Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA, Mystery
Source: Bought it
Book Description from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
I remember reading the synopsis for this and I was immediately intrigued by how it gave NOTHING away. Even the cover with its eerie water logged clothes, with a sense of weightlessness - however captivating, still didn't explain any of the secrets hidden away in the pages. In fact, all this vagueness irritated me to the point where I had to find out exactly who was this Mara Dyer, and what her story was. So I ran out and bought it (random aside: a book store employee tried to ward me off it by saying she didn't enjoy it, this is a huge pet peeve for me and I'm glad I didn't listen to her), but it wasn't until Just a Lil' Lost's August read-a-long that I finally got around to reading it and unraveling the mystery that is Mara.
Parts of the book are broken up into segments: 'before' the accident and 'after' the accident. Before the accident we get a look into Mara's life with her friends while they were still alive and their strained interactions. Then we fast forward to after the accident - Mara has woken up and doesn't remember a thing from the night that killed her friends. In an attempt to get past the loss, she packs up her life and moves to Florida to start fresh at a new school. But running away from her past isn't as easy as Mara would like. Soon strange incidences start happening and it starts pushing her to figure out what's real and what isn't before more bodies start piling up.
I love Mara from the beginning to the end of the book. She's solid in dealing with the shock of losing her friends in such a horrific way and in the post traumatic stress that she's dealing with. She has a clear tone of voice full of sarcasm and snappy comebacks. I especially loved her dynamics with her siblings - sure they bickered (what siblings don't?) - but they had these amazing genuine loving moments together. As the story progresses and the pieces fall into place - she changes and it gets kind of scary. So I'm really wondering how this is going to play out in the next book!
Noah Shaw, love interest and bad boy extraordinaire. I'll admit he rubbed me the wrong way at first (bleh he's a smoker, womanizer by reputation and pretty full of himself). He's supposed to be British, and while it gives him an above and beyond sense of entitlement that he fully embraces- I had a bit of a difficult time putting a British accent to his voice and it wasn't until some kind of European reference was stated that I'd remember "Oh right...he's British..". But where he won me over was in his absolutely vulgar/sexual innuendo laced banter with Mara, I just couldn't help but laugh. He's full of secrets and motives, and I could never quite place where he was going. But the reveals at the end definitely has my attention glued to what's in store for Noah Shaw.
Eventually the 'before' and 'after' parts of the story start blurring as reality and fantasy start violently colliding for Mara. I was never sure if anything was just a coincidence, or if it was actually real. I love stories like this. It kept me guessing throughout the whole story and kept me up all night reading to find out what exactly it was that made Mara Dyer so Unbecoming...
Overall: 4/5 Hot Cups of Tea!
I loved it! Secrets are revealed piece by piece, there's a really adorable romance, highschool drama of course and one heck of an ending that leaves me so excited for the next in the series: The Evolution of Mara Dyer.