"A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie. And God knows Carson Levine can talk a girl out of her clothes in half that time. Eleven minutes might as well be eternity under water. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs. Death is possible at five minutes. Probable at seven. Definite at ten. Decker pulled me out at eleven."
Aaaah! Awesomeness. And the first line of the book deserves some props too:
"The first time I died, I didn't see God."
You get it? The first time she died. So does she see God the second time? Does she keep dying over and over again? WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!?! That is pretty much a play-by-play of my reaction. Obviously I was sucked in like nobody's business.
And here is the great thing. The story keeps you guessing. I really had no solid idea where this author was going to take me. And not knowing was sort of amazing. I was never quite sure whether there was going to be a sci-fi turn, or whether that dude I was pretty sure Delaney shouldn't trust really was untrustworthy, or what exactly was going on with her mom.
It is sort of clausterphobic. It kind of had that flat, spare feeling that Revolver or Nothing had. It has you declaring you know what is going to happen and then you're wrong (or am I projecting too much? Because that is totally what I was doing). So, in other words: it is suspenceful.
Here is the thing we know for sure: Delaney really died. She was in a coma for six days. When she woke up, her brain scan showed irreperable brain damage. So how is she still alive? How is she walking, talking, breathing, and pretty much unscathed? What exactly is going on with her brain and how does a stranger know so much about her?
Book Source = ARC from ALA exhibit hall