Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I dove into this book after years of hype not really knowing what it was about. Well, upon finishing, I can't really tell you, either.

It has some great selling points. Mara Dyer, a strong-willed POC female lead, is leaving a traumatizing past and starting anew, but her PTSD has followed her to her new life and she keeps seeing her dead friends out of the corner of her eyes everywhere. Creepy? Definitely. Psychologically complex? It would seem.

And yet the entire book is a romance. Why we as readers are supposed to fall completely head over heals in love with Noah, I'm not entirely sure. Everything about him hearkened to St. Clair in Anna and the French Kiss, which is to say he is attractive, rich, and British, yet generally an ass to the main character who fawns over him. Objectively speaking, Mara's best friend, Jamie, seems to be the most rational character. If he hates Noah, there has to be a reason.

Once I choked down the 80% of the book that was romance, the plot was fairly interesting. Mara constantly struggles with delusions, which don't go away despite therapy and anti-psychotics, and it gets to the point that even the reader isn't sure what is reality anymore. I wouldn't call it creepy in the horror movie sense--that something terrible could happen any second--but the feeling of being so out of touch with reality as horrible things happen chilled me to the bone.

3/5 stars for now, but I'm hoping the sequel will pick things up now that the world is established.

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