Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Synopsis: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.

My Review: This was definitely an interesting read.  There were very intriguing and almost haunting aspects of this novel that I truly loved.  At other times I felt things got a bit cliched (at least with the love interest) and there were a few morality issues that I can't decide were good or bad. 

The writing was truly superb.  To be frank,  I got a bit freaked out just reading this.  Mara's state of mind is so chaotic and just so whacked I literally could not tell at times when she was imagining things or if some freaky shit was truly going on.  The duality of reality and her imagination overlapped almost constantly throughout the novel.  Then when stuff get's REALLY freaky there's the question of whether or not her thoughts manifest in reality.  I'd be reading and go "Ok, so that was all in her head." Then I'd read some more and go "Wait, was that in her head or did it really happen?" and then a bit later "Holy shit that actually happened!" It was a mental exercise to say the least.  And yet, it was all brilliantly done.  I'll admit, as confused as I was at times I loved every second of it. 

You know me and my biff for unrealistic love stories.  I definitely had a biff with Noah.  Hmm devishly handsome, British accent, speaks 5 languages (3 fluently), and is LOADED, falls madly and irrevocably in love with Mara, the reigning new loser to school who's crazy and sees shit that isn't there? What wrong with this picture? One, because guys like that don't exist.  Especially guys who have all that, are super witty, are a known player, and all of a sudden is totally supportive of their psycho girlfriend? Huh? I didn't really have a problem with his character in itself.  He was funny and I enjoyed his banter.  Kinda bugged me though that his speech didn't resemble any British nuances at all.  I couldn't even imagine a British accent because his speech didn't reflect it.  I just felt like the author tried too hard to make him amazing beyond any girls dream, and it rather annoyed me.  Sure he has character flaws, but as a whole, totally unrealistic character. 

That being said I LOVED Jamie.  He was totally undeveloped and you barely see him at all through the course of the novel, but he was awesome.  Would totally be my best friend.  The other kids at Mara's new school really annoyed me.  Not because I didn't like their characters, but because they were total stereotypes.  Mean, popular, beautiful, and unnaturally cruel? I'm sorry, just what? I just don't understand.  Am I one the only one who has never encountered such horrible people in high school? I've come to notice that these type of people only exist in movies and novels because guess what? People aren't like that! Snotty teenaged brats yes.  Vindictive bitches with no scruples? I think not. 

Then there is the moral issues I had with this novel.  Spoiler warning.  If you don't want to ruin the whole plot twist, don't read.  Mara can kill things by wishing it in her mind.  As original and twisted as that is, I take issues with it as well.  No matter how mad I am at a person (and believe me I can blow a fuse) I NEVER imagine them dying a gruesome horrible death.  I mean, what normal teenage girl does that? Sure I'd maybe think something bad may befall them, but death? Uh, a little extreme there.  It was pretty twisted.  And then there's the fact that towards the end of the novel, Mara intentionally uses that power to kill someone.  Before it was all just accidents, she didn't know what she was doing.  But when she intends to kill someone, that really crossed the line for me.  Who is she to be judge, jury, and executioner? It really put me on the fence with this novel.  I don't know if I can accept that and continue to read these books. 

In the end, the superb writing and the moral issues kind of canceled themselves out.  I can't say I liked this, and I can't say I hated it.  I'm totally middle ground on this book. I'll most likely read the second one, only to find out what the hell is going on, but if Mara pulls any more of that shit I'm done. 


Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

Noah has a British accent? I haven't even read the book yet but I'm already swooning. :P

Awwww I beg to differ on your point about there being no vindictive bitches in real highschools. I know a girl who is totally like that for absolutely no reason. So while they are rare they unfortunately do exist. :P

LoriStrongin said...

REALLY great reivew--everything I've read about this book just raved about the positive, but I really appreciate your honesty about the negative aspects of the book. I'm definitely a fan of beautiful language in books, and also have a weakness for amnesiac MCs, but the other stuff makes me pause. I'll probably still read this one, but might work through some of my current TBR pile first.

Thank you so much!!!!


Lena1xoxo said...

FABULOUS review! I agree that those snobby teenage brats don't exist in real life. I mean, there are the mean ones, but it doesn't take much to avoid them, lol.

I've heard the love interest is very Edward Cullen. IS THAT TRUE?!

Gosh, you've just made me want to read this book even more.

DMS said...

This book cover looks so fantastic. I can't wait to read it. I thin the story is very intriguing and I would be scared to wake up without any memory of who I am and what my life has been like. Your review makes me want to read this book even more!