By the time seventeen-year-old Delaney Maxwell is pulled out of the icy waters of a frozen lake, her heart has stopped beating. She is in a coma and officially dead. But Delaney pulls through. How? Doctors are mystified. Outwardly she has completely recovered. But Delaney knows something is very wrong. Pulled by sensations she can't control, she finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her brain predicting death or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who lost his whole family in a car accident and emerged from a coma with the same powers as Delaney. At last she's found a kindred spirit who'll understand what she's going through. But Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature - or something much more frightening?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time; in fact, ever since it was first released way back in 2012. I bought a paperback copy of it. However, due to my rather large reading list, it has taken me this long to get to read it. This is Megan Miranda's debut novel and has, since I bought this book, been re-released. Therefore, I can only review the copy I have; I really enjoyed it!
Delaney Maxwell is a wonderful character; I really liked her. She has a very down to earth personality, but I felt that I would have liked a bit more character development for her, as she didn't seem to have the reactions a normal human would have done in her situation i.e. anger, grief, sadness etc. She is a normal teen, enjoying a day out with friends when a freak accident brings her life crashing around her ears. What happened to her during those eleven minutes beneath the ice?
I started to read this book, and did not put it down until I had finished it five hours later. I found myself completely enthralled by the story. I have read about, and watched documentaries of real life stories of people who have had a similar (but not the same) experience; it is a miracle that those people escaped the jaws of death with only some or very little in the way of damage caused by the extreme cold. Others have not been so lucky.
The heroine in this story is a walking, talking miracle in her own right. Being "dead" for eleven minutes has given Delaney the ability to be able to detect when someone is about to die. I'm not sure if this is a curse or a gift in Delaney's eyes, as I feel the author didn't go into enough depth about this, which gave the character an ambivalent feel. Her reactions felt wishy-washy and not strong enough. Where was the anger? The fear? If I was the one affected, I'm sure I would have had tantrums or be totally scared out of my mind and be a snotty mess. Delaney didn't have hysterics, but carried on as if it was normal to have this ability. Personally, I think she took it too calmly.
Troy Varga is a very enigmatic character. I couldn't make up my mind as to whether he is a good guy who is emotionally damaged by his "gift/curse" and makes bad choices, or the bad guy; his actions were dubious at best, and murderous at worst.
I did, however, find myself liking Delaney's friend and next door neighbour, Decker. He may act like an idiot at times, but he has a good heart and I fell a little in love with him myself.
The story is full of twists and turns, with lots of suspense as to who Troy is and what he wants with Delaney. There is also a few shocking moments, and one scene containing Carson which had me in tears. Therefore, a tissue may be required for some readers. I did find the scene prior to the ending a bit of a let down, as I didn't expect it to end in that way. However, I can understand why Troy did what he did, even though I don't agree with the way he went about it. I love Delaney's and Decker's growing relationship, even though there were a few sticky moments where angst got in the way; I am glad that they managed to sort out their issues.
Megan Miranda has written a wonderful debut YA romance novel. I did find some of the characters a bit lacking in development and needed fleshing out a bit more. Her writing style was fast paced enough to keep me hooked, but the flow was not as fluid as it could have been. However, I cannot say if these issues have been fixed since I read the original and not the re-released version. I am now looking forward to reading her other books, Hysteria and Vengeance, as soon as I can.
I recommend this book if you love YA romance novels full of mystery and suspense. - Lynn Worton
View all my reviews