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Seventeen-year-old Delaney Maxwell lives in Maine, and knows all about winter safety and surviving the brutal cold. But accidents happen, even to the most prepared, especially when one is in a hurry. She and her best friend, Decker, are meeting their friends for a game of manhunt in the December snow. To save time, they decide to cut across the frozen Falcon Lake instead of walking around on the shore.

"[Megan Miranda's] writing style is amazing, and the story feels natural and genuine, as if the words slip effortlessly from her imagination to the page."

Delaney slips and falls, crashing through the ice to the bitterly cold water below. Decker’s friends fight to hold him back while one of them runs for the nearest house for a coil of rope. Decker ties into the rope and launches himself back out on the ice towards the gaping hole. He, too, falls through and his friends haul him in, but not before he manages to grab a hold of Delaney. Being in the frigid water without oxygen for 11 minutes, Delaney is gone. But Decker refuses to let go. He performs CPR until the paramedics arrive, and somehow Delaney is dragged back from the dead. She is a living miracle.

During the recovery, including a six-day coma and therapy, which curiously she doesn’t seem to need despite all that time without oxygen, Delaney desperately longs for life to go back to the way it was. The relationship between her and her mom is strained with all the worry and stress, and things between her and Decker have fallen apart; she is losing her best friend just when the friendship is blossoming into love. But life will never be the same again, because Delaney is not the same. She returns from the dead with a sixth sense, a frightening, horrific nightmare of an ability that will haunt her forever --- she can sense when others are going to die, and there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

Megan Miranda delivers an exciting, intriguing journey into relationships and the paranormal unknown. This is her first book, and she proves to be more than capable of tackling the challenge of YA literature. Her writing style is amazing, and the story feels natural and genuine, as if the words slip effortlessly from her imagination to the page. She also gives readers some things to think about, like the question Delaney proposes: “If you had one day left to live, what would you do?” Delaney is a very likable and relatable character who feels real. She is a bit clumsy, has a temper, values her education, and doesn’t care about being skinny (the guys even appreciate her curves). She travels up and down the range of emotions, from fear to hate,  love to confusion, hopelessness to hope. Her relationship with Decker pulls at the heart, beginning with a lifelong friendship merging into love and including a few impossible storms to weather through.

Overall, FRACTURE is a captivating novel from a gifted writer, and I can’t wait to see what Megan Miranda offers next.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on January 26, 2012

by Megan Miranda