Thursday, 4 October 2012
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
When Mara Dyer wakes up in hospital with no memory of how she got there, or any explanations as to why the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her boyfriend and two best friends left her mysteriously unharmed, her doctors suggest she starts over in a new city, at a new school, and just hope her memories gradually come back.
But Mara's new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere and now she's started to see other people's deaths before they happen. Is she going crazy? as if dealing with all this isn't enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she's ever seen, can't seem to leave her alone. But does he have her best interests at heart, or another agenda altogether?
I have a very unorthodox method for choosing new books. I hardly ever read the back cover. I tend to take advice from my twitter bookish clique. Tammy had praised this book, so when I saw it at Van Schaik in Grahamstown I had to have it. I read it not long after purchasing it as I was intrigued - it got bumped right up the TBR pile. And I was definitely not disappointed. Tammy definitely knows a good book when she reads one!
What can I say about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer? Quite a lot actually - this book is gripping from the very start. It hooks you immediately - you want to know, you need to know why Mara is in the Witness Protection Programme. I found that I was especially intrigued by the very dramatic way that Mara is in hospital and can't remember anything. It is all so very well laid out that you cannot not wonder what is going on.
I felt very connected to Mara as the book developed. You feel a great sense of empathy, and wish that you could do something to help her cope with the PTSD that is plaguing her. It really is a lot to deal with - a new start, panic, fear, hallucinations, not being able to remember - I cannot imagine staying calm or sane through all that.
If you've read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I bet you're wondering when I am going to mention the oh so charming and endearing Noah Shaw. I will say he reminds me a lot of St. Claire from Anna and the French Kiss. I wanted to be Mara -drama and all- just to get to be with this Noah Shaw that no real guy could compare with. I will admit to being a bit leery after that incident with Joseph - Noah Shaw is very charming and seems a bit too good to be true, so despite his amazingness, you do wonder about him. Ofcourse after you learn his sad life story - he becomes so much more endeared to you - which obviously does not help with the major crush you are likely to have on him.
Then there is that uncertainty and then the clarity when Noah and Mara reveal their secrets to oneanother - realisin that they are not crazy at all - just different. I won't elaborate more on this - it is a very well placed part of the story line.
The way that this book ends so dramatically on a major cliff hanger that makes it all make sense is fantastic. You will be on the edge of your seat waiting for The Evolution of Mara Dyer to be released next year. This is a really well thought out, written and plotted book. Though there are mixed reviews, it is definitely a book that deserves the attention it has received, and I am certainly a new fan of Michelle Hodkin.