FRACTURE by Megan Miranda

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 read an ARC.

The premise intrigued me first. A girl drowns in a frozen lake. Eleven minutes later, she’s alive again. How? And then she’s drawn to dying people? FASCINATING.

Obviously, I was really looking forward to this book, hoping I’d love it.

I did.

FRACTURE is written in this smart, sparse style with sharp details that always fit exactly right. Seemingly effortlessly, the narrative brings Delaney’s world to life, revealing her town, hangouts, friends — and Falcon Lake, where she drowns. It reflects Delaney’s thoughts and emotions — even uncomfortable ones — with crystal clarity.

The wrongness made them seem not quite human. Even the fish knew it. They hid inside rock caves and studied the pebbles like they held the meaning of life. They wouldn’t look at us.” (page 141, advance reader edition)

While there were some things that made me wince for her, I loved Delaney’s character. She’s smart, loyal, and a rule-follower. And the truth is, we all have some not-so-nice thoughts, or thoughts we later regret. Delaney is no exception, but it didn’t stop me from liking her, or understanding her. With a posse of wonderful friends she’s grown up with — friends who helped save her life — and a history in her town, Delaney is a compelling character. She’s the kind of person who, she senses someone is about to die, tries to help, even at great personal risk.

To me, FRACTURE wasn’t so much about a girl who could sense the dying after an accident, but a hard look at life and death and choice. It’s about how even the living can be dead inside. It’s about how even miracles can destroy friendships and families if you let them.

FRACTURE releases January 17.

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