Thursday, January 12, 2012

{Double Review} The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1 
Published: September 27th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
Goodread's summary:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
Racquel's thoughts:
My lovely Mary @Anxiruim & Celine @Forget Me Not along with Roxy @Keeping Up With Roxy's Books & my co-blogger Emma read Mara Dyer together and it was roller coaster of emotions book for me. I didn't like somethings at parts, but then I enjoyed others. I was laughing one page at something then the next I was laughing at the characters from their sheer ridiculousness.

The creepy first chapter was great but up until the middle point I was really just dragging my self through the book.

I'm judging from my definition of realistic and Noah was not so. It's not that he was really rich, I do know people who live in palace-like-houses and can drop hundreds but he's personality was a turn off. He was always pushing/forcing Mara to do something and this is a wish-washy thing with me. Sure if he didn't push he might not have ended up with Mara but it still annoyed me. If I was Mara, I would have stuck Noah.
Also somehow Noah had the power to do crazy things like getting Mara into restricted area's without consequences and such. He was also a panty-dropper who is harmless. Yeah being a man whore is not cute...Mara you best check for AIDS, girlfriend. 

Then there is Anna. One thing really annoyed me: Anna stole Mara's sketchbook and 'humiliates' Mara with it. A crowd gathers around, the entire school knows about this so called humiliation. Umm no. That just doesn't happen. A crowd will not gather to witness this and it won't be school news. Not everyone will have heard about it in 30 minutes because it's STUPID. 
Students only stop if something like this was going on: 
that's when the cameras break out, the Facebook updates are made & the school cops bring out the handcuffs. (no joke)
Another thing I disliked is the reactions to characters to certain events and lack of shock on their part. Some characters should be going insane with questions but no, nothing of that sort happens. I also hope to see more explanations of the paranormal aspect of the story int the next books and less confusion.
I did love Mara's family though. I love it when family is included!! Shows that characters have not in fact been brought to the earth asexually and actually have parents. In a YA novel? who would have ever guessed!! Jamie was also another great character that I wish to see more of.

Some people *cough Mary cough* might not agree but I like how romance plays an important part of the book. Sure I might have had my issues with Noah but I grew to like him, more then once I was grinning like a fool at his banter with Mara. I definitely enjoyed the book more towards the end and it saved it from being a 1 or 2 star read. 

My rating: 2.5 round to 3 hearts~ started out meh but showed potential at the end!
 My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.
"What did you do, bathe in leopard urine before you left the house this morning?"
"Yes. Leopard urine. Never leave home without."
"Did I just see you litter?"
"I'm driving a hybrid. It cancels out."

Emma's thoughts:
First of all, I have to say I like these let's-read-the-same-book things. It's a great way to discuss books while it's still fresh in our minds, and to hear other people's thoughts, not just voice your own. 

So, now, that is one of the vaguest summary I've ever read. It gives away nothing substantial about the book. Like Racquel said, I could not figure out what genre it was supposed to be. It went from horror to paranormal to romance, and straight back to horror (trust me, this book gave me the creeps. I was scared to look in the bathroom mirror by the time I finished).  

Okay, so apparently Racquel and I have very different opinions on Noah! I absolutely adored him. One, his name is Noah. Two, he has a british accent! And that's only the beginning. He's witty, he's smart, he's got disheveled hair and is totally charming. The banter between Mara and Noah is swoon-worthy! That is definitely one of the most outstanding points of the book. I found myself stopping to highlight many, many lines of the dialogue (especially Noah's) when I burst out in laughter or felt my cheeks hurt from trying to smile too wide. I know my housemates gave me some pretty weird looks while I was reading this (I may have squealed at one point...). Also, to me, Noah's bossiness was cute, because he did it for Mara's good. Moments when he ran to open her door and tied her shoelaces made me giddy inside. Where is chivalry these days?! But I admit, there was one point where I think Noah completely overreacted and it seemed way to unrealistic for him to feel that protective over Mara. It reminded me of those fight-for-dominance werewolf books.. 

And oh, I agree with Racquel about Anna. The incident would've only been big and gossip worthy if Noah hadn't actually covered for Mara, but since he did... it was sort of unrealistic. Even the whole Anna business completely confused me. Can someone please tell me WHAT DID MARA EVEN DO TO DESERVE THIS FROM ANNA?!? Why would Anna even bother with Mara? She's so not worth her time, realistically speaking. She'd probably get more of a kick if she spread her legs for Aiden. 

As a whole, I think the book was written beautifully, even the bone-chilling, seriously disturbing scenes. I applaud Michelle Hodkin for writing such awesome scary hallucinations. I kept dreading something awful would happen, and the tension built up so nicely, I was anxious to read read read and turn the page! 

But what bothered me most was that I had no idea what was going on. It was hard to understand what was happening and why it was happening with not a hint of an explanation whatsoever. I know if I ever got interrupted whilst reading this, I wouldn't hesitate to put it down (for the first half anyways). It got better, and some questions were answered. But overall, I do think that we could've gotten a bit more. I have no doubts I'll be getting my hands on the next book as soon as it comes out, because I'm the type of person who is constantly craving for answers. I ended this book with far too many questions in my head, I can't even keep them straight. There are so many incidents in the book that still need some clarifying, I hope Hodkin herself, doesn't forget. And currently in my delirious state, I've been thinking up outrageous theories that would answer my questions. So yes, this book has been on my mind quite a bit since I've finished (which is a good thing!), but I'm afraid I'll start to finish the story myself and be unhappy with whatever Hodkin has in store for us. Though, as I said, I'm all about answers. I'd love to know what's actually going on here...

Rating: 4 stars~ loved it! But I got confused way too many times... 

3 favourites:
"You're so fucking patronizing."
"You have such a filthy mouth."
"Does it bother you?" I smiled, pleased by the thought.
Noah grinned and shut the door behind me. "Not in the least."
Half-smile: treacherous.
Eyes: blue and infinite.
Hair: a beautiful, beautiful mess. 
"Would you like to hear about Curious George's new adventures?"
I shook my head.
"Are you sure?" Noah asked. "He's been such a naughty monkey."
NB: While I was reading this, I was listening to 'Believe' by Safetysuit on repeat. It's an awesome song, and now is my Mara Dyer theme song :)  

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