• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Fracture" by Megan Miranda~Twisted and Non-Stop Fantastic!

Published by: Walker Books/Bloomsbury
Pages:  272
Genre:  YA Fiction/Paranormal/Thriller
Author's website:  www.meganmiranda.com

Cover Rating:
This is a perfectly beautiful cover.  The darkness of the night sky is foreboding but beautiful, and that accompanied by the title is telling us this is a novel of dark mystery.  I love the layout and the font selected.  Sure winner for the young adult audience.
Rated:  A

Author Blurb:SummaryFrom ~ Publishers Weekly
Megan Miranda was a scientist and high school teacher before writing Fracture, which came out of her fascination with scientific mysteries—especially those associated with the brain. Megan has a BS in biology from MIT and spent her post-college years either rocking a lab coat or reading books. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor. Fracture is her first novel.
Miranda’s debut is a captivating and intelligent story of love and death with a dash of the supernatural. Seventeen-year-old Delaney Maxwell “dies” after falling into a frozen Maine lake. Rescued and revived by her best friend Decker after 11 minutes under the ice, Delaney spends six days in a coma and awakens with an itch deep in her brain that, again and again, leads her to people who are on the verge of death. Unresolved feelings and guilt over the near-drowning put tremendous stress on Delaney and Decker’s relationship, which is further complicated by Troy, a secretive older boy who is also drawn toward the dying. Delaney continues to struggle in the accident’s aftermath, and a devastating prediction of death only makes matters worse. Miranda’s riveting plot drives to an equally tense climax as she gracefully weaves together themes of suffering, compassion, jealousy, friendship, and trust. The fluid writing, empathetic characters, and big questions raised elevate this paranormal romance into a haunting meditation on what it means to be human and to truly live.

An Interview w/ Megan:

1) First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you “tick.”  When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing the mom-thing. My kids are 3 and 5, so most of my day is spent with them. Most days I can be found in the backyard hanging out with a bunch of the neighborhood kids and their parents.
2) You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?
My dad actually grew up in Maine, and we used to visit a town with a similar type of feel as the one in Fracture each summer.Fracture takes place in that setting, minus the tourists, in the winter. The first scene I pictured was of a girl falling through the ice of a lake, so I knew I needed a cold setting. I was naturally drawn to a place I was somewhat familiar with. As far as genre, I honestly didn’t realize I was writing a paranormal story until I went to query it! I came at the idea from the science side, but the story began walking the line between science and paranormal…. which is technically just something that science can’t explain yet. I like being on that line :-)
3) Please share with your readers where you like to write.  Do you have a particular space or desk?  What can you see from your desk?  Do you have props you use to write from?  What about special “charms?”
I have a pretty simple (and unprofessional) set-up. Since I write at night, I’m usually writing in bed with my laptop on my lap. That’s it. There’s usually a notebook beside me in case I need to make notes to myself, and sometimes there are sticky-notes involved, but there’s nothing really essential for me, other than silence.
4) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
When a book resonates with me emotionally. It can be any genre, any topic, but if I find myself feeling along with the characters, that book will have a lasting impression on me. To me, that’s the mark of a great book.
5) Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood? 
I loved reading Michael Crichton when I was younger—I loved the way his books were grounded in science, but the stories stood on their own. I also was very drawn to Edgar Allan Poe, and from then on sought out the darker side of literature.
6) Read any good books in the past 6 months?
I’ve read SO MANY good books recently! UNDER THE NEVER SKY, DITCHED, and ROOM, just to name a few.
Oh, I don't know "Ditched," I may have to find that one!  I'm reviewing "Under the Never Sky" here next month.  "Room" is an amazing book, I agree.  Your book is one of those unforgettable books, too, Megan.
7) Please share with us the underlying message of your book.  What would you like your readers to take away after having read the book?
I didn’t really think of a “message” while I was writing the book, but there is definitely something that Delaney comes to discover through her journey—and it’s more of a question than a message: if you had one day to live, what would you do? And why aren’t you doing it? So I guess it would be: carpe diem.   Carpe diem --seize the day-- that's what we all need to do to live life in its fullest.  I remember having that as our study group's theme in college!  LOL
8) Were you able to keep your original title?  What was it, if not?
I was! I didn’t title the book until after I wrote it, so I was able to find something that fit (I felt) with both the internal and external plot. It survived the rewrites and edits, all the way through to publication.
9) Is there a song or music in general that might best represent your book as a theme song?
This is such a hard question! There were songs that I felt represented different scenes and different characters, but I didn’t have a song in my head that represented the theme of the book. BUT, I’ve gotten some great suggestions from other people who’ve recently read the book. I think my favorite suggestions so far have been Down by Jason Walker and Bring Me To Life by Evanescence.
10)  If you could write your book again, what would you change?  Well, I wrote the book 3 times. The 3rd version is the one we submitted to publishers, and so much changed each time. I’m happy with the way everything is in this version, honestly. I feel like it stays true to all of the characters, and their intentions. I’d love to write in more backstory about some of the side-characters, but it’s not relevant to Delaney’s story and there’s not really a place for it. So I wouldn’t *actually* change it in the book. It’s just something I would’ve liked to explore further.
11) Tell us a secret about your book we wouldn’t otherwise know, please!
One of the characters did a complete 180 between drafts. Changing him turned Fracture into a thriller :-)
Megan, thank you for visiting with me and giving us the background on your book.  I'm looking forward to hearing more from you soon.  Thanks so much for having me!

