Aly in Wonderland

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer  - Michelle Hodkin Ah, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I've given this two stars for a number of reasons:

1.

2. Still coming to terms with plot itself.

And 3. I may have to re-read it a second time to get a better feel of it.

When I found out this book was coming out, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I acknowledge that it came out a good two years or so ago, but for a long and extensive list of reasons, I only managed to get myself a copy when it came on offer on my Kindle.

It took me exactly a day and a half to finish it, which I find is pretty good. I mean, I'm incredibly dedicated to my reading, and usually it takes me three days maximum to finish the book. But when I finished [b:The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer|11408650|The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)|Michelle Hodkin|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1336655755s/11408650.jpg|13460686] I was left confused and uncertain.

Here's why:

After the accident that killed both her friends and boyfriend, Mara Dyer and her family pack up and move to Florida.

THE INTERESTING STUFF

1. Diagnosed with PTSD, Mara starts having weird hallucinations. For example, she sees her dead friends in mirrors, sees her dead boyfriend everywhere, and she feels as if she's going slightly crazy. (Don't get me wrong, I don't blame her.)

2. So far, I've only got one interesting tidbit from the book.

THE GOOD STUFF

1.Enter Noah Shaw. The hot, slutty, all-around bad boy of the story that has an interest in Mara (of course) and will do anything to get her.

A love/hate relationship begins to bloom, where Noah loves (you get what I mean) Mara and she, for some unknown reason, hates his guts. Alas, never fear! She quite suddenly falls under his spell:

And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely, His.


It's under 'good stuff', because if this was a romance between a guy and a girl with severe problems, then yeah, it would've been a pretty ideal love story. But it's not, and the actual storyline gets lost under piles of fluffy love.

But:



2. I really quite liked how PTSD was portrayed in the novel -- the hallucinations, the constant paranoia and fear, and I quite liked Mara Dyer herself. She's not your classic I-love-wallowing-in-self-pity-until-someone-notices-me or your everything-I-touch-turns-to-shit girl either. She's pretty down to Earth and, well, cool.

Until she became a lovestruck heroine and forgot that people were dropping dead like flies around her.

OH. I'M SORRY, DID I NOT MENTION THAT?

Here we go.

THE BORING, NONSENSICAL, UNBELIEVABLE, ALL AROUND BAD STUFF

1. People are dying the minute Mara wills them to, which would have made an incredibly amazing story line (always linking to PTSD) IF Mara hadn't quite literally forgotten all about it the minute Noah showed an acute interest in her. The minute the two get together, she completely forgets about the people dying as if from the plague around her. If that were me, I wouldn't have time to concentrate on a relationship. Heck, when I had exams in school, I was the most antisocial brat you could imagine!

2. Some of the conversations are drawn out, boring and, frankly confusing.

FOR EXAMPLE

"But Davis believed it and almost soiled himself. It was a defining moment for me. Until that rat bastard tattled to the guidance counselors. Who believed him. And called my dad, to verify I didn't actually have Ebola at home. Idiots. On little joke involving hemorrhagic fever and they brand you 'unstable'." He shook his head, then his mouth titled into a smile. "You're, like, totally freaked out right now."


Okay, so maybe that's not the best example, but if you read the entire conversation from start to finish, it actually goes off track more than once and by the end of it, you feel like a fish out of water.

3. In Mara's first class, she sees her first hallucination, freaks out, falls, hits her face and her nose starts bleeding. What does her mum say? "You've never had a nosebleed in your life."

Wait. WHAT? I don't believe that for a second. Everyone has had at least one nosebleed in their life time, it's kind of impossible for someone not to have a nosebleed.



How, you ask? Sneeze too hard - nosebleed. Hit your face - nosebleed. SOMETHING hits your face - nosebleed. Very hot sun beating onto your head - nosebleed (this, in particular, was the bane of my existence when I was younger). ANYTHING can cause a nosebleed.

I mean, the girl was trapped under a collapsed asylum... EASILY COULD HAVE GIVEN HER A NOSEBLEED.

4. Noah, of course, can get away with murder -- not literally, that's Mara's thing. He can do whatever he wants, be wherever he wants and act however he wants because his parents throw a load of money at the school and, of course, because he's British. IT'S A STEREOTYPE THAT IS OVERUSED AND FRANKLY, SHIT.

