Another book I could not put down until 2 A.M? Yes, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Before posting my blurb, I just wanted to warn younger YA readers that explicit four letter words ARE used in this book, and since it is mainly psychological, it might be a bit disturbing.
For you older readers who don’t mind some language (albeit, the dirtier words) and can take mind-twisting and your hair standing on end at times, then please, give this book a try.
For Mara Dyer, waking up in the hospital was very strange, but having no memory of how she got there or how she almost joined her three friends in death when an abandoned asylum collapses was the worst thing that she could ever imagine.
Or is it?
To escape her past, Mara and her family move to Florida where she enrolls with her two brothers at a private school. She has a hard time making friends, but apparently it’s easy making enemies. Her only two friends, other than her protective older brother, are Jamie, an eclectic yet helpful outcast boy, and Noah, the boy whom the social compass follows (it doesn’t help that he’s cute, British, and apparently gets girls, if you know what I mean). Mara is still trying to figure out how to live her life and find out what happened or is still happening to her. She keeps seeing odd things, and sometimes reality blurs with her imagination. Or does it? Can she trust Noah, who inexplicably keeps talking to her despite her best efforts to shake him off? What is happening to her? Why do people still keep dying?
SPOILER ALERT BELOW…DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO READ!
Okay, is it safe?
While I thought at first the book was going to be terrifying (sorry, had all those mental images of Mara’s life happening to me), I was sucked in. Almost as quickly as a black hole. I wanted to know whether it was Mara causing the deaths, the people faked their deaths, or was she hallucinating the deaths…Or maybe their ghosts were following her around and killing people for her, I don’t know. However, if you want to know, you’re going to have to read it.
Mostly, the spoiler is for the romance…Noah is almost as hard to figure out as Mara herself. Did you start picking up on his abilities? I absolutely did after her arm was fixed (same as I did there with her abilities with the alligators). I just knew something was going on. I also knew that everything she was seeing was happening, but no one is around to actually SEE an action, like her being the one to kill the people. So I also knew that she was causing it, but not actively doing it. I think this bears a mention, that Mara is literally a murderer without technically being a murderer. Sure, she has intent, but thinking it and doing it ARE two different things. This is possibly one of the theme questions for the entire book…
Anyway, back to the romance, Noah was enchanting, despite his cigarettes. He was also a complete gentleman which ABSOLUTELY surprised me. I kept expecting him to take advantage of her in some way, and at every turn he did not. By the end, I was dependent on them staying together as Team Mara/Noah and rooting for them. For a book with such a dark matter, it has a surprisingly lighter flavor (texture? feel? Whatever) when read. While this does not scream EPIC EPIC EPIC or get a bazillion bonus points for amazing creativity as much as say Harry Potter (the impossible standard of our generation…), I definitely think this book gets a 5 out of 5 for overall fantastic writing, plot, characters, and feel. It really is a great book, and I think it would possibly get made into a movie (much in the same lines of City of Bones, Divergent, Matched, The Hunger Games, etc.). I consider it another great read in YA fiction.
Rating: MUST BUY! Loved it! Plan to buy in the future!
Book 2 reviewed here on 1/5/2013.