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?
This story portrayed a very interesting concept, unfortunately it was not pulled off the way I expected. After Delaney nearly dies from drowning in a frozen lake, her brain seems to have developed the strange ability to tell when people are about to die. Through this, it explored the psychological possibility that our brains have capacity for improvement, which I've always found fascinating but Delaney didn't really explore the unexplainable. She did spend a lot of time worrying about her ability and wanting to help, which made her seem crazy.
Two things came out of this part miracle, part weirdness: one was her parents not believing her. I can understand worrying when someone thinks their brain has malfunctioned and can tell when people are going to die, but that doesn't excuse trying to drug your daughter with anti-depressants! Two was meeting Troy. Good Lord, Troy freaked me out. Secretive, speaking in hidden meanings, not telling the whole truth, he was bordering on stalker and I really could not understand why Delaney kept seeking him out. She thought he held the answers to their ability but really, he was coping with it any way he could, which differed from how Delaney was.
Now for the other boy in Delaney's life. I liked Delaney's relationship with best friend Decker, that is until they tried to kiss. For once, I would like a boy/girl best friendship to not end up in some twisted love story, especially since here, it had no impact on the overall story and didn't even seem realistic. Don't get me wrong, Decker was simply adorable and so protective and after the accident, clearly in love with her, but I didn't believe that Delaney felt the same way about him.
This is the first in a series, which is why it left a lot of unanswered questions. And maybe they would be answered in following books but it annoyed me that nothing was answered here. I had a little too many issues with this to fully enjoy it; I can understand why others would like it, it was an intriguing story with some complex characters, it just wasn't for me.
Published 17th January 2012 by Bloomsbury.