Here's a picture of real British guys:




They're not cute. I would know, I LIVE HERE. They're the same as every other boy around the world. HONESTLY.

Anyway, as I was saying, he can get away with anything.

FOR EXAMPLE

"Can I help you, Mr. Shaw?"
"I'm auditing your class today, Mr. Walsh. I'm in desperate need of an Algebraic brush-up."
"Uh-huh," Mr. Walsh said dryly. "Do you have a note?"
Noah stood and left the room. He returned as Mr. Walsh reviewed last night's homework, and, sure enough, handed the teacher a piece of paper. The teacher said nothing, and Noah sat down next to me. What kind of school was this?


Mara, you asked the right question. It's the kind of imaginary, unbelievable school you read in these kind of books. A school that only provides as background noise for the character's many conversations and/or fights and/or friendships that only last the width of a couple of chapters.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY NEXT POINT

5. JAMIE. Jamie is Mara's first friend at Croyden. He's black, bisexual (but we're told he's gay in the beginning), Jewish, and had dreadlocks.



Never fear, though. He only serves as a messenger who warns Mara against seeing Noah, tells her why (Jamie fooled around with Noah's sister, so Noah slept with Jamie's sister. Revenge sex) then conveniently gets expelled and we don't hear from him again for the rest of the novel.

Which is a shame, because Jamie is quite nice, if you decide to ignore the blatant stereotype of his sexuality.

6. One minute, Mara hates Noah, and then, dun DUN DUNNNN.

"And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely, His."



Well, Mara. You're a tool.

I never understood this in romance novels. How can you fall like that all at once? Personally, it's never happened. I fall gradually whilst I get to know the guy. They don't know ANYTHING about each other.

But never fear, because it turns out Noah is just as 'special' as Mara, but in a better way. He heals people.

Don't. Even.

7.
"And you're going to spend the day with me."
That was not what I expected. "I am?"
"Yes. You owe me," he said. ...
"Is there any point in asking what you're going to make me do on Sunday?"
"Not really."
Okay. "Is there any point in asking what you're going to do to me?"
He grinned wickedly. "Not really."
Fabulous. "Does it involve the use of a safe word?"
"That will depend entirely on you."


Okay. What the hell did I just read? So because she's suddenly in love with him (URGH), they start discussing safe words and sex? AFTER HE JUST EMOTIONALLY BLACK MAILED HER?

When did this become 50 Shades of Soft Grey? (See what I did there? HAHA)

8. On Mara's birthday, Noah takes her out to an Art Gallery. It's late morning when they get there. She passes out and...
"The street light above us cast the shadows of his eyelashes on his cheek."
It's suddenly night time. It's weird and inconsistent AND IT HAPPENS A LOT.

EXAMPLE 2

I sat down beside Noah and took out my lunch, too self-conscious to meet the eyes of the rest of the rest of the seniors assembled at the table. ... Noah slid into a chair across from my brother and I sat next to him, across from Sophie.


Um. Alrighty then.

But those are just the little things that don't make sense.

Check this out: Out of the blue, the book takes a plunge into the paranormal i.e. Mara figures out that if she wishes for someone's death, then they die exactly as she imagines them to. Noah can 'fix' people -- y'know, broken arms, broken spirits, broken hearts etc., which, to be honest, the book could have done well without. I feel like Hodkins got bored of her own inconsistencies and decided to take a different turn, but failed miserably.

-Mara has two perfect brothers, Joseph, the youngest, (who, out of the blue, is kidnapped by, Mara guesses, her father's client) only makes an appearance when needed to, Daniel is PERFECT and therefore FUCKING ANNOYING.

- There's the Queen Bitch who hates Mara for absolutely no reason with her Evil Minion, a gay guy who hates everyone and everything it seems.

-Parents who are mostly there but disappear at the most convenient times.

As I said, a lot of it doesn't make sense. It's hard to grasp the plot and follow the storyline and the characters, as much as I WANT to like them, grate me the wrong way.

So I've decided to try and read it again and try and make more sense out of it, but for now, it's two stars. I'm also going to give the second book a shot, but if the first one is anything to go by, I'll probably end up highly disliking the entire series.

But right now, this is all I'm feeling:




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