272 pp. Walker & Company
Release Date: January 17th, 2012
Interest: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Source: ARC received at NCTE
Summary (From Goodreads): 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.
I was instantly hooked when I started reading Fracture. The premise is refreshing and the opening is suspenseful. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to Delaney as she told us about her experience with death. Watching Delaney struggle to awake from her coma was engrossing and intriguing. These pieces really carried me into the story and kept me reading.
As I read farther into the book, I became aware of some holes in the story and areas that needed more attention. Even some of the plot points didn’t seem necessary. Delaney’s attraction to those that are dying is certainly interesting, and I was even more interested when she met Troy who shares the same ability. Unfortunately, this relationship didn’t flesh out the way it needed to. Troy often appears to be an angel of death of sorts, but it’s never fully explained. Is he gaining something from these deaths? Is Delaney helping him or can she help these people? She tries to turn this around, but that part of the story isn’t explored as much as it could be. What’s the point of Delaney’s brain working this way? If these elements were more of a focus, Fracture would be a 4 or 5 star novel instead of a 3 star novel.
There’s an awful lot of focus on Delaney’s parents and friends that didn’t seem important. Delaney’s mother fears that if she doesn’t keep a close eye on Delaney, she could lose her again. This fear connects to a bad relationship Delaney’s mother had with her parents. I suppose this could play an interesting role in the story, but it mostly felt like a distraction from the story. Decker is Delaney’s friend, and also a boy that she’s felt a connection to for some time. After Delaney’s accident, it becomes an angsty relationship because Decker is full of regret that he didn’t rescue her sooner. He’s also upset that Delaney kissed their friend prior to the accident. Again, this element of the story felt like a distraction. I understand that it ties in with Delaney’s life and her guilt, but why is it important to the story? She doesn’t want to tell Decker about her ability, and their relationship grows more strained with Troy’s addition to Delaney’s life, but if this is an important part of the story then it needs more attention. These are all elements with potential to make a great novel, but they’re all elements that need fleshing out.
A number of my students have requested this title after I showed them the book trailer. I’ll bring my ARC in after Christmas break, and I look forward to their reviews. I often feel that after reading so many YA novels, I’ve become much more critical of them. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but it does sometimes make it difficult to book talk a title. I’m honest with my students, as I will be about Fracture, because it both intrigues students and prompts great discussion.
I’ve read a number of reviews like my own and many rave reviews as well. Fracture is an entertaining read, it just left me with multiple questions without any answers.