Delaney Maxwell was underwater for 11 minutes before she was pulled out by her best friend Decker Phillips. Her heart had stopped beating, her brain had stopped functioning – she was dead.
Delaney defies the medical profession and after 6 days in a coma wakes up and appears to be fine. However Delaney knows something is not right – she now finds herself drawn to the dying.
Megan Miranda uses her debut novel to pose some thought provoking questions and really gets the reader thinking.
As a character Delaney was believeable, she did at times appear to be cold and standoffish, but that was understandable as she was scared and frustrated by what was happening to her and as she struggled to understand the changes she was experiencing she sometimes lashes out at those closest to her.
As well as exploring how the accident and recovery process is affecting Delaney, Miranda explores the way the events “fracture” Delaneys relationships.
The relationship between Delaney and her best friend Decker becomes strained as they struggle with guilt (Decker) jealousy ( both) and their feelings for one another.
The relationship between Delaney and her parents is explored, especially with her mother, and lends to a storyline regarding Delaneys grandparents, which I feel could have been explored in more depth.
The most interesting relationship Miranda explores is that of Life and Death. She does this through the relationship of Delaney and Troy. Tory, like Delaney is drawn to the dying. Tory, having decided that he has been given this gift to end people’s suffering, ends the life’s of the people he is drawn to, therefore Troy represents death.
Delaney, representing life, believes that you should be able to choose when to stop fighting for your life, not that someone else should get to choose for you – leaving the reader pondering their views on euthanasia.
Overall this is an interesting debut that I would give four stars ( out of five).
“if you only had one day left to live, what would you do?”