Monday, October 13, 2014

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal / Romance
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 452

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy. And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

After two days of pondering my feelings on this book, two whole days of not reading might I add, I've decided to go with my initial thoughts, right after reading the last page.

So here's the thing; I liked most of this book, like really liked it, but then in the last fifty or so pages, it sorta almost turned sour?..
Let me explain.

I started the book, and was just as confused as Mara had been waking up in the hospital. Surprisingly, that was something I enjoyed quite a bit. I quickly became immersed in her story, her history, and that moved the story along at quite a nice pace.
Then the real paranormal aspects set in.

It's not to say that I didn't like said aspects, I did! They just didn't make much sense to me, the more they were explained, which is ironic. I didn't understand where the abilities came from. I didn't believe how they could be so specific, what with only certain characters having them. I didn't like how one minute Mara was completely in the dark about everything, and then a couple of pages later, she was an expert on the topic. I just didn't get, and that was the most frustrating thing.

But as I said, that all happened in the last fifty or so pages.
I may have really disliked the end, but I did really like everything else. Well, most of it anyway.

First, I gotta say; Mara's family is up there with the best developed families in YA Literature history. While reading, I felt each character, almost knew them even! Their personalities were so well written, so realistically written too, and unlike most other families in this genre, they actually played a part in the protagonist's life. They were really refreshing.

Mara, on the other hand, didn't really spark anything inside me. She was interesting, and I did sympathise with her a crap-load throughout the book, but other than that, nothing really stood out.
And down again,  on my list of favourite characters, is Noah Shaw. I mean, all right, I didn't hate the guy, but I didn't particularly like him either. The stereotypical 'bad boy' character is so hard to pull off, and to be honest, I didn't think Hodkin was successful with Noah. Sure, he was nice to Mara and everything, but to everyone else he's a complete douche! His love for himself was smothering and really irritating, so when the time came to actually gift him some character development near the end of the book, I just didn't care.

I'll end on the plot.
Again, like I am with almost everything in this book, I liked it and I didn't like it. Long story short, I liked the PTSD part, the hallucinations and such, but everything else? Not so much.
Especially the Jude parts. What happened between Mara and Jude that night was absolutely ridiculous and just pissed me off. As did the ending.

So yeah, before this gets too long, I'll stop here.
I both liked and didn't like this book. I will definitely be reading on in the trilogy though.

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