The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is an extraordinary read, albeit a hard book to categorize. At first glance it appears to be a contemporary fiction novel for young adults, but as you read the story you discover it has so much more to offer. Sections of the book read like a thriller novel and has your gripping the book in anticipation, the next moment you’re swooning and in love much like Mara, and then the paranormal twist just throws all your previous conceptions out the window. And because Hopkins keeps you guessing about the true reasons behind all of the deaths and Mara’s madness, you find that you stumble across an amazing new series.
Mara, after waking up from a coma, finds out that three of her friends were killed in a terrible accident that she herself was in. She was the only one to survive the collapsing of a run-down local asylum building, leaving her alive but emotionally damaged with no recollection of the accident. Her family quickly decides the best way for Mara to cope with her post traumatic stress disorder is to move to Miami. However, Mara knows that the only true way to cope with her grief and new life is to find out what really happened at the asylum. Luckily, she meets a mysterious boy who helps keep her sane, so to speak, and find out the truth about herself.
As I have said before, this was a fabulous read. The characters are really well developed for book one in a series. I found Mara to be incredible realistic and easy to relate too. Her interactions with other characters never seemed forced and the dialogue is playful and sophisticated . Mara and Noah have a great love story that was mature for teens, but magical enough to still be first love. Hodkin did a great job making the reader feel all of Mara’s emotion; this is a fantastic debut novel. If you are looking for a book with a great love story, a few thrills, and a little off the beaten path, this would be a great choice.
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