My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So I’m not sure what to say about this book except that I really enjoyed it!!
Delaney Maxwell is a kind of anti-heroine. She’s called beautiful by a few guys, but she doesn’t see herself that way. Instead, she’s a nerdy girl whose clothes are too small and whose waist keeps expanding. She’s also a girl who has a crippling over-protective mother. But if your daughter almost died, I’m sure you’d be over-protective too.
The book starts with Delaney waking up in hospital. She remembers how she got there. The first few chapters are very fractured (see what I did there?). She’s waking up from a coma. She’s learning that she should be dead. She’s remembering why she should be dead. She’s having lots of conversations with doctors etc. To be honest, the hospital scenes were not my favourite. I felt the story spent too much time there, and once it moved out of the hospital THAT’s when things started looking up.
Enter Decker. Delaney’s best friend. Her next door neighbour. I loved him. She loved him, just didn’t want to admit it to herself. It was his fault why she was on the ice in the first place. He left her to walk across alone and she slipped – the clumsy girl she is – and the ice cracked. While she drowned, their friends held Decker back to stop him trying to save her and drowning too. Until they finally found a rope and Decker made it to the hole where he fell, got dragged back by his friends, Delaney’s dead body in tow. Decker is Delaney’s hero. Her saviour. It’s him who doesn’t leave her side at the hospital. Him who sticks by her and cares for her. Him who saves her time and time again. He was the best part of this novel.
There’s a big moral dilemma that occurs in this book. If you know someone is going to die, and it’s probably going to be painful, do you try and help them die peacefully? Do you try to save them or warn them, even if the end result means the death is worse than it maybe would have been? Or do you stand by and do nothing? Let nature take its course. The same dilemma occurred in The Mark, but wasn’t executed nearly as well as here.
I kind of liked Delaney. And I kind of didn’t. She was weird, and not in a quirky way. In a socially awkward, emotionally messed up, unfriendly and unsympathetic way. She was selfish, mostly. Her mother and father struggled to help her and she didn’t make it any easier. She wouldn’t come out and tell Decker how she really felt about him, even though she knew he needed to hear it. She used Janna to help her study and then wanted nothing more to do with her. Despite all of that, I wanted Delaney to do well and survive and be safe. Miranda did a good job in making me feel very conflicted about her characters, because I also liked/disliked the mother and Troy – but he’s something else altogether.
All in all, a great read. I devoured this in a day and couldn’t put it down. The book dealt well with the moral dilemma and didn’t make it come across like being in a philosophy lesson. The relationships were all very realistic and there was enough action, mystery and suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat. I was desperate to see how it all came together, and was not disappointed when it did.
5 stars. I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys a contemporary read with the right about of suspense.