The Dame's Review:
Megan Miranda may have meant "Fracture" to be for young adult audiences, but anyone will be eye-locked to this book, taken us up in a heartbeat, and kept sucking up air and holding your breaths while Delaney Maxwell struggles in freezing water to keep from drowning.  It's a minor miracle how Miranda can describe the panic that overtakes one who is sure they won't make it to the surface, who is feeling the drag downward to an icy death, and who is facing dark waters with lungs that sting with a foreign intake of disaster.  I was completely at her mercy from the first chapter on.

Megan Miranda knows her way around hospitals, but more than that she knows her brain functions well enough to tell us how they are supposed to work.  I appreciated that initial knowledge which made her story authentic and suspenseful throughout. Like a waiting game we were suspended with her...was Delaney's brain going to lose its delicate hold on clarity and fall back into a coma/unconscious state at any time?  There was that option; and Megan left that possibility open to the reader in several subtle ways throughout the novel.  Genius!

 Delaney, who was dead, but somehow revived, and woke from her coma, is plagued by her "pullings" and proddings.  Without giving the story away, these bring her in tandem with the strange young man who is either is shrouded in darkness or light, Troy.  It's through Troy that Delaney must seek how she really feels about her "immortality," her recovery from the coma and her "death," and whether she believes that others have a time and place that death calls on them. This push~pull creates the suspense and thriller mechanism of Miranda's novel, and it's one that will keep you up at night until you have an answer.

I appreciated Delaney's relationships with her parents, her doctor, and her best friend cum love interest, Decker; all of which, along with the ambiguous Troy, lead her to find herself in the new maze of her mind and feelings.  What she learns about trust and believing in her own instincts is central to the novel.  Although she has to fight through powerful resistance, Delaney is able to overcome the obstacles that hold her back from becoming the strong, new person she needs to be.  Her discernment and powers of persuasion become her greatest tools, and Megan Miranda makes us applaud these womanly traits.

Without a doubt this is a coming-into-one's-own book, but it is much more than that.  It is beautifully and masterfully written by a woman of intelligence and character who has a message of survival and honesty for us. Her characters are well~developed and believable, struggling with issues that matter. The message is in learning to trust ourselves, to live life seeing the "beautiful moments" in every day, and learning that love is what it's really all that matters. The suspense and the dilemmas Delaney faces make us question some important issues we may have now and in the future.  What would you do if you only had one more day to live?

I highly recommend "Fracture" to readers of all ages.

5 stars





FRACTURE sounds lovely and I've been hearing good things about it for some time.

Just one note - it is virtually impossible to read the interview with the white background and colors you've chosen here. Is there any way you can set them in line with the rest of this post? Those of us with vision impairments and who are migraine-prone would appreciate it, I'm sure!

Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=