Author: Dani Atkins
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: November 1st 2013
Buy at: BookDepository
What would you do if life gave you a second chance?
Rachel’s life was perfect. She had a handsome boyfriend, wonderful friends and a place at university. But the night of the accident changed everything. She was left badly scarred, and consumed by guilt. In a single heartbeat, her world fell apart.
Now, five years later, Rachel wakes up after a sudden fall to discover that everything is different. Reality has shifted. The tragedy never happened – and the people she lost are alive and well. Unable to trust her memories, Rachel is drawn into a new world full of happiness, love and second chances. Can it really be possible that the life she once dreamed of was hers all along?
Gripping, romantic and heartbreaking, Fractured is a magical love story that asks: Can two different stories lead to the same happy ending?
I’m not a romance books gal. Sure, there are some romantic subplots I will cheer for as if my life depends on it, but very rarely do I pick up a romance book. When I do, however, I expect something more than a “will they or won’t they” story, and from the blurb Fractured seemed to offer quite a bit more than that. I thought there would be magical realism, or something akin to parallel universes. Instead, I found a series of clichés that made me want to hit my head on the table. Repeatedly.
After an accident that left her best friend dead, Rachel’s life crumbled. Her dad got cancer, she broke off with her boyfriend, lost contact with friends, never followed her dream of being a journalist, and got an increasing amount of headaches. It was one of these particularly powerful ones that led her to fall and hit her head on the floor, and enter a reality where everything was perfect. She was engaged to her ex, had the job she had always wanted, and most importantly, the dead friend was very much alive. As it could only be, a love triangle is born.
The rest is your usual cliché story. There is the perfect guy, and the shallow guy. There’s a pin-up, vain, woman whose function is to be a mistress, and an MC who needs constant rescuing and reassurance. Indeed, the protagonist spends 99% of the story in a state of uncertainty. Then there’s the fact that friends and family characters love gossiping about her love life. And, of course, the prose is overly written. It doesn’t help that many of these issues are pet peeves of mine. Oh, and did I mention it was highly predictable?
If that’s not enough, there are plenty of points in the story that simply do not make sense. One could argue that this is due to the plot twist in the end (one that made me want to whirl the book out of the window – it was that bad), but even that won’t suffice in explaining the incident that sets the whole plot in motion: the car crash in a restaurant that killed Rachel’s best friend. The author says Rachel was trapped between between a chair and another piece of furniture and could not find a way out, which is… silly. If you see a car coming towards you, you either freeze or flee. If your instinct is to flee (which, I believe, was the case), you will climb your way out of the way. A chair, or a table, is not that hard to remove from your path when your body is fuelled by adrenaline.
Looking back on it, I have no idea why I finished this book. Perhaps because I wanted to find out what the author had up her sleeve. In the end, it wasn’t worth it. According to Goodreads, a good number of people liked it. So it might be that this simply wasn’t the book for me. It happens. If you’ve read it, tell me what you think!
The book in a quote
“My first life ended at 10.37pm on a rainy December night, on a deserted street beside the old church.
My second life began some ten hours later, when I woke up to the blinding brilliance of the hospital lighting, with a large head wound and a life about which I had absolutely no recollection. I was surrounded by friends and family, and that should have made it better. But it didn’t, as one of them had been dead for a considerable period of time.”