickly, or the woman I'd known all my entire life who was quickly becoming a stranger.
--Pg. 165 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda
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.
--Pg. 259 of an ARC of "Fracture" by Megan Miranda

****Yes, I realize this is a crazy amount of favorites and I NARROWED them down. This book is that good!****


  1. holy cow! Im sold! I have read good reviews about this book but not one as awesome as this one! Im sooo glad you loved it so much! this really makes me want to read it asap! I was putting this book aside because I thought there was zero romance on it! but... OMG! you just compared it to The Body Finder! OMG! IM IN!!

    awesome review AMber!! muah!!!!!!!!! ^.^ have a great week! =D

  2. Well, you just sold me. I'd been on the fence about this one because I've read some mixed reviews, but your review really swayed me, especially the part about Delaney and Decker's friendship. I LOVE reading well-told friendships that feel strong and fresh and real, so I think you've made a believer outta me!


  3. Wow you really loved this! I enjoyed the story but I had a hard time liking Delaney. You wrote a very convincing review though! :D

    Xpresso Reads

  4. I read this and loved it. I had to sit on it a few days to collect and gather my thoughts into something cohesive enough to write down for everyone. But YOUR thoughts are like pure poetry, and they are all exactly the way I feel. I feel the same way about Decker, and I think he was my favorite character in the book. I agree about the length...I'd love to see that explored just a little more. But in reality, this was just a superb debut. A truly great book. I think it'll do great things this year.

    I LOVED reading your thoughts!!

  5. So interesting how people can have so different thoughts on the same book! I absolutely loved Delaney; one of the most realistic heroines I've seen for a while. Other than that (and the amazing writing) however, I wasn't much impressed. I'm glad it made such an impact on you though

    The Cait Files

  6. I loved this book too. I have The Body Finder waiting for me. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. I love best friend stories like this and apparently even more so when they are creepy.

  7. So many different reviews..all so convincing ...i really need to read this..great review.


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