Once again, it is Monday and I really think Monday should be part of the weekend. If we all take a vote and rally around it, I think we could make it happen. Who’s with me? Everyone? Anyone? Grrrr. Fine. Go vegetate then. Onto the review! Today we’ll be looking at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and I’d like to point out that I’m still doing the whole break-out-of-my-bubble thing. Hope you all enjoy.
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.
(Picture and Description compliments of Goodreads)
The beginning was painfully slow. No doubt about it. I’m an action kind of girl, I like a nice starting pace that picks up quickly and moves along consistently. This was one of those books that started at zero and an hour later had only reached 1. By the time I got about halfway through the book it had started to pick up. By page 330 I felt nauseous with anxiety to figure out what was going on. By the end I just wanted to keel over and scream. Michelle Hodkin has done something amazingly genius with this book. A definite must read. The ending is brilliant, the perfect reward for getting through the beginning.
Michelle Hodkins writes in a way that makes it easy to get to know her character and her story. She makes it easy to sink into as her words flow up around us and she can keep a steady pace, I must admit, with increases in momentum happening so gradually that we don’t realise they’re happening until we’re smack dab in the middle of it.
Mara is a strong character. I could feel her pain, her worry that she was going crazy, her love for her family, her anger at some of the people around her. None of the aspects of her character felt forced at any point, they all slipped out naturally, in the course of events.
Noah was lovely. I thought he was sweet, tender, caring but still strong enough to compliment Mara’s will. In the beginning, he did seem rude and his attention was unexplainable but as it progressed he changed and I thought he became worthy of her. I honestly don’t understand girls falling for guys who just treat them badly. At some point it has to stop and luckily for Noah, he stopped very early on as his respect for her as a person grew.
Jamie was interesting. Mara’s first new friend, different and outgoing. He was there for her in the beginning when she needed it. He was there to offer help or advice and I felt like I would’ve liked to see him throughout the book. Taking him out when he was removed seemed like a mistake. Honestly, after being such a part of a life, he suddenly wasn’t anymore and Mara didn’t appear to give him much thought afterwards. It was a little unrealistic.
The plot was amazing. It was a pretty acceptable idea: girl survives horrible accident that leaves her friends dead. I expected the book to deal with her getting her memories back, stuff like that. Even if the very beginning did leave me with a ton of questions, I didn’t expect anything seriously out of the ordinary.
I was wrong.
It blew me out of the water with its unique qualities, the lovely twists and loops and spirals. An unbelievable lesson in story crafting.
I didn’t love the cover. It was just alright for me. Girl in water with guy holding onto her? Alright, whatever floats your boat… Or your lack of one. The blurb, however, made me go hmmm. I really wanted to find out what was going on. I wanted to know who is this Mara Dyer? What’s happened to cause this Unbecoming? What is going on?
The Main Highlight
The main highlight was the author’s writing. Honestly, it was amazing. Even the beginning works. It was all perfectly crafted from first word to last, every thread was pulled into its exact place at the right time. The author pulls her readers into a faery dance where we can’t stop even when our feet get sore or start to blister. We dance to her tune until our toes are bloody stubs and then we’re pulled into painful curtsies before she lets us go. The beginning was a ruse, a device intended to mislead us. We thought the ride would be smooth and uneventful. The middle proved us wrong. And the end taught us a lesson so we’d never make the same mistake ever again. Michelle Hodkin, I’d take my hat off to you if I ever wore one.
So this book rates a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. Why not the full 5? Because that beginning was much too slow for my liking even if it was instrumental in building the story up. As I said, this book is a must read especially for writers. It makes your mind work as you struggle to think through the book and pull it apart trying to figure out how she managed such an incredible feat.
As you can see I’ve brought in a new component called The Main Highlight where I try to pinpoint the best part of the story. It will also allow me to go one about it as I try not to harp too long under my main categories. Hopefully, this is helpful in some way or at least somewhat entertaining. Until next time, poppets!
K, the Popinjay.
P.S – This book was received the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Expected Publication date: September 2011