Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (TBR Challenge #10)

Yes, I'm late to this fandom, but now that I've read this book, I can totally see why everyone loves it.  I got this book a while back from a giveaway, but now I'll have to buy or check out the rest so I can see what happens next.

The main character is Mara Dyer of course.  She recently lost her best friend and her boyfriend in a terrible accident that she almost didn't make out of either.  She feels guilty for surviving, and has hallucinations of her dead friends.  It gets so bad that her mother starts talking about putting her in a mental institution. She is able to convince her family to move instead, saying that the house will only make her remember her best friend and make it harder to move on.  In the new town Mara and her two brothers, one older named Daniel, and a younger one named Joseph, got to a private school.  And on her first day at the school she meets a mysterious and frustrating boy named Noah.  She also meets the "queen" of the school and her best friend, and has a not so great run in with them.  And she meets a boy named Jamie, who will become a good friend.  But she doesn't seem to be done with the hallucinations, including one on the first day where she walks into a class and all of a sudden sees what she remembers of the building she'd been in with her friends as it is falling down around her.  Soon her problems seem to be more than just hallucinations.  She sees a dog that looks abused and neglected near the school one day, and when she's trying to be nice to the dog, its owner comes out and yells at her, and then she sees him do something terrible to the dog.  As she walks back to school she has thoughts about how the dog's owner should die horribly for what he's doing to the dog.  She goes by later and finds out that the man is dead.  And pretty similar to how she'd pictured it.

Other things happen, alligators disappear/die when she has thoughts about them, other people die as well.  She also starts remembering bits and pieces of the night she lost her best friend Rachel and boyfriend Jude.  Turns out that maybe Jude wasn't quite the boyfriend you'd think.  And maybe she might have thought or wished something would happen to him right before the building crashed down on them.  And then there's Noah.  His interest in her is part of what sparked the conflict between Mara and the popular girl Anna.  And while he seems to be very interested in her, he's got quite the reputation for loving and leaving all the girls.  But he seems to be really interested, even as he makes her annoyed.  There's something about him that she can't quite put her finger on though.  She learns more about him because he lets her in, something he hasn't done with anyone else it seems.  But every once in a while he'll leave her for a minute or two, with no explanation.  Or he doesn't show up to school with no explanation.  All of this is going on, and Mara is trying to figure out if she's crazy, or if she's still just trying to heal from the big tragedy.

I loved the relationship between Mara and Noah.  I always feel like any real relationship I might have would be full of sarcasm and annoying things.  The story was great, while I kind of had an inkling of what might be happening in different parts of the story, I was always pleasantly surprised to find I hadn't quite guessed it, and what happened was a really neat way to meet that detail of the story.  While for the most part the story kind of wrapped up at the end, there was a bit of a big cliffhanger or WHAT?! moment at the end.  Definitely leading in to make me so eager to read the next book and see just what is going on.  Great, great story.

16 comments:

  1. This does look good! I'm familiar with the book and the series but haven't really read many reviews on it. I'll definitely have to look for it. It sounds like a page turning read!

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    1. It was a good one. I had kind of an idea what might be going on with the main character, but it all filled out in a very interesting way.

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  2. I've had this book for about a year, but I have been putting off reading it. I just might have to dust it off and add it to the ol' TBR now! Thanks for the review :)

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    1. I had it for a while, but was glad I broke it out and read it! Dust it off and add it to a new TBR pile! :-)

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  3. I read this book a few years ago but I remember how great it was! Great review! I think I'm going to reread it again. Happy reading!

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    1. Now I have to read on. I get the fuss about it now.

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  4. I ADORE this series so much. I like that it is dark and twisted, with an unreliable but completely awesome MC. The romance gets better, the story gets darker, and it honestly gets better and better with each book! No sophomore slump here!

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    1. Oooh unreliable huh. Now I'm even more intrigued for the rest of the series! And the romance! Great to hear that it just keeps getting better.

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  5. You got me interested! Great review :)

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  6. Oh, no! I hate those cliffhangers -- especially when you don't expect it at all.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. But it's not a big cliffhanger where you don't know what happened in this book. There are just some questions about things you thought, and definitely a reason to pick up the new book and read on.

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  7. I absolutely love this series.... still need to read the 3rd book but i definitely love the gothic feel of the plot and it get even better in the next book.

    Great Review:)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

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    1. So glad to hear from more than one person that it will just get better! Can't wait to read on.

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  8. If you were late to the fandom, then I am going to be even later xD I have yet to even own ne of these books, but it seems like I need to because it sounds wonderful! I hope you enjoy the later books in the series as well.

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