Published: Jan 2012
Format: paperback, 272 pp
A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time.
Eleven minutes might as well be eternity underwater. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then when the oxygen runs out full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes. Probable at seven. Definite at ten.
Decker pulled me out at eleven.
Delaney Maxwell drowns in the first few pages on Fracture. This is no spoiler. This is the beginning of her story. In the few moments before she falls through the ice we discover the connection she has with her best friend Decker and how they are coming to a turning point in their relationship. At its heart Fracture is a story about relationships and growing up. A girl meets the new guy in town and mixed feelings and jealousy follow in their wake. Except in this story, they can sense death.
The characters are very absorbing and you can tell that even Delaney does not know what she wants. Troy Varga seems the perfect companion and the only person who understands what Delaney is going through. He is carefully measured to be both enticingly and frighteningly mysterious, but never becomes definitively either one. As with teenage friendships, one boy replaces another. But when Delaney and Troy’s encounters become increasingly sinister, who does she have left?
As with the most absorbing and satisfying of stories, Fracture makes you want to shout at the characters, but in a good way. You get so absorbed in their conflicts you can’t bear to watch them make mistakes. All stories ask you to invest your emotions, but only the really good ones make you give freely, just like falling in love.
Until the very last moment in this book I had decided it was going to get four stars. It was compelling and pulled at my heartstrings, but it hadn’t satisfied the extent of my emotions. There was something missing. Then came the heart pounding ending where smug guesses about what happens next are shattered and you get a real conclusion. Fracture does not pander to PG needs and parts nearly made me cry (and probably would have if I wasn’t standing on a train in rush hour), but it does give you hope.