In addition to all of my #recentlyread posts (which I need to catch up on, oops), I wanted to start posting about some of my favorite authors in what I’m calling Author Spotlight, with this first post featuring Megan Miranda!
When I’m trying to find a new book to read, I often jump to the newest piece from an author I respect. With Megan Miranda, I don’t even look at the synopsis anymore before picking up her newest book (which is typically a young-adult fiction mystery/thriller). One of my favorite parts about Miranda’s writing is her ability to pull off a twist – I rarely know where she’s going, but love the ride. Even though most of her characters are experiencing larger than life circumstances, I can always relate to them and feel heavily involved.
Below, I’ve listed her books in chronological order with quick little notes from my experience reading! All synopsis details are from Goodreads, shortened by me for length.
Synopsis: By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, her heart had stopped beating. But somehow Delaney survived – despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature – or something else much more frightening…
This book was my first glimpse into Miranda’s work. I did really enjoy it, but I rarely choose books with paranormal or supernatural elements.
Eleven Minutes (Fracture #0.5)
This one is a bit of an anomaly because it’s a very small prequel.
Synopsis: Fracture is told from Delaney’s perspective, and if you’ve read the first two chapters, you know that she falls through the ice in chapter one, and she wakes up 6 days later. And what happens in between—well, that’s Decker’s story. This is the story of those eleven minutes, and the six days that follow, from his perspective. Because while it must be terrifying to be trapped under the ice, it’s a different kind of terror seeing your best friend trapped… Especially if it’s your fault.
I honestly do not believe that I’ve read it because my library doesn’t carry it. I’ve read Fracture, and don’t really need the prequel (and it’s incredibly short, so I’ve heard).
Synopsis: Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can’t remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn’t charged. But Mallory still feels Brian’s presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her or anything about her past. But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.
I was really pulled in by the plot of this book and didn’t leave disappointed. The way that it is written, you know no more than Mallory does and you’re able to learn alongside her as she tries to discover what happened to her that night (and what is happening now).
Vengeance (Fracture #2)
Synopsis: Falcon Lake wants vengeance. And so, it seems, does someone else…
When Decker drags his best friend Delaney’s lifeless body out of the frozen lake, he makes a deal: Anyone but her. Everyone but her. The lake releases her. It takes another…
All their friends blame Delaney for Carson’s death. But Decker knows the truth: Delaney is drawn to those who are dying, and she would have tried to help Carson. Or so Decker believes until a body lies in front of him in a pool of water on his kitchen floor. Until he sees in Delaney’s eyes that she knew this would happen too – and she said nothing. Until he realizes it isn’t the lake that is looking for revenge – Delaney is part of someone else’s plan.
If you know me, it takes a lot for me to read a sequel. I did enjoy Fracture, but I felt like the book ended and I didn’t need more. By the synopsis, Vengeance takes things just too far.
Synopsis: With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.
I haven’t read this sci-fi book of Miranda’s, but that is mostly due to the fact that I didn’t know it existed! It seems like something that I would find interesting, though.
The Safest Lies
Synopsis: Can fear be inherited? Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of fear, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey. Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile for their own protection, but that plan is shattered when she drives off a cliff and is rescued by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker.
A few days later, she arrives home to face her greatest fear: her mother is missing. She and her mother have drilled for all contingencies—except this one. Luckily, Ryan is as skilled at emergency rescues as Kelsey is at escape and evasion. To have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face all her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.
This is my most recent Megan Miranda read. At one point, I had to put down the book for the night because I was getting freaked out (which never happens ((okay, the house in the book was getting broken into and I was home alone, but still)).
I love how Miranda’s books always have multiple twists and turns! However, I found one twist I wanted but didn’t see – that was a bummer.
All the Missing Girls
Synopsis: It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
This is the big one for me. It’s the one I recommend to people when they say they’re looking for a book that is a mystery because I think it’s that good. Even though the story is technically told backward, it isn’t as confusing as I thought it would be (it’s just as confusing as it should be). In the opposite fashion of Hysteria, Nic holds all the cards and you find them one by one. The hard part is that you rarely know the cards when you see them. One day I will read the book backward and see if I can catch even more!
The Perfect Stranger
Synopsis: Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
This book was trippy in a very Black Mirror kind of way. As you’re starting to put together the pieces of this story, I couldn’t (and still can’t) imagine what it would feel like to have everything pulled out from under you like that.
Fragments of the Lost
Synopsis: Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere: in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safekeeping on that day. His mother asked her to pack up his things, even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all. Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
I really didn’t expect this twist.
I’d say that 6 out of 9 is pretty darn good! How many have you read? Let me know in the comments below!
*note – I didn’t include Dark Places (written with Susan Vaught, C.J. Omololu, and Jeannine Garsee) because it wasn’t written as a solo book.