When I get to the point in the year when I don’t have too much homework, many of the extra curriculars I do are over, and I am pretty much bored out of my mind, I go to the library and pick out a huge stack of books to read.
Last week was not one of those times.
I still went to the library, but I went with no intention of getting an enormous pile of books. Instead, I needed something to read at night after I was done with my final projects and studying for tests. So, when I got to the teen section and saw the cover of the book Fracture by Megan Miranda, I didn’t think it would be a book that I would end up completely obsessed with.
I usually don’t like to say I was wrong, but this is one of those rare times: I WAS WRONG!
After one chapter, I had been sucked into the world of Delaney Maxwell, and I was reading it under my covers with a flashlight at night. That’s usually how I judge books. Am I willing to sacrifice sleep for it? Anyone who knows me knows that I love to sleep almost as much as I love to read, so if I put one of these things above the other, I know I’ve got a good thing going.
The story centers on a girl named Delaney, who is convinced by her best friend, Decker, to cut across a frozen lake on their way to meet their friends. No surprises here: Decker makes it across, and Delaney falls through. Here’s where the tagline “A lot can happen in eleven minutes” comes into play.
Well, okay. Go on, Ms. Miranda. Please, tell me: what can happen in 11 minutes? Apparently, Decker can run two miles in 11 minutes. Delaney herself once wrote an English essay in 10 (Warning: Do not attempt at home.).
“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. Probable at seven. Definite at ten. Decker pulled me out at eleven.”
—Delaney Maxwell in Fracture
Ooh. Intrigue! This is where I, again, go back on my word. In my last review, I (perhaps overly) explained that the sci-fi genre is not my favorite. And there I was, starting another book that begins with the main character dying (or almost dying, at least). Although, I have to give it credit. Fracture stays away from the cliché of becoming a complete science fiction story. Delaney wakes up from a coma, and all seems well, but suddenly, she starts feeling a pull toward people who are about to die.
Here’s where Fracture loses the points it gained for not being a cliché. Delaney’s worry about what is happening to her takes up chapters that could have been used to set up her character. As a result, at many points in the book, I found Delaney to be someone I couldn’t relate to—and, truthfully, whiny.
Things start to look up when Delaney meets Troy, a boy who has the same abilities she does. He’s more used to this power, though, and he has decided to put the dying people out of their misery since he cannot save them. Troy is convinced that he and Delaney are being punished for something and that his coma was caused by a car accident that killed everyone in his family except him. (I’m fine with this theory, but wouldn’t having to live with this knowledge and without your family be the punishment?)
And here’s where I’m going to assume you all know what SPOILER ALERT means. I’m invoking it now. If you don’t know what this means, you will soon!
Megan Miranda chooses, at this point, to submit to a popular trend in teen books: a love triangle between the best guy friend and the dangerous new guy. In my opinion, the story did not need so many pages going over and over Delaney’s internal conflict (We all know you’re going to end up with your best friend. Just sing him a Taylor Swift song and get it over with.), but hey, it obviously works for some people.
As you can see, I have mixed feelings about this book. However, at the beginning of this review, I mentioned being obsessed with it. That is completely true: I’m obsessed with trying to figure out if I love it or hate it!
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking read. It isn’t philosophical, but you will start to wonder about Troy and Delaney’s dilemma: is it moral to kill someone who is going to die anyway?
If you’re looking for a quick read before you get back to studying, don’t choose this book. I spent a night reading it, and it was good, but I didn’t catch up on sleep for another week. Trust me, it will not be a quick read. If you are like me, you will be re-reading chapters and trying to figure out how it will end before it, well, you know, ends.
Hopefully, I have created a mass rush to the teen section to find a copy of this book. I’d request it now before the books get damaged from being read too many times. Really. Because as this is my second review—and, obviously, I am a professional now—I am just that influential.
Anyway, hang in there. Soon, it’ll be summer, and you’ll be able to check out a huge stack of books without feeling guilty. Have you started the countdown yet? (I started in September. Now it finally feels close.)