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THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER
“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.”
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Themes: Mental illness, mental powers, romance, death
Publisher: Simon & Shuester Books for Young Readers
Days I took to Read: 3
ABOUT THE BOOK
Mara Dyer is a teen, recently relocated to Miami, Florida after a horrible accident left her boyfriend, her best friend, and her boyfriend’s sister dead. Mara thinks it’s finally a chance to move on with her life and get better, but then she begins hearing voices, seeing things that shouldn’t be there… and she wonders if she’s losing her mind. It seems that everything she touches is tarnished, and the only thing she seems to have in her life that’s positive is a boy she meets at school. When things begin happening to the people around Mara, she becomes terrified that she’s somehow the one that caused it. But she couldn’t have, because just thinking that she could wish someone dead and watching it come true in front of her eyes would be crazy… right?
I’ll be totally honest with you guys, in order to write this review with everything fresh in my mind from the first book, as I blew through the trilogy in less than a week. I rarely read books that fast, so it just shows you how much I enjoyed it. The writing style is conversational, but still enough to keep you interested in turning the page. Mara is an incredible character, and of course, one of the best parts of the way this book is written is the fact that Mara believes she is slowly losing her mind, and it comes through well in the writing. She’s such an unreliable narrator, which in this case, is a great thing to me. The fact that Mara had even less of a clue than I had of what was going on was what kept me flipping the pages as quickly as I did.
The love interest is absolutely fantastic. I was a little worried through the beginning of this book that Hodkin would pull a Stephenie Meyer or take note from Harlequin romances, as she describes Mara’s love interest as being kind of be-all-end-all gorgeous. He’s definitely the broody type, which by principle I should find annoying, but by preference I was just about as head over heels as Mara was. I definitely think Hodkin wrote him well, though — he was well-rounded, had his own flaws and backstory, and provided a kind of relief for Mara as a place where she could be completely honest. In a thriller like this, you kind of need those sweet, cathartic moments in order to catch your breath before the next jump.
I did get a bit frustrated by the end, because there were so many more questions than answers when I finished, but I suppose that’s what pushed me to buy the next book the next morning. I’m very much intrigued to see how the story pans out and how the author will explain what in the heck is happening to this poor girl.
This book is fast paced, and it’s a little confusing at times, but once you surrender over to the, er, insanity of it all, I think you’ll really be able to enjoy it and become engrossed in the characters and their story.
I will definitely be keeping this book on my shelf for rereading in the future, especially keeping in mind that there’s so many instances of foreshadowing and plot twists that occur throughout the series. Highly recommended!