Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pleasantly Jolted. REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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.

WOW.  I do not use that word lightly very often when it comes to reading, but I am blown away.  Not what I was expecting at all.  I am not ashamed to admit that this one knocked me sideways a bit.  I have said it before and I will say it again (man I love being a turtle...sorry, can not resist a good pop-culture reference *cough* Ninja Turtles!) but I like to look at pretty things.  A good book cover is my favorite visual feast and it is the closest I will ever get to playing Russian Roulette.  Beautiful book covers are a Venus fly trap...the question is, will you survive and love that you took the risk or will you regret sticking your finger between those intriguing needles?  This one drew me in with its stunning visual, but did not disappoint with content.

I honestly have no idea what it should be classified as.  It is in the Young Adult section, but the most successful books are the ones that defy any label that the industry tries to stick to it.  I do not know about you, but it has been a while since I have read a Y.A. book that drops the f*bomb and other colorful expletives with was just freaking awesome...I love a good jolt, even if it is something as simple as a mountain of curse words in adolescent fiction. 

The book brings up a lot of  'Is she?' scenarios for the main character, Mara.  Is she psychotic?  Is she gifted?  Is she cursed?  Is she hallucinating this whole thing?  Is she going to crumble?  Who is this GIRL?  You stay sort of off kilter the whole time because of the opener:
      My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.  A pseudonym.  A nom de plume, for all of us studying for the SATs.  I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me-it's the most normal thing about my life right now.  Even telling you this much probably isn't smart.  But without my big mouth, no one would know that a seventeen-year-old who like Death Cab for Cutie was responsible for the murders.  No one would know that somewhere out there is a B student with a body count.  And it's important that you know, so you're not next.

Talk about a 'What The F***? moment right off the bat

Beyond the shock factor of the opener, lies the story, the basis of which is Mara trying to recover from tragedy and the possibility that she was the cause of it.  Mostly she can not decide if she is crazy or a potential serial killer, but she needs to figure it out soon.  A major fatal flaw for most people is that they do not KNOW themselves, and she is a little more behind the curve than most.  She meets a boy (ain't it always the way) named Noah and, here is the predictable part, they are attracted to each other *SHOCKER*.  BUT I did not gag through it because it was believable.  It was honest. And it felt oh so real. The two characters are flawed.  Both have moments of selfishness and selflessness, strength and vulnerability, lust and love.  That is what makes a story compelling.  Perfection is boring.  Broken things are interesting.  Snarky characters reflect our boredom with our own reality.

If you have a weakness for pretty book covers and Y.A., I'd recommend this one to you.  It pushes the boundaries of its genre and it is so unique. You will not get jet-lagged with a same old mass-produced story line like everything else getting churned out these days. Basically, it f***ing rocked!!

This Goth Girl Gives It:

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