The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer is sole survivor of an accident that killed her friends, she doesn't remember what happened or how it happened or why she's the only one alive.
The Nitty Gritty
Soon after the above mentioned accident, Mara and her family move to Miami for a fresh start. Mara is now enrolled in a private school where she meets Noah Shaw and his infamous reputation. Mara and Noah develop an attraction and soon get to know each other better. They are both well aware of that the other is surrounded in an air of mystery and the rest of the story follows Mara as some of that mystery is cleared up. Worry not, the story is not as two dimensional as I just described it to be. There are a lot of other things going on, a whole cast of interesting characters, and some fun stuff that adds a bit of humor into the mostly dark novel.
Mara Dyer- the female protagonist who comes with a lot of baggage. The girl's got issues but very appropriately so. I liked Mara and I understood her and sympathized with her which is as much as you could ask for really.
Noah Shaw- the classic bad boy with a soft center that only the special someone can discover, of course the special someone has to be Mara, right?
I asked myself, and the universe in general ,"What is going on with Mara!??" several times and the answer didn't really come until the very end and even then it wasn't a crystal clear one. I wasn't expecting to find out the whole answer by the end of this book, there are two other books to consider plus the fact that there didn't seem to be a focused plot for this book, just the introduction of the series plot, but I did want to find out a little earlier than I actually did. Those last few pages were interesting.... somewhat satisfying.... yet, I wasn't fully pleased. I don't like when books climax too early or too late and this one climaxed too late. Does that make sense? Because I don't really know hoe to explain how I felt about that ending. Also, I don't know about everyone else but I definitely saw that coming. I'd heard about this cliffhanger ending so I was expecting something big and I guess this would have been big if I wasn't already expecting it to happen.
The Overall Opinion
Initally, there is no obvious plot for the story (atleast, not one that I saw). There were things happening and the overall plot for the series starts becomes obvious, the mystery of Mara. I asked myself, and the universe in general ,"What is going on with Mara!??" several times and the answer didn't come till the very end and even then it wasn't much of an answer. It was just enough to hold me over and make me want to read the next book. I would have liked to see more of a plot for this book because it really just felt like a bunch of things were just happening, as life goes, without really a purpose. This is both good and bad because, well, in real life things aren't always happening for a reason we're aware of, they're just happening. The bad is that in a novel, AKA made up story, I'm used to seeing more purpose behind events and I didn't quite see that with this one and in all honeslty I don't actually know if it's a good thing or bad. For all I know it will all start making sense as the series goes on.
Despite me going on and on about the things I didn't like, I did give the book a four star review which means I did enjoy it so let's get to the positive stuff shall we? I liked Mara. I like Noah. I like Mara's friend who's name I cannot remember... Jeremy? I like the mystery around Mara and the accident and that we get to find out little bits and pieces about the accident as Mara starts remembering them and that these memories feel like puzzle pieces that don't initially don't fit together. I loved the first chapter because that definitely sucked me in. Ominous Ouija boards anyone? I liked the mystery surrounding Noah and his bad boy image. (Noah Shaw, if you keep it up you will definitely be on my favorite book boyfriends list ;-) !)Also, can we take a moment to admire the beauty of the cover. This is by far one of the favorite covers ever and the next two covers are just as good!
Though this book had some of my bookish pet peeves, at the end of the day I enjoyed it enough to overlook the pet peeves and continue with the next series. I'm looking forward to what the series has to offer.