Sunday, October 7, 2012
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Source: Purchased & won a free copy in a publisher contest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It seems I'm behind the times with this one. I recently won a free copy from the publisher, along with an ARC of the sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer. (Stay tuned, I'm reading that one next!!) This left me with two copies of the first book and if that's not a sign it's time to start reading, I don't know what is!
I had originally bought this book after reading a great review of it on The Makeshift Bookmark and feeling like I just HAD to know what it was all about. Then I talked myself out of reading it right away because I had been forewarned that it ends with a giant cliff-hanger. And it's a doozy, let me tell you. I am SO glad I had book #2 on my nightstand when I read the ending to this one. Michelle Hodkin just might give Lauren Oliver a run for her money in the Oh-My-God-I-Can't-Believe-That-Just-Happened Department and that's saying something. I was kept in suspense all the way until the end and was totally FLOORED by the ending. You will not see it coming.
For anyone who isn't familiar with the general premise of the book, it's about a girl who moves to another state after two of her friends and her boyfriend die in an accident that leaves her with barely a scratch. In her new town, Mara struggles to cope with PTSD in the aftermath of the tragedy. As all sorts of odd things start to happen, Mara has trouble figuring out what is real and what is not due to her fragile state. As I was reading, I felt like I had an idea of what might be happening to Mara, but I could never quite figure out how the story would get there.
And of course there's a Boy (what YA book doesn't?). As the book opens, you want to hate Noah Shaw, but let me tell you, the boy grows on you. I'll leave it up to you how you feel about him, but I implore people to remember that high school is Complicated with a capital C. By the end of the book, you start to understand the motives behind his actions and, personally, I went from loathing his character to quite the opposite.
I also can't forget to mention Mara's brothers. I absolutely loved these two boys and the relationship they had with their sister. (I also found it an odd coincidence that their names are Daniel & Joseph and my own brother's name is Daniel Joseph, but that's beside the point.) There was a perfect balance of protectiveness, friendship, and butting-heads amongst the three of them and it was refreshing to read.
This book doesn't quite reach 5 stars for me, but it did get me totally stoked for the follow-up. I can't wait to see what happens next!