The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer my Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication date: Sep. 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong. (Goodreads.com)
This book has been hyped up to the freakin stars. All I hear about was how creepy and amazing it is. Now, I feel like all you Mara Dyer fanatics are going to lobotomize me for disagreeing. Don't get me wrong, this book is enjoyable, I just wouldn't rank it among the best of 2011. I'm still not sure whether I really, truly liked it or not. Many times, I was incredibly frustrated with the book and wanted to beat my head against the wall. But it is so oddly enticing and I had to keep reading.
Let's start with the thing that annoyed me the most: the dialogue. I get that people say weird things to each other. That's not what bothered me. I loved the little things like saying "'twas" instead of "it was,." and "you got some 'splaining to do". But not everything in life is bickering back and forth. Because that's what about 80% of the dialogue was - bickering. Don't get me wrong again, I like me some witty retorts, but not if that was ALL THE CHARACTERS USED TO SPEAK. It drove me to the brink of insanity. Also, there were a lot of unnecessary things in the dialogue as well that Michelle Hodkin could have found a much better way to incorporate into the story. For instance, there's a point where Jamie says, "But you're not going to listen to your black Jewish bi friend." Not those EXACT words, but somewhere along those lines. I mean, really? There was no other way you could have pointed those things out rather than blatantly saying it? And the fact that he is Jewish - totally unimportant.
Then, there are the characters themselves. I don't really mind them. Mara has her moments when I really liked her. Funny, smart, and willing to do what it took to get the information she craved. She was also very relatable. When something went wrong, she freaked out. She got annoyed and frustrated and upset. She made a lot of mistakes. She just wanted to fit in. But, in my opinion, she never did anything particularly mind-blowing. I never had that moment where I was like, "Wow, this chick is awesome."
And of course, Noah. Noah Shaw. I've heard so much wonderfulness about dear Noah. I heard him compared to the almighty Jace Wayland - by one of the girls at Mundie Moms. That's saying so very much about Noah Shaw. I was prepared for ultimate swoonage. It brings me enormous pain to say that while there were many instances where he had me grinning like a fool, I did not fall head over heels for him. I'm not sure I can even explain why, he just didn't do it for me. There were times when I did love him. He could be sweet and funny and he offered constant support for Mara, but I kind of felt like I didn't know him. I knew about him, but I didn't know him.
The other characters were great! I loved Mara's family. Daniel and Joseph especially. Daniel had that typical older brother thing going for him where he always gave his little sister a hard time while simultaneously having her back at all costs. A lot of people say that Mara's mom annoyed them, but I think it was good. Considering what Mara went through, it's nice to see a parent that cares.
I loved the plot at first. I was immediately hooked with the spooky prologue and the mysterious things that kept happening to Mara, but it began to sag for me. There were very few answers, and the answers that were given were slightly confusing. Some of the parts didn't seem all that important to include. And the ending? I have no idea what happened there. No idea at all. This book wasn't as mysterious as I anticipated, either. I heard it was really spooky, and the trailer looks really spooky! But alas, I was not very spooked. Also, one of the main things that intrigued me was the fact that Mara Dyer's name isn't really Mara Dyer. Guess what more we learn about that little fact.
But it was that last sentence that killed me, because HELLO - mystery and creepiness re-sparked. That last sentence is what will leave me hanging on my seat for the next book. That last sentence is what boosted the rating for this book.
I did enjoy this book, though not as much as most of the people I know of. I found myself getting irritated yet addicted. And even though I didn't enjoy this as much as I would have liked, I know a ton of people will LOVE it. I think it may have been the hype that has me so disappointed. I was expecting much more.
But this trailer is absolutely amazing!!