Fracture Discussion Questions with GitS and Our Guest Bloggers!
So here we are, rounding out our first Occasional YA Book Club discussion! If you read along with us (or have read the book before), you know that Fracture by Megan Miranda is a pretty intense book. And if you got to listen to our podcast, we tried to really hit on some of the big issues Miranda writes about – death, family, and love.
We want to round out this discussion on this holiday weekend and officially call a close to our first book club discussion! That being said, the next Occasional YA Book Club probably won’t convene until late summer. If you have a book you think would be a great pick, let us know! Email Amanda or Stacy and state your case! Or if you have comments or suggestions, drop us a line in the comments box! We love hearing from all of you!
And without further ado, the questions we at GitS tried to answer for this book:
In this book, Delaney did not feel that she could talk to her parents about what was happening to her. What do you think Fracture says about the difference between the reality of a teen’s world and the world that parents believe their children live in?
Shannan: I always feel that I want my kids to live where they feel less stress and where I can try to prevent anything traumatic from happening to my kids. In all honesty, as portrayed in Fracture, the kids have stress that we can’t prevent them from having and they try to prevent us from seeing the struggle in their lives to “protect” us. However, the reason that Delaney couldn’t talk to her parents in this book was bc she had been part of a terrible accident and her parents felt that she wasn’t “fine” as she kept insisting. Once she was lead to death, she felt that her parents just couldn’t comprehend her “dilemma”.
Stacy: Wow, this is a great question and one that I feel doesn’t have a definitive answer. In the general scope of things, parents have it hard. On one hand they know exactly what a teen is going through – they’ve been there. However, on the other hand they also have a new perspective based on being parents. Their life experiences mold and shape their perceptions and realities around them. So, do they really know and understand the reality of a teen’s world? Yes and no. I believe at times parents can clearly see the paths our children/teens needs to make to succeed and that is the reality they hold out for, what they wish for them. That reality sometimes can overshadow what is in fact really going on in the teen’s world, therefore leaving parents totally clueless.
However, this all can be negated with on-going open and very clear communication, trust etc.
Amanda: When I worked with children and teens in a library, my coworkers and I used to joke that with teens (and apparently pre-teens now!) often see the world through a lens of immediacy. Everything is vital RIGHT NOW. And having been a teen roughly 12 years ago, I don’t think that’s far off. Everything is life or death to a teen, except in Delaney’s case…it really was. I think Miranda did Delaney’s character a favor by putting her in some pretty dire situations and not feeling as though she could talk to her parents. And maybe this is just my over-reading of the book, but it felt like a kind of metaphor for typical teenagers – because Delaney had gone through this trauma and now has a special power, she feels different and like an outsider (to the extreme). Because of her unique situation and the fact that her parents, especially her mom, are worried to a level 11 about her, she feels as though if she speaks up about what’s going on, they’ll lock her away/think she’s crazy/never let her out of the house. If you strip away Delaney’s special power but leave her a victim of trauma, I don’t know that her feelings toward her parents would have been much different. To me, the entire situation involving Delaney and her parents was a really well-written metaphor for how teenagers see their world (immediacy, the importance of everything) and how parents see the world. But then again…I might be reaching!
Were you satisfied with the way the book ended?
Shannan: Totally satisfied. It was an interesting turn of events that makes it a book to pass along to a friend, that’s for sure.
Stacy: I LOVED the ending!! My heart was racing for most of the book and I actually had to take reading breaks for fear of what ‘might’ happen in the story, so the ending worked for me. Would I have liked a little more of this, or a little more of that…sure. However, I think the ending is grounded in reality and hopefully a new beginning based on truths and more importantly, trust.
I do want to add that when I finished this book I thought it was a standalone. I’m a little bummed knowing that there is a sequel planned (VENGEANCE, 2014); it crumbles my HEA to pieces. Though since it’s told from Decker’s POV I’m sure I will gobble it up just as quickly and then want more.
Amanda: Is it cool if I just say “ditto” to Stacy’s response? HA! I do agree though that this book sent my heart racing, it was a very tense book. I don’t read a lot of “contemporary” novels, though one could argue this was a blend of contemporary and paranormal genres. (If you heard our podcast on the book, we kept calling the paranormal parts “the other”.) I think satisfaction with the ending is a big deal for a lot of people, especially me, and I really did enjoy the ending and the fact that it looked like Delaney was finally going to get some normal in her life.
Our Guest Bloggers Q & A! These lovely ladies agreed to answer one question about the book so we could get some new point of views.
The description of what happens to Delaney when she senses someone is near death is very detailed. Have you ever known anyone to have a “sixth sense” about something? And if so, how did they react when they had a suspicion something was about to happen?
Jen: I had a friend in college that swore that she got a feeling in her gut before bad things happened. There were a couple of times when we were hanging out that she actually stared shaking and knew something was wrong. Sadly, I can’t remember specific details, but there were times when she was right. When she got this feeling she’d convince me that we needed to change our plans – stay in, take a safer route, or just do something different altogether. One night when she’d been feeling like something was going to happen all afternoon/evening, a friend of ours was badly injured in a motorcycle accident (he was lucky, and made a full recovery with only some scars). She was right enough times that I took her seriously!
The reader only gets glimpses of the underlying issue behind Delaney’s mother’s troubles and it’s obvious that her past is affecting how she now treats Delaney after her accident. If Miranda had given this issue more page time, would elaboration on the relationship between Delaney and her mom, and the mother and her parents have helped or hindered the story?
Kate: I think that as adults reading YA, it is natural to desire more interaction between parent and child and to know more about the parents because we (adult readers) are reading this from our adult perspective. While I might desire to know more about a character’s background, there is a point at which you must take a story at face value. This is not her mom’s story, it’s Delaney’s. We know that her mom was in an abusive home and she got out. We know that Delaney’s relationship with her mom is a little strained and after her accident becomes even more so. While I might be interested in knowing more about this because I am interested in these types of things, in general, it doesn’t really mean that the story suffered because of it. What I took away from that information was that Delaney’s mother struggled in her life just as Delaney is struggling after her accident. We are all of us a little bit broken by the things that we have overcome in our lives and we all have secrets. I found it very realistic that neither party (Delaney or her mom) really revealed the reason behind their brokenness. People carry things within them without telling anyone all the time. Would it have made the book better to know more? I’m not so sure, really. Would we have known more about Delaney by knowing more about her mom? I’m not convinced of that. Would the book suffer from more elaboration? I don’t think it would have suffered, per say, but it might have changed the focus of the book, and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely just as it was written.
So let me just say, from all of us at GitS and on behalf of Jen and Kate, thank you so much for reading with us! But don’t let the discussion stop there! These questions were written for you too – give one of them a shot in the comments. We want to hear from you!!