Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Published: 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.


First Sentence:
"The ornate script on the board twisted in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head."

As you may have guessed from the vague summary, this book relies on confusion, surprise, an unreliable narrator, and the reader never knowing what the heck is going on.

I don’t want to ruin too much of the plot for you because the book needs you to be confused, but essentially this is the concept: Mara Dyer has come back from a stint in the hospital after a terrible accident that she can’t remember. They’ve changed states and everything because of her, and now she’s going to a new high school. She has these really weird episodes where she sees things that aren’t there, and relives the accident (which you don’t fully understand until the end). At the same time there is tension with everyone in her life, her family, new friends, and potential boyfriend, Noah.

All of these little “episodes” just make the book SO CONFUSING; you don’t know if something really happened or not. Because Mara is telling us the story, it’s hard to understand what’s real and what’s not. There are certain long extended sequences (one in particular) which, even at the end of the book, aren’t revealed to be true or false. This type of story can be very annoying for the reader. . .

But, as it was supposed to, this book drew me in. I became immersed in Mara’s messed up mind and wanted to know all her secrets and find out all that she had forgotten. Noah was a great match for her. Even though his character was a bit of a cliché, he was still a good guy who turned out to be very helpful to her sanity and emotional health.

I might not have loved this as much as many others did, but I did enjoy the suspense and the ending was crazy and cliffhanger-y. I look forward to reading the sequel soon!

Content Warning: Kissing. A bit of language.

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