The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Seventeen-year-old Mara cannot remember the accident that took the lives of three of her friends but left her unscathed. After moving from Rhode Island to Florida, finding love, and more deaths, she realizes uncovering something buried in her memory might save her family and her future.
I rather liked Mara Dyer. It drew me in right away, and I lost track of time a bit reading it. I can’t really judge Hodkin on how well she portrayed PTSD, but it did add some suspense and intrigue to the novel. That was one thing I really liked, the intrigue.
I did not like the romance aspect. It was completely predictable, and while it started off kind of cute, it didn’t stay that way. Later in the book in became the focus, even though there were much bigger things going on. There was definitely chemistry between Mara and her love interest, but at times he seemed really possessive of her, calling her “his girl” before they’d even started dating, followed by “you’re mine”. To Mara’s credit, she doesn’t just take his douchey comments; if she had I probably wouldn’t thrown the book out the window.
There were a few little subplots that went nowhere and frustrated me to no end. If they did end up going somewhere, it was chapters later and forgotten about in the meantime; the romance was really the constant. Even Mara’s PTSD seemed to fade into the background, which made no sense at all. Besides the throwaway plots, there were a handful of throwaway characters to match, not to mention the passage of time was a little weird (which may have been to add to Mara, the narrator’s, paranoid, PTSD feelings, but just made me feel discombobulated).
So this book wasn’t a favorite, but I’d definitely recommend it to a few of my friends. It kept me interested the whole time and even sent a few chills up my spine; Hodkin did a great job of introducing her more paranormal plot aspects. I was happy with the dark, twisted parts of the plot, which was eerie and paranoid and altogether well-executed. If it hadn’t been so romance-centric, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer would have been an absolutely amazing book.
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