Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

by:  Michelle Hodkin
published by:  Simon & Schuster Children's
publish date:   September 27th, 2011

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.

This book was a hot item at ALA this year.  I felt really fortunate to get one in my greedy little hands.  The people at Simon and Schuster were really wonderful and extremely generous.  I can't say say enough positive things about them.   To give you an idea of how this book ranked it was the very first book I started reading out of ALL my ALA books.  High honor indeed!

In many ways it was a typical YA romance, the broken girl that doesn't think she's all that pretty attracts the attention of the hottest, least attainable guy in school, who of course has more money than God.  There were the school bullies that were making her life miserable, and there was the quirkly little sidekick friend that tries to steer her in the right direction.  However, it did defy YA tradition in that parents were present in this book and they were normal and stable and were actually looking out for the best interests of their child.

The story itself was really quite a surprise.  It opened up with Mara waking up in a hospital bed from an accident in which two friends and her boyfriend had been killed.  Because the accident was so traumatic and Mara was going a little insane, the family moves from their small town to Miami for a fresh start which is where Mara meets the hunky Noah.  Their relationship progresses in typical YA romance fashion.  The move hasn't helped Mara's mental health though and strange things have begun to happen to her.  This is when the book took a direction that I wasn't really expecting. 

I don't know if this is supposed to be a trilogy (if it's YA I'm sure it is) or if there's a sequel or what, but there's a pretty big cliff hanger at the end.

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