Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
First Published: 27th September 2011
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. (From Goodreads, 4th June 2013)
I was really looking forward to reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer after hearing so many positive reviews a while ago, but when looking at Goodreads I saw the reviews were coming in more mixed and was slightly apprehensive. Luckily I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! In fact it is the best I have read so far this year!
We meet Mara while she is waking up in hospital after an accident that she cannot remember. Her friends are dead. She is experiencing hallucinations caused by ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD). Due to her PTSD she convinces her parents to move hoping that it would reduce the reminders of her friends who died in the accident. But no. Mara is hallucinating again and seeing her dead friends in mirrors, along with other dead people.
Is Mara insane? Or is there something more supernatural at work?
This novel is the first in a trilogy and focuses mainly on Mara’s mental health and her growing relationship with a boy at her new school. Despite the idea of something ‘supernatural’ or ‘more’ being involve hinted at in the blurb this does not appear until near the end of the novel. I feel this is where many people were annoyed and why they reviewed more negatively than others. Although I have yet to read the second novel (The Evolution of Mara Dyer) I am presuming that it will bring more of the paranormal side into the story.
I only mentioned the above because it is one of the reasons I feel more mixed reviews were coming out about this novel. I however devour any books that are related to mental illness, and loved that the focus was mainly on Mara’s stress and the associated symptoms. For me it was a set up for the trilogy and allows the reader to understand Mara more intimately before we get into the more obscure story line.
For me I loved it. I loved the slightly slower pace compared to many YA books. The short chapters made it difficult to put the book down as I would say “just another chapter” to myself, but ultimately ended up finishing the book within two days.
I am very excited to get a hold of The Evolution of Mara Dyer as I want to find out what happens next but I am going to hold off for two reasons:
1. I want to wait until The Retribution of Mara Dyer comes out, or nearer to when it comes out, as I can imagine that I will be anxious to get my hands on it!
2. I have a lot of books to get reading so want to get a bit further through the TBR list.
But back to the book! I give it a 5 out of 5 and my favorite book so far of 2013!