The first time I died, I didn’t see God.
Delaney’s on track to become class valedictorian and she’s best of friends with the boy next door, Decker. They’ve played manhunt every winter, usually dressed in white but she no longer fits into her white jacket. In a rush, Decker takes her across the frozen lake. Ungainly, she slips and falls, the ice cracks. Her red coat probably saved her life.
I remembered Fracture being all over the blogosphere back before I really took an interest in young adult. I picked up a copy after reading Hysteria, and both books do a similar thing; they tread along a line of explainable and supernatural, leaving you not too sure which it is all the way through the story. Hysteria does the better job of this and it’s good to see Megan Miranda improving. What it does mean is I think I would have enjoyed Fracture more if I had read it first.
There’s some fantastic passages and pieces of writing throughout the pages, but it’s the glue that holds them together that needs work. The pace slowed in the middle and it lost a lot of the tension it needed (but does return in the final chapters). Troy’s character wasn’t very well developed. He appears out of nowhere and has an interesting story. He should be tragic, we should feel conflicted about him, but at the end I was just meh about his fate. The male best friend plot is a bit predictable too.
Good things? The medical side felt reasonably believable and wasn’t skimmed over. Although would doctors really discuss their patients in earshot all the time? I could understand it more when she was in a coma, but conscious? Delaney ponders what makes her human, what kept her brain going when it shouldn’t have. Her relationship with her mother becomes fraught. Her mother thought she had lost a daughter once and then is faced with the horror of losing her to something else, perhaps the brain damage has irreparably taken Delaney away. Glimpses into her background show that there’s more than one way to be trapped.
And that feeling of being trapped is central to the story. First she is trapped under the ice, then by the coma. She is strapped down to stop herself harming others, but when she is free she feels trapped by her parents, by the drugs she is supposed to take. She hates the idea of there being something wrong with her that will return her to a hospital bed, unable to move or make her own choices.
There’s a short story of Decker’s experience whilst Delaney was under the ice, which I’d be interested to read. The sequel, Vengeance, was published this year and whilst I’m not rushing out to read it straight away, I’d probably read it sometime in the future.
This books ticks off #10 on my Lucky 14 Challenge: It’s Been There Forever.
Book Source: Purchased
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