Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Fracture

Fracture by Megan Miranda
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Jan 12, 12

bookshelves: arc-are
Read on January 12, 2012 — I own a copy

Megan Miranda has made an impressive entry into the young adult genre with the debut of her first novel, Fracture. I picked it up intending to read a chapter or two before bed but devoured it in just a few hours.

Having been revived after eleven minutes trapped under the ice, Delaney wakes from a coma with her faculties seemingly unscathed. The doctors are baffled, but Delaney is simply relieved until an itch starts in the middle of her brain and her fingers start twitching. Returning home is not the triumphant moment she expected, her parents are anxious and watchful, her relationship with her best friend, Decker, has indefinably altered and Delaney is confused by her sudden fascination with the dying. Troy Varga knows just how she feels but while Delaney's instincts are to try and prevent death, Troy believes he survived the crash that killed his parents and sister, to prevent suffering.

The premise of Fracture is intriguing and Miranda grabs the attention of the reader in the very first pages as Delaney struggles beneath the frozen ice. What I found so appealing about Fracture was the contemporary setting paired with simmering suspense and the lightest touch of 'other'. There is a slow build up of tension through out the novel, the faintest scent of menace surrounds Delaney from the moment she awakes from her coma.
The story explores interesting themes such as guilt, near death experiences and euthanasia without finding it necessary to resolve the complex issues. I like that Miranda has tackled such serious ideas in a way that teens can relate to. The element of the paranormal is well grounded, given Delaney's brain damage, and is integral to the plot but does not overwhelm it.
There is, as to be expected, a romantic angle but I think the author handles it well. Delaney's changing relationship with her best friend, Decker, is realistically complicated and her attraction to Troy an understandable reaction to her situation.
The only thread of the plot I had difficulty reconciling was Delaney's changed relationship with her mother. I think Miranda was trying to show how sometimes loved ones withdraw from a victim after a serious incident, an unconscious self protective mechanism, that for Delaney's mother was complicated by her own childhood issues. I just don't think it quite worked and her mother's withdrawal may prove largely inexplicable for some readers.
I have to admit Delaney is not the most likeable character, she is quite prickly with family and friends and somewhat self destructive in the wake of her guilt and confusion. It's difficult to make that judgement though, as we really only get to know her after the drowning, which provides a credible excuse for her behaviour.
I do think the author was able to genuinely portray her protagonists complicated emotions, from Delaney's frustration and fear to Troy's pain and righteousness.

Fracture is a aurprisingly absorbing novel with a unique premise, and fully realised characters. It will likely appeal to adult fans of YA as much as it's intended audience and is a strong debut from a talented author.
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