The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinReading Level: Young Adult
ARC: 450 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 27 September 2011
Source: Borrowed from the supremely fabulous Kimberly
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. (quoted from Goodreads)
A week later and I still don't know what to say about this fantastic novel; but, seeing as today is the release day, I figured it was high time I posted this review. OH MY WORD! I feel like I've been steamrolled, scraped up, sauteed, swallowed and spit right back out... all in the best possible way, of course! Wait. Was that too graphic? Oops. Moving on... ahem.
I started this book not knowing a single thing about it and I think that's a perfect way to approach The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Whatever you do, don't go around trying to find out information about what to expect. Honestly. Just do yourself a favor and go in totally blind. Trust me, even knowing nothing going in, Mara Dyer is bound to suck you in before the first chapter begins; it's just that good. With that said, this review is going to be quite difficult because I don't want to give anything away. AH!
Now, where to start...? Mara is now one of my favorite lead characters/narrators. There is so much going on, yet she still has a killer sense of humor, snarkiliciously (yeah, that's what I said) awesome comebacks and is one smart, talented cookie. I could really feel for Mara as she struggled to figure out what the heck was going on... whether any of it was real or not. There is A LOT of bizarre stuff that happens, let me tell you. Also, PTSD is seriously awful and terrifying - especially when combined with amnesia - but Mara is bent on figuring out what happened the night her friends died AND get some semblance of a normal life back. She rocks! (That's about as spoilery as I'll get, just so's ya know.) Besides, she's an artist, loves books and music, and seems like the kind of person I'd be friends with. I always like when that happens.
You know who I also loved? Mara's brothers! Especially Daniel; he seems like such a nice guy. Those boys are a perfect compliment to Mara and I really got the feeling that these three siblings would do absolutely anything for one another. Their loving relationship is just one of the gazillion things that made this an enjoyable read. I'm a fan of her friend Jaime, too. I wish there was more of him, but perhaps he'll pop up again in book two. Right?! Then there's Noah Shaw. Oh Noah, how you intrigue me. At first, I did not find Noah the least bit appealing. I've never been one for the bad boy, jerky kind of guy who thinks he can get any girl and do whatever he wants, but might possibly have a heart of gold. Ugh. Well, I thought Noah was going to be one of "those guys" and I was fully prepared to loathe him. Imagine my surprise when I ended up kind of liking him. Shocking, right? Without going into any detail as to why, I want to say that he really surprised me and I hope he keeps to do so.
Michelle Hodkin is a genius. Her writing is fantastic and it painted such a vivid picture for my visual mind to devour. Though I had absolutely no idea what was going on - what was even real! - I have become a HUGE fan of Mara Dyer. This awesome novel freaked me out and gave me nightmares (honestly, not too hard to do, as I'm the biggest scaredy cat ever), but it also made me think for ages afterward. It's definitely a "What the heck!" kind of book and I absolutely have to read it again! And the ending? OH MY WORD, the ending! Just you wait. You're in for a seriously spectacular ride. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer left me feeling totally steamrolled. Gobsmacked. Mind completely blown... and I wouldn't have it any other way. Bring on the sequel!
A favorite quote: "Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real."