Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Number of Pages: 262
Where I got this book: Netgalley eARC
My rating: 5/5
"Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine
-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, 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?
For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death."
First, a big thank you, thank you, thank you to Netgalley and Walker Childrens for the chance to read and review this book! Wow...I had goosebumps reading this book! I was hooked into this story from the very first chapter!
The book starts with "the accident." While having fun with her friends, Delaney falls through a patch of thin ice. Her friends try desperately to rescue her, but due to the thin ice and the risk of falling in themselves, it takes them (and by "them", I really mean Decker) 11 long minutes to pull her out. Delaney has been underwater this whole time. 7 minutes is generally the maximum length of time someone can survive being under water. She is taken to the hospital, and remains in a coma for a week. To the medical staff's complete astonishment, she wakes from the coma and other than a few "tremors" she seems perfectly fine - a miracle! She is released from the hospital after a barrage of tests, although she has an odd new symptom...it appears that she is "drawn" to people who are near death. It starts as an "itch" inside her brain - the stronger the itch, the closer to death they are. This itch leads her to Troy Varga (or is he drawn to her?) who has been in a similar near death experience and has the same ability to pick out the dying. But, it's what he does with this ability that sets them apart. Is this ability a gift or is it a curse? Is Delaney meant to be with Troy, a guy who knows what she has been through, or is she meant to be with Decker, who has been by her side since grade school, and saved her life? Was her life even worth saving? This story answers all these questions and takes you on a page- turning thrill ride that will leave you breathless!
Delaney was a very likeable character that the reader can easily sympathize with. She has been through an ordeal that is unimaginable...and not easy to recover from. She's confused by many things...everybody around her thinks that she is a walking miracle, but she's not so sure. She doesn't understand why her life was spared. If she is meant to do something special with her life. She is confused by this new "ability" of being able to identify the dying and what she should do about it. Does she try to save them? Well, like I think most of us would, she tries. But finds that it's not as easy as it sounds. Some people don't want to be saved. I felt like I could easily identify with her, and I think most readers will too.
Then there's Decker. I loved him. Although I wanted to slap him a few times in the book when he was seeing another girl...Anyway, he was just a good guy. He was very confused about his feelings about Delaney, which made him all the more realistic, I think. Despite his mixed feelings though, he was always there when Delaney needed him. Always. And I loved him for that.
And finally, there's Troy. Wow. I have to be careful here not to give too much away. He pretty much creeped me out from the beginning. He was just messed up. I felt bad for him...but I found myself yelling at Delaney to get the heck away from him! Troy made the story though.
My final thoughts:
This book just had everything: creepiness, edge of your seat action, romance, strong emotions, sadness, happiness, personal revelations...just absolutely fabulous. I highly recommend this book. A fabulous debut for Megan Miranda...I can't wait to see more from her!!
This review is also posted on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Netgalley.