I just finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin over the weekend. It was a fast-paced story that took me for a ride that I really enjoyed. I had read some mixed reviews on Goodreads and from my peeps on the Nest Book Club (from whom I get almost every book recommendation). So perhaps my good experience was a result of going into the read with low expectations. Probably not. I would have enjoyed Mara as a character no matter what.
We meet Mara Dyer, a high school student, when she awakens from a coma after surviving an accident that her friends did not. Mara can't remember anything from the past several days and has no idea what happened to cause the accident that claimed the lives of her friends. Mara's journey takes her away from her home to a new private school in Miami. We're introduced to Noah, Jamie, and a bevy of stereotypical high school bullies - with the exception of Hodkin's version of the dumb jock. Mara's memory slowly unfolds the events of the night she can't remember and she discovers some surprising secrets of her own.
I had a great time reading Mara's story. Her character was fun and funny and the story had several passages of witty banter. I love witty banter. If you've watched Gilmore Girls, you know what I'm talking about. I especially enjoyed Mara's relationship with her two brothers (one older, one younger, just like me!).
There were several story points I didn't get or agree with and I wish some attention was paid to some of the minor characters who were total scene stealers. Overall, I definitely recommend Mara and hope the next installment will outshine the first.
Speaking of installments...
I didn't know that this was the first installment of a series. I'm kind of ticked that it is because I wasn't mentally prepared for a faux-ending (what I call the point in a story where the author, publisher, editor, whoever chooses to end the first installment). Though I don't know, I expect this to be a three-parter. Most three-parters follow the tried and true Star Wars method. Volume 1) Ends on a high point by wrapping up the major conflict of the story and introducing the larger, more important conflict. Volume 2) End on a low point. Here we have the "How will the hero make it out of this pickle?!?". Volume 3) Ends when the hero faces and triumphs their inner turmoil that has held them back from achieving true greatness.
Educate yourself on the topic in this post:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8591107-the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer