Publisher: Walker & Co.
Publication Date: January 17th, 2012
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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)
When I first read the synopsis of this book (which, surprise, surprise, I was drawn to because of the cover), I decided I wanted to read it because it said, "For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay...". Since I am a fan of both books, I figured this one was going to be a winner. And it is; it is DEFINITELY a winner, but it is really nothing like either aforementioned book. Sure, Dalaney faces her mortality like Samantha has to in Before I Fall, and she starts the book in a coma like Mia spends most of If I Stay, but really the similarities end there, and I kind of hate that parallels were drawn at all between the books. Fracture is a great story in its own right.
This book was a quick read, only 264 pages, and it is absolutely engrossing from the first page. It is the kind of book that you will want to read from the beginning because of the fantastic pacing. The mysteries unfold at great intervals, but more importantly, the story between each revelation is engaging and interesting. Often I will read a book, turning the pages at a breakneck speed, just to get to answers, skimming over the filler in between. This book was not like that at all. I wanted to read all of it; the answers to the burning questions were more like the cherry on top than the entire reason for reading the book.
The thing I loved the most about Fracture was probably the inner dialogue that Delaney carries on with herself. I would never have been able to imagine how difficult it would be to sort out the "whys" of essentially BEING a miracle. Delaney's inner voice made that possible, and while it was absolutely gut-wrenching at times, it was also quite beautiful and profound. Delaney wasn't an easy character to connect with, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that she just wasn't a very open person to begin with. She had very few true friends, despite the fact that she had a tight group that she hung out with. I eventually did connect with Delaney, but it wasn't until the middle-to-end of the book. As far as the other characters, I did like some of them, but I wish there was more about them. We learned a bit about Decker, Delaney's BFF, and about Troy, the mysterious boy who Delaney connected with over their shared experiences, but everyone else was just sort of there, and there were definitely times when I felt like I wasn't sure why they were there.
As far as the plotline is concerned, it was very unique and quite interesting. The ability Delaney finds herself with upon waking up from her coma is awful, and not something I would ever want to endure. Add to that the fact that Delaney can't figure out its purpose, and it leaves for a bumpy emotional ride. It was so sad to read about Delaney's struggle with facing the realities of it, while grappling with the fact that she couldn't really share what was going on with those she cared about most because, really, who would believe her? What slayed me though, was some of the things she had to face later on in the book, knowing the things she knew because of her new ability, and knowing that it would never be enough. In the end, the book wrapped up quite appropriately; it was not what I expected, and honestly, it was not easy to read, but it was fitting and very emotional. The only flaw with the storyline, for me, was that I just didn't get how she was so drawn to Troy. Yes, I understand that he was the only person she could talk to about what was going on inside her, but the guy is nuts- dangerous. She knew it, yet she still continued to spend time with him, but then, I guess it wouldn't have been as much of a story if she hadn't...
Overall, I really liked this book a lot. No, I don't think it was at all like Before I Fall or If I Stay, but it was just as good. I feel like I was permanently affected by this story. It made me think about how I would live today if I knew that there would be no tomorrow, and I think that is a good thing for everyone to consider once in awhile.
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Grade Level Recommendation: There are implied references to sex, a good bit of teen drinking, and a couple of heated kisses. There are also some very real deaths. This book is best suited for upper-Middle School and High School readers, not so much for inappropriate content, but because of the heavy themes. The same inner dialogue and profound questions posed that made me love this book will make it go over the heads of most younger readers. Grades 8 and up (ages 13+).