Written by: Megan Miranda
Published by: Bloomsbury, Walker Childrens
Release date: January 17th, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
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. 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.
I devoured this book in a single day… and I wish that I had made it last longer. The sequel’s release date of Winter 2014 is just–I can’t even fathom that much waiting at this point.
One of the best things about this story is that all of its elements — paranormal, some romance, and a little bit of medical thriller — blend together seamlessly. The paranormal stuff isn’t overdone, the medical issues are extremely thought-provoking, and (disregarding the love-triangle which I have a bit of a problem with) the relationship and budding romance between the two main characters is really refreshing and extremely sweet.
Delaney and Decker are fantastic: completely realistic and never stilted, which is one of my main issues with a lot of YA stuff lately. Megan Miranda’s teens act like teens — and as another reviewer noticed, too, the parents actually act like parents. Shocker!
I was also pleasantly surprised by Miranda’s writing style — smooth, perfectly paced for the amount of story there was to tell, and actually really beautiful in parts. I don’t usually expect that from this type of book, but there it was, and I was glad to find it.
I feel like I have to mention, though–the only thing I did not enjoy about the book (and the reason for the -0.5 stars) is Troy. Delaney had to keep running into him because of the plot, but I thought she was way too accepting of his actions, and too willing to be around him despite them. I guess I felt like the necessity of Troy’s presence to the plot messed with Delaney’s otherwise great and very relatable character, and forced her character into situations that just weren’t smart (even though she was portrayed as otherwise very intelligent). So that did bother me a little.
But overall, that is a small complaint in the grand scheme of this book. It’s a really great blend of realistic and engaging characters, a refreshing writing style, and a lot of thoughtfulness on the issues presented. Definitely a 2012 favorite.