Fracture

Fracture - Megan Miranda Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!Fracture is a lot of story, condensed quite neatly and admirably well within its two hundred seventy-two page length. For a debut novel from a beginning author, Fracture is certainly impressive across the board: real, dimensional, flawed human characters, a fresh hook in the unusual plot, and a refreshingly teen teenage romance create a read that is emotional, fulfilling, frustrating and above all, real. From the very beginning, with its vivid images and words, this is a hard novel to put down. Just a warning: for those expecting a full-on paranormal/supernatural tale, Fracture is most definitely not the novel for you. The fanastical element is very slight, an addition to the story, not the crux of the plot itself. This is a novel driven entirely by emotion, not by magic or the supernatural. This is an author I will be keeping a look-out for in the future: I'm very curious to see (and read!) where she will go after this type of novel.Guilt is one unifying themes and a defining characteristic for almost all the characters within Fracture. Delaney, the main character of the book, has slight survivor's guilt plaguing her from time to time since her reintroduction to consciousness. Decker, Delaney's forever best friend and the best character in Fracture, has guilt over what happened to Delaney, why it took so long for him to retrieve her from the water. Even Delaney's parents have stress, worry, guilt coloring their actions in the novel from the outset. Like I said earlier, this is a very emotional book and every character reflects that throughout the story. With such an emotional tone and characters experiencing emotions all over the range possible, this is an edge-of-my seat read, personally. I was never entirely sure who was going to do what, with whom or even why. This lack of clarity caused a problem for me with Delaney herself. She is oftentimes inscrutable in her actions and thought processes and I had a bit of a disconnect with her character initially, though it didn't last long.Speaking of Delaney, I wish she had been a bit kinder to her loved ones. Some attitude/problems are to be expected, even normal, but Ms. Maxwell's stubborn and withdrawn 'tude bordered on extreme upon several occasions. I had a bit of a problem really connecting and investing in Delaney as a character at the outset of Fracture, partially because of her aforementioned attitude. Once I realized that she has a lot to process and deal with, my empathy for her character grew quite a bit. I actually liked Delaney best around her parents (who saw that coming?), and was happily surprised to read about a real, functioning family unit in a YA novel. There is no tropic, cliched Random Missing Parent, or even a mysterious past with a "dead" loved one. Nope, Delaney Maxwell is the daughter of two loving parents in a healthy, though not perfect, relationship. I personally must give major book/author kudos to Ms. Miranda for resisting the temptation of introducing this overdone element into her debut. Delaney's relationships outside of her parents are bit trickier to get into. Decker is obviously a complicated subject, but I wish Delaney was a bit more decisive about what she wants, regarding Decker, Troy, Cam. I didn't like the mental vacillating between the boys, when she clearly only had chemistry with one. (Not that I am biased in any way. Clearly. coughDECKERcough.)Obviously, I have a favorite from this novel and his name is Decker. He's not perfect - his temper is definitely his Achilles heel - but he is perfect with Delaney. These two, when/if they finally get their act right are among my favorite YA pairings: they complement each other well. There's a sense of give-and-take between the two, and a solid friendship built on trust that helps create a viable, tumultuous relationship that brings out the best in the female protagonist. I was let down by the only other teenage female character of import. Janna is the sister of a friend of Delaney's and initially, I thought she might have an important role to play within the framework of the plot - another friend for Delaney, a female counterpoint to Deckard for example. Unfortunately, the arc that the author takes Janna upon is one of my few real issues for Fracture. Her confrontation with Delaney feels forced and false in an otherwise very accurate depiction of teenage relationships. I wish the author had shown a smarter, kinder Janna at the end: blaming Delaney feels forced and almost silly - Delaney couldn't help that she survived her fall, nor is she to blame for an accident resulting from a KNOWN previous medical condition of another character. I thoroughly disliked Janna's evolution, and also felt unsatisfied by Troy's actions at the end of the novel. Like Janna, it seemed forced, an easy out to tie up the plot and wish a little more time and explanation had been devoted to his personal denouement.I really wish more information and detail was explained about Delaney's accident: explicitly, I wanted knowledge about why she survived and what her ability/power means for her. Is this a thing that is going to persist her entire life? (If so, how absolutely morbid and macabre to always know when someone she loves is due to die.) Was Delaney saved by accident or by design? Was it a freak occurrence or a miracle? Unfortunately, Fracture doesn't provide any satisfactory answers any of these questions, hastily moving beyond the event itself to focus upon the repercussions of Delaney's survival. I had to lower my rating for this novel due in part to this wide-open aspect of the plot- it feels incomplete that we, as the readers, don't know the purpose/intent/reason for Delaney's astonishing survival.Fracture is a great read. It's affecting without being overwhelmingly emotional. It's dramatic in the best sense of the word, but not full of superficial melodrama. Fracture can even veer into the "creepy" territory with thanks to Troy's. . . overzealous actions, without going overboard. This is an excellent, excellent eye-catching and original debut, one I recommend highly. If you are a reader that enjoys straight realistic fiction, I think this would still be a winner due to the very slight nature of the paranormal aspect. Similarly, paranormal/supernatural novel lovers would enjoy Fracture as well, as it is a great addition to trend of supernatural young-adult novels. Spoiler free!(And a big thanks to Aleeza for catching my egregious misspelling of one of the characters names.)