Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marvelous Mara

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

* ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours
* Book will be released on September 27, 2011

This book gets a spectacularly spooky 5 out of 5 gnomes for being quite the trippy book with an unreliable narrator that might just actually be reliable.  The fun is questioning what to believe because you never know what might just be a delusion.

I loved this book so much.  Unexpected, intense, insane, those are just a few words that describe the experience of reading this book.  It just really absorbs you into the story.  I would start reading thinking, I’ll read one chapter then stop, then I’d find myself still reading chapters later.

The story opens with a note telling you that Mara is not the main character’s real name so right away you’re wondering what happened and how much time has passed between the note and the story she tells.

Mara wakes in in the hospital not remembering what happened to put her there and things only get weirder from there on.  Apparently she survived having a building collapse on her while the other three people there died, including her best friend.  

To start fresh her family moves across the country to Florida.  Creepiness and weirdness seem to follow her there too.  Mara’s not the only one with problems though.  Many of the characters in the story have something mysterious or strange going on in their lives.  So to borrow a famous line from
Transformers these characters are “...more than meets the eye.” There are so many puzzle pieces to this story and they fit together in surprising ways.  

As the story progresses you’ll be wondering what’s going on just as much as Mara is.  The paranoia and craziness just seems to permeate the pages.  Mara does in fact have hallucinations so you have to wonder what’s real and what isn’t.  There are a lot of surreal moments where you’ll think you know what’s going on and then be blindsided by another surprise.

The love interest, Noah Shaw, is one complex guy.  While reading you may be suspicious of him and his motives.  As the story progresses, even more questions will arise about him.  I read the whole thing and am still not a hundred percent sure about him, he tends to have more than a few mood swings and be rather hard to read.  

The ending of the book may break your brain, that’s what happened to me anyway.  There is just so much and that final page is a doozy.  If you want a book full of everything from death, alligators, and plentiful WTF moments then The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is definitely the book for you.

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