You know that book that you pass by in the bookstore, glance briefly at on the shelves, and then move on and get a different book? Well The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin was that book for me. I purchased it though on my last trip to my bookstore and I can say it is my first book that I finished in 2016. Dangerous Lies was actually finished on like December 28th but I didn’t have time to write the review. So I started off the new year with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and this would be the book that set the tone for the books of 2016. I felt like I made a good choice for my first book of 2016.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer follows the main character, Mara Dyer (shocker I know), as she deals with the after effects of an accident she was in. A building collapsed killing her best friend, her boyfriend, and his sister. Mara somehow survived but doesn’t remember anything about the night and why they were in the building. She begins suffering from hallucinations and delusions and she is diagnosed with PTSD. In order to help her recover her family moves from Rhode Island to Miami, Florida. Mara begins to attend a new private school as she struggles to hide her hallucinations from her family. She meets the playboy of the school, Noah Shaw who helps her take her mind off of her struggles.
I really enjoyed that the book was from Mara’s perspective given that she may or may not be crazy. A lot of the time when I read a book I can trust that the narrator is reliable but with Mara you could never be sure if what was happening was real or just a hallucination. It was an interesting perspective. The other character that I am not quite sure of my opinion on is Noah. I think my main problem was that he was the rich playboy of the school and he was British. It just felt too perfect for me. However his relationship with Mara was interesting so I was able to kind of like him because of that.
One other problem I had with the book was the timeline of everything. It was really hard to keep track of what day it was and what week it was. I felt like she would say that something happened on yesterday implying that yesterday was a Wednesday but then a page or two later it would be implied that the present day was a Friday. I would also think that something happened two weeks prior but it would be implied that it was only one week ago. I just kind of lost track of the timeline of things so eventually I tried to just ignore that to the best of my ability. It didn’t really have too big of an impact on the plot but it confused me for a while.
One thing I absolutely loved about this book was how you don’t really know what is happening to Mara. I spent the entire book going back and forth between thinking she was just crazy or that there was magic involved. I won’t tell you which it was. I will let you figure out yourself but Hodkin does a great job of keeping you guessing. Just when you start thinking Mara is just crazy Hodkin throws out something that makes you think it involves magic but once you have settled on magic she makes you start to think Mara is just crazy. You can just ask my friend. I kept texting her what I thought it was as I went. It really messes with your mind trying to figure it out which is why I ended up reading about 400 pages in one day. I just needed to know what was happening. Of course the book ended with a HUGE cliffhanger and I do not have the sequel so I am just counting down the minutes until I can get to the bookstore and pick up the sequel and the last book. The end of the book answered some questions but definitely left more unanswered questions.