Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

Seventeen-year-old Mara cannot remember the accident that took the lives of three of her friends but, after moving from Rhode Island to Florida, finding love with Noah, and more deaths, she realizes uncovering something buried in her memory might save her family and her future.
Summary by Goodreads.
Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 452 pages in US hard cover edition
Publishing Company: Simon and Schuster Childrens Publishing
Publication Date: September 27 2011

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book and was psyched to find out that it absolutely lived up to all the hype.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts off with our protagonist, Mara Dyer, waking up in a hospital bed and being told her two friends, and her boyfriend, are dead. They were in an abandoned building when it collapsed, subsequently killing her friends and leaving her- for the most part- unscathed. To make matters worse she had absolutely no memory of what actually happened that night.

 In an attempt to get away from the town her friends died in; her family packs up and moves themselves from Rhode Island to Miami, Florida.  This is where our story really begins as Mara meets a boy named Noah Shaw and periodically gets pieces of her memory back from the night that her friends died. And she begins to find out that there may be more to her friend’s deaths than a building collapsing due to old age.

Writing:: I’m not sure why, but I felt something oddly comforting about the writing in this book. I know this comment may get certain people upset, but something about it reminded me of Twilight, but in the best possible way. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twilight, but we all know there is a sort of stigma attached to the book. Anyway, what reminded me of it was that I got a feeling reading this that I haven’t gotten since the first time I read Twilight. The feel of the book and the utmost desire to know what exactly was going on with our male lead. I could contribute this to the plot, but it wasn’t the plot, that was nothing like Twilight, It was the feeling I got while reading it which is something that, try as I might, I can’t explain to a person. So yes, this comparison is a very positive thing coming from me. In fact it’s probably the biggest compliment I can give a book; it’s that feeling man…

Plot:: The plot of this book is another thing I adored about it. I can say without a second thought that I have never read a story like this before, which is more than I can say for a lot of YA books which seem to have a lot of plot points in common. Let’s hope Noah doesn’t leave in the next book so this originality can stick through out the rest of the story. The one negative thing I can say, probably about the whole book, is that I did get confused at times. There were moments when I wasn’t sure if what was happening was real or a dream, and other times when I was just completely lost with what was going on. It affected the way I read it when I was thinking she was dreaming and it turns out she really wasn’t; it tends to take on a much more… trippy... atmosphere in my head when a character is dreaming. This also could have been contributed to the fact that when I’m really into a book I tend to read faster because I want to know what’s going to happen.

Romance:: I LOVE the romance in this book. Through out some of the book I was a little hesitant to like it because it seemed like the typical situation where some guy who hardly dates, or is a huge player, takes a interest in this new girl for absolutely no good reason. In this instance, you find out in the end why he developed such an interest in Mara and it makes sense. This actually leads me into my next topic of discussion…

Characters:: Mara was actually a female protagonist who I didn’t want to kick in the face. *claps for Michelle Hodkins* This led to me understanding for once what this extremely sexy guy saw in her. She was to me the quintessence of what a female protagonist should be; she had the perfect mixture of qualities. She was independent and didn’t need help constantly from Noah- though she took it when he offered; she actually tried to deal with life on her own. She didn’t constantly obsess over her looks, in fact they were hardly discussed, and she kept the number of unnecessary stupid acts to a minimum, and fell once without feeling the need to talk about how clumsy she is for the rest of the book.

Noah…. He was British. That makes Kayla smile so she feels she doesn’t need to say much more on the subject. Okay, well maybe he was suffering from a bit of perfect boy syndrome but that doesn’t bother me like it bothers some people. The unnecessary display of his wealth was a bit annoying, and the speaking multiple languages, but that was made up for by the fact that he was a bad boy with a heart of gold. I loved all the other characters too. Her brothers, her dad, her mother annoyed me a bit sometimes but that probably comes down to the fact that I’m a teenage girl and can’t really the side of a concerned mom. Hated the mean girl character, I honestly can’t remember her name for the life of me, and her little friend- but you weren’t supposed to like them so there you go. Loved Jamie, all the characters were just so amazing and I wanted to hug them all. Oh and I love the name Jude so that was a high point for me.

Ending: What?!? Only word to describe my reaction to the ending of this book, I may have actually yelled it out while reading it. I’m not going to spoil anything, but let’s just say, a whole other can of worms is opened up within the last few pages of this book. And it will have you cursing the world that the sequel isn’t already out.

In conclusion, I think it’s blatantly obvious how I felt about this book. It was freaking amazing. I love that it some how managed to be a paranormalish romance that also brought up some very serious moral issues. Spoiler:: Like for instance, is there a difference between killing someone while not actually knowing your doing it or making a conscience decision to do so? ::End spoiler:: This book was surprisingly very dark, especially for the genre, it definitely had it’s more serious parts. I can’t wait for the second book, and suggest that right after you finish reading this you go out and buy yourself a copy of this book.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kayla!

    Found you through Goodreads!

    I have this book in my TBR pile, so I only skimmed the review! Can't wait to read it and glad it lives up to all the hype!

    I'm having a giveaway on my blog if you want to stop by!