Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
(Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Review by: Jenn
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.
3.5 stars out of 5 stars
Reading that synopsis, I was automatically intrigued. Right off from the beginning we are introduced to three girls, two of whom have some huge dislike toward each other, playing with an Ouija board. We meet Rachel, Mara's best friend, and Claire, who hates Mara. Now, I don't want to give anything away, but I do admit that by the end of that first chapter, or "Before" as Mara calls it, I was hooked. I had to know what happened next.

Unfortunately, we don't know all the details since Mara is just waking up from the accident and doesn't know herself. All we know is that Rachel, Claire and Jude (Claire's brother and Mara's boyfriend) are dead and Mara is the only one that survived. Afterwards, Mara asks her family if they could move and they end up in Miami. On Mara's first day of school we meet Noah Shaw. Now, he's an ass in the beginning. According to the high school rumors, he is this cocky guy that gets all the girls and I was turned off from that but I figured, I needed to have some patience and wait and see if he redeems himself. But I quickly realized that, yes he definitely redeems himself. And as he redeems himself, he bring on the funnies and the swoons. This is one of their first  conversations
"My God, you're like the plague." "A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless morale resonance? Why, thank you. That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me," he said."The disease, Noah. Not the book.""I'm ignoring that qualification."
I love Mara's and Noah's back and forth quips. I can feel the attraction they feel towards the other. And for the swoons? 
'I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o'clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear, "He was doing it wrong." ' *flails* Guh. 
Also, "Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever." Noah's eyes held mine. His stare was infinite. "I was made for you, Mara." *swoooooonnnssss*
Now, the only issue I had with book was the fact that I felt like Mara forgot about finding out why she was the only survivor and really only focused on the Noah. No matter how swoony he may have been,  I believe Mara was more infatuated with Noah and how gorgeous he was than to go out and find out what in the world was happening to her. (Although I can't really judge considering I spent the whole time swooning over Noah right alongside with Mara. I mean, you read that last quote, right??) Also, for that reason, the last half of the book felt sort of rushed for me and it one of the reason why I gave the book a 3.5.

My one other critique was that I had a hard time deciphering when Mara was hallucinating and/or dreaming or when something was actually happening. But so did Mara, so I guess you could just take it as good storytelling Ms. Hodkin's part.

Now, I had heard about this novel but I did not know it was series! And the second book comes out later on this year so I guess I'll be adding The Evolution of Mara Dyer to by TBR list!

Upcoming Releases part 2

As I was preparing and researching for this post, I realized that there is only five books that are releasing in 2012. The list I originally had, included those for 2013 and 2014  and since I just wanted to discuss the one for 2012, here is the short version of that list.
    Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Now ever since Divergent came out last year, its popularity has grown rapidly so I don't feel the need to try to explain why I love Divergent and why I think you should go out and run (run, not walk) to your nearest bookstore and purchase it, as well as pre-order Insurgent. So I'll just say one word and be done with it: F O U R.  There. I think Four may be one of my favorite male characters ever. The swoons, ZOMG, loved. It wasn't all about Four and the swoons but that one of the reasons I loved Divergent. It is not the main thing in the book. And I know I'm not alone in this. I even got my best friend into the series and now she is currently anxiously waiting for Insurgent's release with me. (I needed more company, you see. Sorry, friend.)  I need to know what will happen next. What will happen to Tris and Four and everyone else and the factions?
    Next on the list is Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy. Now, I have not read any of McVoy's other novels, so I can't really say anything about it. But having read the book's synopsis, it's definitely something right up my alley. Also, there seems to be a lot of good reviews for the novel and I'm looking forward to reading this book. 
*Side note: Both Insurgent and Being Friends with Boys comes out the first of May.*

Upcoming releases in 2012

* This post will be two parts, first part for the books that already been released and the second for those that are yet come out.*

2012 is an exciting year for new releases for me. I spent most of 2011 catching up on new-for-me books that many people had already read, since before 2011 I was in school which left little-to-no time to read for fun. So I played catch up and now I can join the rest of the publishing world in excitement for new releases that just came out or are releasing this year.
    I have three books that came out earlier this year that I am super excited about. I own two of them but haven't had the chance to read them yet. They are:
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Can I just squeal over here for just a second? *jumps around clapping and squealing* 'Kay. I'm good.

Currently reading

I was recently going through my to-read list, trying to find my next read when I saw that it was a mess. I had so many books added, all hazardous, I couldn't decide and couldn't find anything to read. So I spent a good half hour organizing my next five or so to-read books.
    Next up, "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler. I saw the movie a few month ago and found out it was a novel and added it to my TBR pile. I started reading yesterday, so my review should be up within the next few days.

So, have a great week!

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