The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
- Michelle HodkinGrade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong. (Description from Goodreads)
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‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ is not a simple book. I’m struggling to put into words just how complex and crazy the book was. Twists and turns; creepy images and an endless amount of questioning and wonder. I will warn you, this review is going to be a lot less detailed than I’d like it to be, only because there’s no way to say everything I want to without spoiling the book.
I’m not a horror fan, even mildly-spooky things give me the creeps; while this book probably wouldn’t be classed as a horror book, it should win awards for being pretty creepy. All because of one character: Miss Mara Dyer. At the beginning of the novel, Mara has a very traumatic experience, losing her best friend, boyfriend and boyfriend’s sister in an accident. She was there when it happened and was the only survivor; but doesn’t remember any of it. Now Mara’s haunted by the memory of the people she lost. She sees things that shouldn't be there and hears her name being spoken by unknown sources. It’s all a little crazy. I love Mara. She’s got that spark you want to see in main characters; funny, troubled, fights back, cares about unloved dogs. She’s got it all going for her; even if she’s going mental.
Let's face it, top priority in most YA books these days is the guys: The Romance. What can I say about Noah Shaw? Boy wonder, amazingly hot, adorable, funny, swoon-worthy, gentle, sexy. He’s all that and more. He’s also the type of guy you just have to experience for yourself. There’s nothing I could say that would do him justice.
What I loved most about this book was how unpredictable it was to read. You could not guess what was going to happen next, or at least I couldn't. Every page held something new and there was no telling what would pop up around the corner. Mara was unpredictable, Noah was unpredictable, the plot was unpredictable. Nothing and everything made sense, but it was all set out in a strange way, slowly getting pieces of the puzzle fed to you until you think you can put them all together...but you’re wrong. The amount of twists and turns that occur in this book are endless; and I loved it.
I said earlier that I was struggling to put the book into words; it’s not the only thing I struggled with. I have no idea how to classify the book. This is one of those topics that I can’t explain well if I want to keep it spoiler free. With all the craziness flying around – is Mara seeing ghosts? Is she hallucinating? Is anything real? – It made it difficult to determine what category to place the book in. I’m still not sure where I stand on the book’s genre. It was so hard to process. But at the same time I think it made the book better. You can’t settle into a rhythm, you’re always on the edge of your seat.
I loved the ‘Before’ flashbacks; and not just because Mara was unaware of what happened before the accident so, like Mara, we were rediscovering what happened. I loved the glimpse into her life before. We get to see the reasons behind her fragile existence throughout the book, all because of The Accident.
And then the end. What a way to end the book, I may have actually shouted “WHAT?” when I got there. I can’t believe there weren’t more pages left in the book; I wanted so much more. I’m desperate for the next book.
Superb start to what I know will be an amazing series. Can’t wait for the next one.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)