Our sense of self is based on the ways in which we think about ourselves, as well as the way we view ourselves, the traits that make us, us, and what beliefs and purpose we think we have in this world and life. Therefore, we can say our sense of self, who we are as person according to ourselves, is closely tied to our names, opinions, even our memories and the value we think we hold to ourselves and others.
(I promise this will make contextual sense very soon and isn’t just me going on about psychology for no reason, I swear, though I enjoy psychology-based discussions a whole lot.)
In a way, everyone struggles with their sense of self to a certain degree, our confidence also being tied to it, as well as many other factors and mental illnesses that make that struggle vary for everyone—sometimes it’s an odd type of easier, other times much worse, much harder, or in some cases it’s simply…different. In Fractures, the sequel to my YA Thriller Echoes, this sense of self based struggle is neither due to my characters confidence issues nor mental illnesses, but rather a second step in someone else’s plan to break them down.
Let me explain.
In Echoes the overarching issue the main characters were presented with was distinguishing between what is real and what is fake. They crash landed on a deserted island while, at the very same time, safely landing in Berlin, Germany, for an internship. How is that possible? They’d like to know that as well. Quickly though they realized that something isn’t right with either of those realities, suspicious evidence popping up again and again, the question though being exactly what and which, as I said before, is real and which fake in every sense of the word. But how do you make that distinction, hold on to what is real if you’re robbed of that sense of reality?
That’s the first step on the plan I mentioned before.
Meanwhile in Fractures the setting (a villa and freighter instead of an island and city) and the fight to survive is very different, though not any less hard, their struggles though stemming from an attack not on their sense of reality, therefore something external, but rather something internal, their very core.
That’s step two, rob them of their sense of self, of what they believed to be true and real about themselves and their lives.
They have to figure out how to hold on to who they are even though everyone around them tries their very hardest to prove that what they believe to be true is, in fact, very false, just a glitch or trick of their minds having gone very wrong.
So, first, they tried to take away their sense of reality, and now their sense of self.
After nearly eighteen years of thinking they are a certain person, in this case Miles, the rich boy their classmates were convinced is nothing but an egocentric narcissist, and Fiona, an unapproachable kickboxing champion their classmates hated, yet now someone suddenly offers them evidence that they might be someone else entirely, Oscar and Killie, nothing but mere test subjects, that will certainly mess with their sense of self, as it would with anyone, right?
So, while the story focuses on this thrilling mystery and a fight to survive and win a battle that seems much bigger than them, this company that’s bought and trapped them so they can use them for their own purposes and needs, it’s also a much more internal fight to remain sane at a very core level.
When all evidence strongly points to one thing, how can they remain sure that it’s the other way around, that their memories and who they think they are is right and the company and their arguments are wrong? I’d say, read Echoes and Fractures to find out if Miles and Fiona manage to win their battle or if they might lose themselves, literally and figuratively, along the way.
I hope this made you at least a little curious, though I admit it was quite hard to stay clear of any major spoilers. There are a lot of ways to spoil plot points and character arcs which really makes talking about these two books very hard.
Thank you so much for reading!