Genre: young adult, paranormal
This book is confusing af, but it starts simple enough with a friendgroup who goes to an abandoned building for fun, but it suddenly collapses on top of them and kills everyone but Mara Dyer, the main character. She wakes up in a hospital, disoriented and not able to recall anything of the incident. But no one else has answers to what happened either. What they know is that four teenagers went in, but only one came out.
Struggling with memoryloss and PTSD, Mara convinces her family to move away, talking about fresh beginnings and less reminders, but not really believing it herself. She’s having flashbacks and hallucinates, memories of her and her two dead friends and boyfriend constantly haunting her dreams. Slowly, but surely her memories seem to return, but she doesn’t know how to make sense of it all.
Rating out of five:
This book has more psychological elements than paranormal ones, which was okay, but confusing for the main part of this story. It’s written to be all mysterious, but honestly I just grew impatient and annoyed. Mara believes she’s going crazy, but won’t immediately find help because of her overprotective mom who seems to control much in her life. At first I found it a bit extreme as I realize she needs help to function, but she’s already back at school so how bad can she be? But when shit goes down, I realized Mara might need more supervising than what is shown from her own unreliable narrative.
And she should not be in school full-time! How would anyone allow it, hadn’t it been for the sake of the story and her love interest being there? As Mara slowly works out her new life, or pretend to, she meets a mysterious boy named Noah Shaw. She is repeatedly warned against him for his reputation of dating and dumping girls. I won’t comment on this relationship anymore than I wouldn’t read this book for the romance because it’s very stereotype “bad boy turns good for The One Girl” with a twist or two. Still, even if it’s nice twists and I like Noah in himself, they don’t really work good together. Mostly he’s just there, saying a few lines and filling out the plot when necessary.
I feared for a long time this book would be all stereotype high school drama, because it was clearly heading that way, but right before I laid the book down in defeat strange things started to happen around Mara Dyer. The book was back on track! When the plot twist came I was done again; I saw it long time coming and it couldn’t have been more expected. If you’ve read a couple of paranormal ya I think you’ll figure it out. It’s not a bad twist, it just reflects the biggest problem of this book – it’s predictable. Some occurences might be unexpected and interesting, but the plot and story as whole goes in a boring straight line.
There’s two more books in this series, which could turn out better now that it took 452 pages to reveal one secret and lay the base of the story, which really has just been “high school drama with paranormal stuff somewhere”. I don’t think I want to read two more books like that. The title is good; “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” is just what happens in this book, but nothing more. Did you like this book? Is the second and third book better?