Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Author: Michelle Hodkin.
Series: Yes, #1.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster.
Published Date: 9/27/11
Barnes and Noble.
"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.
Interesting. Intriguing. Mysterious. The cover of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is dark, and it's what pulled me in! But after reading the book, I'm not really sure how this cover ties in with the story...
I can't believe this book was released almost two years ago, and even though I was so excited to read it, since the day it hit stores, I didn't get the chance to until now...I know, it's sad. I've read a countless number of reviews, some raving and some not so much, and I knew it was about time to write my own.
But who cares, right? I read it, and I'm reviewing it right now!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, follows a girl named Mara Dyer, which I'm actually not sure if that is her real name or not...but I'll get into all that later. Anyways, "Mara Dyer" is the main character, and she is suffering from a traumatic event that just recently occurred. Not only did Mara lose her two best friends, and boyfriend throughout this event, but now she and her family are left questioning her sanity.
Mara and her family decided that mental treatment wasn't the best choice, but instead decided to move, in hopes that she will be able to also move on in her life. So the family packed up everything and left. Mara was sure the new house, the new neighborhood, the new school, and the new people around her would help.Until that is she starts seeing visions of her friends and boyfriend, and flashbacks of what happened that night.
*Mara doesn't really know what happened the night her friends died, or why she was the only one who survived, but throughout the story, she has these flashbacks and visions that perk her memory.*
Just after arriving Mara gets know a beautiful boy named Noah. Who seems to be her light in all this dark. Noah doesn't mind flaunting his power or money...or car, which was a little annoying. But he was really nice to Mara and was even willing to help her push through these hard times.
The sweetest thing he did was help Mara with the dog she saved from an abusive home, and drove both her and the dog to the vet's office, to get it medical help.
Mara still isn't sure why she is the only one who survived, and why she is having this weird visions now, but with the help of Noah and her older brother, is is sure to find out.
Many bloggers have completely fallen in love with this story and all its aspects while a handful disagree with the paranormal/creepy tag the story's been given. (I've read reviews, where bloggers claimed that they regretted reading the book at night, because it left them unable to sleep...) Many stated that the story focuses a lot more on the romance between the two main characters, leaving the real problem at hand in the shadows.
In a way, I guess I'm half way in between those two.
When picking up this book, and having read the synopsis, I was expecting something creepy and paranormal; maybe even a little bit scary. But it's true, the reader didn't get much of that, besides the occasional vision Mara had. But I felt like those were so short, and didn't really last long enough for me to connect or be "creeped" out by them. While the story wasn't keeping me up at night, it did focus a lot of Mara's relationship with Noah, which I didn't really mind. But it also wasn't what I expected from this story.
So I can see why people would be frustrated; they expected one thing, but got something completely different.
Overall I enjoyed the book, like I said, it didn't turn out to be what I thought it was going to be, but I still liked the story and the characters. Earlier in my review I wrote that I wasn't sure if her real name was even Mara Dyer, I'll try to explain now, what I meant.
Within the first two or three chapters the reader was introduced to the main character, but the way this was done, was a little confusing. The narrator (Mara) tells the reader, that when she woke up in the hospital, after the traumatic event that started all this, she wasn't sure where or even who she was. I think it was her mom that told her just use the name Mara Dyer. The way her mother told her to "use" this name, made me feel like this wasn't her real name. But expect for the first two or three chapters, this issue is never mentioned again in the book.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but I think it's a little weird. I was expecting to find out something big around the corner while reading this entire book, but that never came. Maybe Hodkin will elaborate on this in the next book; I hope!