Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Fracture by Megan Miranda Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda


My husbands best friend is currently training to be a paramedic, and any conversations Ive had with him of late have revolved around the idea that really, were just lumps of flesh and bone. Theres a matter-of-factness that comes with working in the medical field, something that forces people to distill down our humanity into an organic system, a framework of guts. After all, when your job involves scraping someone off a country road or performing CPR on someone whos been out far too long, its easier to create that distance. Why wouldnt you?

But sometimes those systems dont work as expected. My mother, for example, who was pronounced dead after falling into the Murray River as a child.

And Delaney* Maxwell, protagonist of Megan Mirandas Fracture, who was dead for more than eleven minutes before being revived. And who, upon waking from a coma, finds that shes not quite the same person she was. Delaney, although exhibiting completely normal responses to everyday stimuli, has developed a new sense that the doctors dont know to test for: a hyperawareness of death, which she experiences as an itch, a tug in her brain.

Though Delaney attempts to return to normal life, focusing on completing her final year of high school and becoming embroiled in the various love triangles and stoushes with best friends that are par for the course, she cant shake the effect of this new sense. Death, after all, is everywhere, and Delaney finds herself surrounded by people whom she knows are close to death, but whom she cant help. This, of course, makes her reflect constantly on her own mortality: who is she to have been able to cheat death, and for what reason? Should she step in and try to change things, or should she simply stand back and allow fate to take its course?'The question becomes even more pressing when it seems that someone may indeed be attempting to interfere with the lives of these sickly peoplea self-appointed angel of death who asserts that he is merely hastening the inevitable.

Fractures premise is an intriguing one, and I was immediately taken in by Mirandas elegant writing and by the fact that the book takes a largely scientific approach to the near-death experience rather than a paranormal one. Unfortunately, the book is often uneven in places, spending too much time focusing on odd and unresolved side-plots, such as Delaneys mothers difficult relationship with her parents, and an awkward love triangle that never quite works. Delaney is also an uncomfortably passive character, sullen and unlikeable, and its not always a pleasurable task to trudge through the myriad scenes in which she responds only internally or actively avoids communicating her feelings rather than actually doing anything to change her circumstances. Shes so easily led about that I wonder whether Miranda is making an allusion to zombie-ism, or whether Delanys character is designed as a stand-in for the idea of abject fatalism and its consequences. Other elements feel too tidy, such as the way in which Delaney is befriended by a stranger who has been through a similar experience to her own, and the last few scenes provide a conclusion thats so jarringly neat in its circularity that its difficult to accept.

I admit that when I started Fracture'it was only days after having read Revived (see my review), which looks at similar issues. However, though both novels have their flaws, they make for fascinating side-by-side reads, and are highly complementary. Revived'focuses on the ethics of both bringing the dead back to life, but also of bringing only a select group of certain individuals back to life; Fracture, on the other hand, in a way'looks at euthanasia and end-of-life care. Curiously, both explore the ideas of whether death should be something placed in the hands of institutions or individuals; both also look at the role of fate in death and the notion of whether all lives are of equal worth. If youre going to read one or the other of these, I do recommend reading them together as companion volumes. Try Passage'by Connie Willis while youre at it, too.

*Incidentally, I do think using the names Delaney, Decker, Carson and Janna all in one book might have been a little over the top. Isnt everyone in America called Jennifer?



I wanted to live, I said again, but lower this time.

You didnt know what you wanted.

But I did'live. So you cant know. Its not final. Its not one hundred percent. Theres always a chance.

Rating: star Book Review: Fracture by Megan Mirandastar Book Review: Fracture by Megan Mirandastar Book Review: Fracture by Megan Mirandablankstar Book Review: Fracture by Megan Mirandablankstar Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda (good)

With thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy

Support Read in a Single Sitting by purchasing Fracture'from

Amazon | Book Depository UK | Book Depository USA | Booktopia | The Nile

Download a free Fracture tie-in story

The official Fracture'book trailer:

pixel Book Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda


  1. I think I liked this a little more than you Steph but I have to agree about the name thing :)
    shelleyrae @ Bookd Out recently posted..Review: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

    • Stephanie /

      I really liked the concept of this one, but struggled with Troys character, the MCs passivity, and that painfully circular ending (enough that I wrote a post about Chekhovs Gun! so that I could discuss it). Mirandas definitely an author to watch, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Add us to your Google reader: Add to Google

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers