Since it’s October and Halloween time, I’ve been on a paranormal, weird, book trip. I’ve only wanted to read things that are strange, scary, or psychologically thrilling. This is exactly why I picked up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I had heard of this book before, but I had never really heard what this book was about before. I was pretty much going in blind, which was kind of fun, because I was able to make my own assumptions about this book. I truly thought this book was a work of art, it was such an interesting idea, and it honestly kept me thinking, wondering, and on my toes.
While reading this book, I kept flipping back and forth between thinking it was a psychological thriller, and a paranormal book. To be honest, it’s both. At time it is psychologically thrilling, and at times the paranormal aspect of the book takes over. Either way, this book was so cool, and a very compelling read.
Mara Dyer moves to Florida with her family after her boyfriend, best friend, and boyfriends sister die in an accident at a psychiatric hospital. The accident in which Mara was the only survivor. Even though she survived the tragedy, she’s still plagued with no memory of what happened that night. Plus, she now sees the ghosts of her friends and boyfriend, which keep showing up, and making her feel like she’s going crazy.
What’s most interesting about Mara, is that she has another “talent”. She can think of killing someone or something, and it happens. At first she thinks it may be coincidence, but after it happens more than once, she starts to realize that she may be more powerful and deadly than she ever could have imagined. When Mara starts her new school and meets the bad boy Noah Shaw, there is something about him that draws her instantly, and unwillingly. She does not want to fall in love with him, but it seems inevitable and inescapable.
From the instant that they met, I knew there was something going on with Noah. I just couldn’t figure it out. At the end of the book, it was such a shock to find out what it is that makes him who he is. I can’t give any spoilers, but it’s pretty awesome. Another thing that I noticed about this book was that Noah and Mara reminded me of Bella and Edward from Twilight. I better not have just heard a groan coming from you, reader! I think that Edward and Bella’s love for each other is strong, unfailing and very very deep. I love Twilight, and my comparison is good, not bad!
This book was definitely a great start to a hopefully interesting and intriguing trilogy. I give this book 5 of 5 stars, and I immediately started the second book, which I never do.
Mara’s family becomes worried about there after she claims to see someone from her past that can’t possibly be around. They enter her into a daily psychiatric program in hopes of her becoming better, and understanding what it is that is making her see and feel things that she shouldn’t be. Her parents have also grounded her, so she can’t go out unless her older brother is with her.
Noah sticks around her house, and he tries his best to uncover whatever it is that is plaguing Mara. She feels that she is being stalked, and she also feels that there is a link between one of her old dolls, and the weird things that are going on with her and Noah. After she finds a charm that Noah has the exact same replica of, she knows that there is something more to their relationship, that it was predestined.
One thing I liked about this book was that it goes back in time, to try and understand what is going on with Mara and with Noah. Her grandmother has a lot to do with this book, but it is all told in flashbacks. It really is interesting to see where these special abilities come from, and why they are happening.
With genetics, this book is more scientific than the previous book. While the characters are trying to figure out what is going on with their bodies and their abilities, we get a little lesson on chemical reactions and genetic make-up. I love science, so I totally thought this was a great touch. Although Mara and Noah read a book about the scientific reasoning for their abilities, I , as the reader still believe there is something supernatural about what these characters can do.
Another thing about this book is that there is the whole psychological/paranormal conundrum going on through out his book as well. Sometimes it seems that Mara is seeing things that aren’t actually there, she is forgetting certain IMPORTANT things that happen to her, and she’s just hallucinating (or is she). It’s kind of awesome that you cannot tell whether she is thinking all of this up in her head, or is there someone who is actually following her.
This book has such an interesting way of creating a story. I absolutely love that it’s so confusing. It really keeps me guessing, and it puts me in the mood for the third book. The only thing that bugged me about this book was that Noah and Mara’s relationship seemed to stall out, they didn’t do much other than act like they wanted to kiss each other. Other than that, every book so far in this trilogy has had such a surprise ending that I just can’t stop until I find out what happens next. I am addicted to this trilogy. I am going to give this book 4 out of 5 stars, because I wanted to see more character development than there was.
I got a strong vibe of Heroes, the TV show, from this book. From the genetics book, and the abilities that were from generations ago. I love the show Heroes, my husband and I are actually watching it right now, so I really liked that aspect. I can’t really say too much about the storyline of this book with out giving the other books away, so what I will say is that this book’s writing content quality was not nearly as good as the last two books. I’m a little disappointed in that, especially because I was such a big fan of the last two books. This book read more like fan fiction than actual part of the story.
What I did like about this book was the way that the powers were explained through flashbacks, again. Now, they didn’t explain how the flashbacks and the present day connected-which was a bummer-but it was still cool none the less. I felt like this story could have been made into a longer series, which would have helped to explain things more, and would have been able to kind of flesh out all the questions that are still left hanging in the balance after this book was over. The story could have panned out over a couple more books, and then the series would have had a nice wrap up in the end. That’s not how it happened unfortunately.
The mysterious aura that is present in the last two books, is back in this one. Which was a nice element. Though that is true, the book still doesn’t “go there”, it doesn’t reach the same height as the last two books. I sort of feel like, in a way, this ending was a cop out.
Knowing how I feel about that part of the book, i do want to say that there were a couple of things that I freakin LOVED. For example, the fact that Mara Dyer is a made up name, and she explains where it comes from, but never gives away her real name, is amazing to me. I love that she is anonymous and has to stay that way. I also love that Mara does not make excuses for herself, and she owns up to her actions and takes responsibility for what she has done.
Sadly, I have to give this book 3 out of 5 stars. It seems like this series started off very strong, and kind of just trickled away from there. I still would recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes mysterious/psychological/paranormal books.