Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Children’s Publishing
Release date: September 27th 2011 
Genre: Paranormal 
Pages: 466 
My rating: 2/5
First book in a series 

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

I'm going to say it right now, I had some major problems with this book. This book has gotten amazing reviews and is praised for its creepy atmosphere and unreliable narrator. These things are true, to a certain extent, but in my opinion in no way good enough to make up for its faults.

What I did like about this book was the premise and the first few chapters. The idea of not being sure whether or not a character is crazy really appealed to me and the most interesting part of this book by far were all the strange things happening to Mara. I also liked the mysterious atmosphere throughout the story although it wasn't as creepy as I hoped it would be.

Now let's talk about the love interest Noah Shaw... Noah is a British, arrogant, rich, hot boy who, according to Jaime (Mara's best friend) has slept with literally every single girl at school. Excuse me if I am not fawning over him. He has treated all of these girls horrible and let's just say I was ready to hate Noah after this:
 "I heard that a senior from Walden tried to commit suicide after he—well. After he got what he came for, pun intended, and didn’t call again."
What... WHAT. How can the author just casually brush over this? A girl tried to kill herself after Noah treated her like crap. I just couldn't wrap my head around it and I lost all respect for Noah, and at a certain point Mara because she didn't seem to care. 

Aside from the fact that Noah doesn't seem to have a conscience, he also doesn't seem like a realistic character. He has litterally everything a typical teenage girl would find attractive. He randomly has a British accent, he is a bad boy who is extremely protective (to the point where it gets controlling) of Mara, he is rich but for some reason hides that and of course he is extremely good looking. He just didn't feel like a real person at all. 

I also had some issues with Mara, although not as much as with Noah. She caught on very slow with what was happening to her and this started getting a little repetitive at a certain point. I did appreciate that she reacted at least semi-appropriate to what was happening to her. A lot of characters in YA seem to have no trouble accepting paranormal things when they have never experienced anything like that. Mara freaked out and in all honesty, that's what most of us would do. 

It is such a shame that this book is what it is because there truly was a lot of potential and I really think it could have been great. I am not sure yet if I want to read the sequel. A part of me is curious because we still don't know what was real and what was Mara being crazy, but I have a feeling things may get worse and it will just frustrate me... I guess time will tell. 

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