Friday, September 28, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Jacque's Review:

I was not familiar with this series until I was perusing the entries in the 2012 YA Crush Tournament.  I was still trying to select our September book of the month, so I thought...what better place to look than a tournament promoting all of our favorite YA Males. 

Noah Shaw IMMEDIATELY caught my attention.  I am a sucker for an English boy.  Add in the fact that he is from a wealthy family, is very smart and well educated, witty, and a bit of a bad boy...I was sold.  I was certainly not disappointed.  Noah exceeded my expectations.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer begins with our protagonist Mara waking up in a hospital.  She was involved in an accident that left her best friend, boyfriend of only a couple of months, and his sister all dead.  She has no memory of the accident or the evening that led up to it.

She begins having nightmares about the accident and is starting to recall bits and pieces of that evening.  She then starts having perceived delusions and hallucinations.  Her family decides to move to Miami, Florida to give her a fresh start.  They enroll Mara and her older brother Daniel into Croyden, a private school, which is where she meets Noah.

I do not want to give away any spoilers, so I will simply say there are a series of unusual events that occur and Mara always seems to be involved.  She thinks she is going completely crazy.  She doesn't know what is Real or Not Real.  (For my fellow Hunger Games fans...I would suggest that she use Peeta's game, but I don't think even that will help.)  What any reasonable person would think is Not Real really is Real.

I have never read any book even remotely like this.  I was completely riveted and LOVE, LOVE, LOVED all of the characters.  Not just Mara and Noah, but her brothers Daniel and Joseph as well.  Her relationship with them and their willingness to go above and beyond to help each other was touching.  Mara's only other friend besides Noah is Jamie.  He was equally as captivating, but not in the hot English boy sort of way.  He is the nerdy guy who befriends her on her first day of school.  His insight on the happenings at the school and his opinions of their fellow students greatly added to the story.

There are some shocking twists that take place the last third of the book.  We learn more about Noah and can appreciate why he is drawn to Mara.  They appear to be soul mates and I can only hope that they will be able to bring a sense of normalcy and understanding into each other's lives.

I will be reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer as soon as it is released on October 23rd.  There is so much more for Mara and Noah to discover and I am dying to see what happens next.  It has been a few months since I have given a book 5* on Good Reads, but this one is more than deserving.  I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal story with a contemporary setting.

Flo's Review

So much about this book! I remember it from mid-last year (2011) because it got a lot of attention before its release. I remember seeing lots of book bloggers being like, "OMG, what in the world?!?!" and other variations of this exclamation. Then, I went to the book's launch party in Miami. It was one of my first ones and it was really cool to see all of Michelle Hodkins' family and friends out there to support her. I remember that her brother was really helpful with her marketing, and upon hearing about my blog, gave me several bookmarks to give away. So if you want one, just comment on this blog post and I'll pick three random winners to send one to. For some reason I was lame and did NOT take a picture with her (fail on my part!), but I did get my book signed:


We heard some excerpts from the book at the launch party, and I remember thinking that I needed to read it ASAP! I put it on my bookshelf...and there it sat until Jacque announced that it was going to be the BookNerds September read, approximately one year later. (Second Flo fail.) On a rainy Saturday, I woke up late and, after Jacque's enthusiastic nudges for me to read it, I cracked it open. A few hours later, I left my bed to make some lunch -- brought the book with me. Then I took it back into bed and didn't leave until it was done.

This was definitely one of the largest books I've read in such a short period of time. I kept wanting to put it down at times, but I just couldn't -- I *had* to know what happened next -- I *had* to experience that next interaction with Noah, or get another clue to what happened that night in Rhode Island. I definitely shared some of my fellow bloggers, "OMG -- what is going on?!?!" reactions. While some of the reveals made sense, most of them took me by surprise. Hodkin was about 50/50 with her transitions -- sometimes they were weak, but sometimes they were spot on and had me going, "Oh my gosh, okay, just one more chapter then I'll...."

Another very cool thing about this book is that it takes place in my hood! It was really cool to read about Calle Ocho (I've been down there during that festival!), the house on Biscayne Bay, and especially the crazy Miami drivers! (Yes, they are.) The cliffhanger at the end --- EEEK. I need The Evolution of Mara Dyer STAT!

P.S. Comment to win! One of these bookmarks will go great with your Evolution book!



4 comments :

  1. Flo...Am I allowed to win? Pick me, Pick me.LOL

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  2. Sounds like my kind of book, I'll have to check this one out!

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  3. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! Looks really interesting.

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  4. I love reading books especially before I go to sleep; this became my ritual every night, with my ear plugs in and a book, a good sleep will come after. I think this book is a good one, I will definitely find a copy of his one.

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