Book #154 – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

11408650This is my last book review from 2014, I think. Since we’re now almost two weeks into January, I’ve decided to not bother review the rest of the books on my list (most of which were chick-lit borrowed from my mother, or re-reads) and start moving on to review the books I’ve read this year (which, admittedly, have been all chick-lit or re-reads, but, uh, that’s different. Somehow).
Thus, my last review from the 2014 list! This was a Christmas present from my little sister, which I read in the space in a day, because I was left all alone on a plane while my two sisters and brother-in-law sat together across the aisle from me. Nobody would sit with me, I had three seats all to myself. Tragic.
Anyways. This book, yes, it was a Christmas present from my sister, although I’ve been meaning to read the trilogy for a while, since I saw Girl in the Pages‘ review of it. Anyways. I got it eventually, and consumed it on that lonely plane ride. The next two will be read before too long, I assure you.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodgkin

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…

I don’t know what it was that drew me to this book – maybe the strange cover, with a floaty girl with no head. Maybe the idea of an amnesiac heroine, which I quite enjoyed in What Alice Forgot, at the start of 2014, or maybe the rave reviews it’s gotten on other blogs. Whatever it was, I knew I wanted to read this, so I was pleased when it showed up under my Christmas tree, and I had it finished before the year was out.

It’s a weird and sort of eerie-feeling atmosphere throughout the book, as the protagonist struggles with PTSD, moving to a new area, settling into a new school, and all of the usual teenage drama which everyone has to deal with. Throughout the book I was wondering whether or not it was a paranormal thriller or a psychological thriller, and you were kept guessing until quite near the end.
The character of Noah wasn’t, for me, a swoon-worthy hero, but perhaps I’m just not romantic enough for that kind of reaction, since I never seem to have it. Oh well. He was certainly interesting, and there was, eventually, justification for why he instantly took a shine to the loner new girl at his school.
Jamie, the best friend, seemed to me like a walking cliché, thrown in for the sake of some diversity, although it was done in such a tongue-in-cheek way that I’d nearly forgive that.

The book doesn’t really conclude, though, rather just setting itself up for the rest of the trilogy. Although a frequently-employed plot device for selling more books, it never fails to get my heckles up, and was the thing which caused me to drop this book from a five-star rating to a four-star. It won’t stop me getting the second and third in the trilogy, though.

Four Stars
****

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Book #154 – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

  1. I’m glad you liked it! Are you planning on reading the rest of the trilogy soon?

  2. Yep! Planning on picking up the next two this week some time!

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