Saturday, January 16, 2021

REVIEW: Fracture (book) by Megan Miranda

Fracture is YA paranormal fantasy.


Delaney and her friend Decker are walking across an iced over lake when the ice cracks under Delaney's feet. She falls in and is under for 11 minutes. By the time Decker and a few other friends manage to drag her out, Delaney is technically dead. Even if she were to come out of her coma, she would have severe brain damage.

But she does come out of her coma, and despite some headaches, a weird pulling sensation in her mind, and hands that occasionally shake, she seems fine. But she's not. She finds herself looking at the people around her differently, and she eventually learns what that pulling sensation is: she can feel when someone is about to die.

This is another one of the ARCs that I picked up at a conference years ago and never got around to reading. It is apparently Book 1 of a duology, which explains why a few story threads are never completely resolved but, honestly, it felt like all it would have taken was a few extra chapters to wrap everything up. I have no idea why a second book exists and I don't have any plans to read it.

Fracture's initial setup was pretty good: Delaney falling into the water, waking up at the hospital, finding out that no one can explain why she seems fine other than some broken ribs from CPR, and gradually realizing that something isn't quite right. But after that this book became excruciating. Although I called Decker and the others at the lake Delaney's "friends" in my description, they didn't really feel like it. I know the town was supposed to be pretty small, but surely there were other teens around? Couldn't they have made other friends, people they actually liked more?

Delaney came across as emotionally removed from everybody, which I suppose made sense considering what had just happened to her, but it sounded like she hadn't liked a lot of her supposed "friends" even before the accident, except maybe Decker (her childhood friend and semi-secret crush) and Janna (who she got along with, even though they were big academic rivals). However, her relationship with Decker was really messed up. They seemed to have a pattern of hurting each other and then maybe talking about it a bit before never talking about it again so that they could pretend everything was fine. It wasn't the slightest bit fun to read about.

In the second half of the book, I kept wondering why no one in Delaney's family thought to talk to a therapist (money? but no one even brought it up enough to start looking into the cost). Delaney kept saying things to people that sounded suicidal - she showed evidence of survivor guilt and talked about how she wasn't even human anymore. And then there was that incident with the one neighbor earlier in the book, which her parents thought was evidence that Delaney might be a danger to others (and which they dealt with by forcibly medicating her, or so they thought). Delaney's mom wasn't any better. Considering her family history, she probably should have talked to a therapist years before this book started, and the stuff with Delaney just broke her. It got to the point where I was worried every time Delaney went home and wasn't immediately able to find her mom.

This was a short book and should have been a pretty quick read, but by the end it felt like a chore. I'm glad I'm done with it and, like I said, I have no intention of reading the second book, even though this one didn't quite resolve everything. I really don't need to know just how much more horrible things are going to get between Delaney and Janna, and I'm not interested in seeing an angsty romantic relationship somehow happen between Delaney and Decker.

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