Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin | ★★★★

Mara Dyer, a 17-year-old girl, wakes up in hospital with no memory of what had happened. She learns that she survived a horrible accident, in which her best friend, Rachel, her boyfriend, Jude, and his sister, Claire, died. Late at night, they went to an abandoned Asylum, and while they were going through all the rooms, Jude stopped Mara and forced her to do things she wasn´t ready to do. Before anything bad between the two could happen,  there was a loud creak and the building collapsed. Mara herself is physically unharmed but suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and hallucinations. Together with her parents and her brother, she moves to Florida in hopes to over come the tragedy. 

On her first day at school, she hallucinates the room collapsing and sees the faces of Jude and Clair as she takes a look in a mirror. As if this wasn´t enough, Mara witnesses a man who treats his dog very cruel. Mara is angry at him and imagines his death. To her shock, he dies just as she had imagined.

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” 
A few weeks later at school Mara, still with no memories about her accident, isn´t good with her Spanish teacher and imagines her death as well. As her teacher dies the same way she had imagined, she decides she needs to remember the night of the Asylum´s collapse. Her boyfriend, Noah Shaw, takes her to a Santeria priest, who may be able to help her remember. It worked and Mara now knows that her friends died because of her. Noah reveals his own big secret to Mara: He has the ability to heal, which he thinks can help counter Mara´s ability to kill. Noah also helps her with learning to control her ability, so she won´t hurt those she loves. 

As I finished reading this first book of the Mara Dyer trilogy, I didn´t know what too think about it. Through the whole book I was trying to figure out what was going on, trying to put everything together, at times wondering how all of this should work out. Although, I still loved it. There just are a few books I´ve read, that made me feel that way, and this is definitely among the top three.

I just loved the writing of Michelle Hodkin. She just succeeded in changing from a fun and casual to a more serious and tense part. I was gripped by the first page and couldn´t stop reading until I was on the last one. Even tough Mara may be insane, Hodkin made me love her through her style of writing. Mara´s smart and witty, won´t take antibody's crap. Oh and Noah! Just two words: BOOK CRUSH!
“You smell good," he whispered into my neck. He was warm against me. Instinctively, I arched back into him and smiled. "Really?" "Mmm-hmm. Delicious. Like bacon.” 
“You told me I smelled - like bacon." "Well," he said evenly. "That's awkward.”  
But how good this may sound, there is one thing that bothered me pretty much. The Romance. I don´t have anything against romantic books, this one belongs into the paranormal genre, but the romance is far more dominant. Hodkin did a good job in writing it, some parts are just a bit too much.
“Mara, I have never felt about anyone the way I feel about you. And when you're ready for me to show you," he said, brushing my hair to the side, "I'm going to kiss you." His thumb grazed my ear and his hand curved around my neck. He leaned me backward and my eyes fluttered closed. I breathed in the scent of him as he leaned in and kissed the hollow under my ear. My pulse raced under his lips. "And I won't settle for anything less.” 
So, overall, amazing writing, great story, fantastic characters, nerve racking plot twists, lines you will laugh about and sometimes a bit too kitschy romance. Definitely recommend reading it.
I already read the second book, the third book sits on my shelf, waiting to be picked up.