Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda
It has been said that we only use a small portion of our brains. What if eleven minutes could change the way your brain is wired? Is that all it would take: 11 minutes?
Back cover blurb: A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time. Eleven minutes might as well be an eternity under water. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes. Probably at seven. Definite at ten. Decker pulled me out at eleven.
First lines: The first time I died, I didn’t see God.
Delaney wakes up in a coma and seems, somehow, different. Her skin begins to itch and she feels a pull from inside her towards certain people. Everytime she feels the pull and follows it – and she can’t resist – people die. Is it because she wasn’t supposed to live?
At the beginning of fracture, Melinda is walking across a frozen lake with her best friend Decker when the ice fractures. She spends eleven minutes under the water and for what it is worth, she was technically dead. Yet she somehow survives. She doesn’t seem the same; There is that pull that she can’t explain. Her parents keep sedating her because when a neighbor dies they fear that Melinda may somehow be responsible.
When Troy appears in her life, he says he read about her in the local newspaper and wants to know if she feels different after being in a coma. Except there was no article. Troy is like Delaney, he survived a coma and he keeps showing up at the same places that she does, but what is his purpose? He says he wants to help; to help Delaney understand what is happening to her and to help those that are about to die. Sometimes people have an interesting idea of what it means to help someone.
This is a multilayered book. It is one part paranormal, with some tension building as Delaney tries to understand what is happening to her and what she is supposed to do with the knowledge that someone is about to die. It is one part contemporary as Melinda tries to deal with survivor guilt, dealing with her friends and family, and the mucho complicated relationship with her best friend (do they want more) Decker. It is all parts good. Both layers are well written, intriguing reads that keep you turning the page. There’s not a love triangle but a, um, love rectangle. Square maybe. As Decker and Delaney try to sort out their feelings for one another there is outside interference from the mysterious Troy, who may be the only person who can truly understand Delaney now, and the ever popular Tara, who happened to be at the right place at the right time while Decker was watching over Delaney in a coma.
This is a good read. Well written, compelling, and some basic questions about life, death and suffering hide under the lid of a slow steaming thriller. Delaney is an ordinary girl dealing with some extraordinary circumstances in believable ways. There is a depth of emotion here from a multitude of well written characters. And the best part of this book, it is a well written story with a beginning, middle and end – that’s right, it has an end. No waiting for a sequel. Miranda manages to put a really good read in the hands of teens in under 300 pages (264 to be exact) and many teen readers will appreciate it. Recommended.
So tell me, “if you have one day left to live, what would you do?”
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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