Author: Megan Miranda
Published: 17 January 2012 by Bloomsbury/Walker
Length: 262 pages
Source: Won from Comacalm, approved on Netgalley
Other info: This is Megan’s debut novel. There is also a tie in called Eleven Minutes.
Summary : 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?
Review: Delaney fell through the ice, into a lake, and died. Eleven minutes later, she starts breathing again. Nobody knows how she survived, or what happened, or why she seems to have recovered completely. But she has. But now, she ends up being around people when they die. She doesn’t know why, or how, but it happens. And then she meets Troy. Who seems to understand her new morbid talent/gift/curse/ability. But maybe there’s a little more to him than that.
This wasn’t one that I was particularly dying to read, but the idea of it did intrigue me. It all starts really quickly, with Delaney describing what happened when she died as she comes out of a coma. Next comes a description of her accident, before medical appointments and going home. Delaney receives her first premonition-y thing and has the first person die at around the sixty page mark. The rest of the book continues at a similar pace-not breakneck, but still fast enough to keep me interested and not mark as a DNF.
Delaney isn’t particularly strong, but she is a good character and I liked reading her story. Her talents really were a good part of this book, but aside from them, she didn’t really capture my attention. For the most of it, she reacts believably and develops a little throughout the book. Troy is your typical tortured soul (the kind of which I don’t particularly like), but he did have his own ideas about how their gifts work which I liked reading about. The supporting characters were nice, and filled out the cast nicely.
The plot was ok. It’s definitely original, which I liked, and as a premise was interesting from the start. There were a few things throughout that I didn’t really care about and wanted to get over so I could get to a better bit. On the other hand, there were parts that made interest levels peak. There were definitely a few unpredictable moments which I liked- [SPOILER]’s death being one of them.
The ending is a little ironic, but a good way of ending it. It tied things up neatly, and gave us a better idea of Troy’s character that we didn’t pick up on earlier in the novel. I don’t think there’s room for a sequel, but I’d definitely be interested in other things from Megan.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a interesting book that takes a good look at life, death, friendship and other things.