Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

I just finished reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer last night.  I had to review it right away because ever since I read the first page, this book has been stuck in my head.  I can't stop thinking about it, even now that I've finished it.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is part psychological thriller, part romance, part struggle with mental illness, and completely amazing.  The whole plot works well together - all of Mara's flashbacks and hallucinations, all of her insecurities, all of her wondering if she's going totally crazy - it fits together well.  I didn't have any "Wait this doesn't belong," or "What the hell just happened" moments.   The pacing of the story was well-done - nothing happened to quickly or to slowly.  Everything just came about in its own time. 

I think the way this book deals with Mara's PTSD is important.  Too many books that deal with mental health issues will trivialize it, or make it seem almost comical.  This book didn't do that.  The PTSD was there, and it was a part of Mara's life, but the author showed that Mara was doing the best she could in her life with PTSD.  We saw the good days and times that Mara had, as well as the bad moments and the triggers.  There was never a moment where I thought she was faking it, or where I thought that the author didn't handle it well.

The characters in the book were, in a word, amazing. They all complemented each other well. They were all believable, and had emotional ranges that I haven't seen in a lot of YA books.  All too often, people think that characters in YA novels need to be one dimensional.  They shouldn't be though.  The characters should be fleshed out, and deep, and have more than one or two interests, and have multiple friends - and that was the case in this book.  There were characters I didn't like (Anna the conniving twit, for example,) but that's just because they were so well written that I even though I didn't like them I still liked them.

I can't think of a single bad thing to say about this book.  The tension, the characters, the story and plot - everything was on point.  From the moment when Mara woke up in the hospital, to the day they moved to Florida, to that day when she and Noah went to see some crazy possibly cult leader who made Mara drink blood to heal her, to the end when Mara sees her ex in a police station, there was not a moment when I wanted to be done with this book.

So, to end: This is a 5 star book - if you haven't read it yet, you need to! 

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