THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Target Audience: Teens – Young Adult – Ages 14-17
I listened to the unabridged audio book version of this title which I purchased at http://www.audible.com
Mara wakes up in a hospital bed. She has no memory of the event that led her to be hospitalized. When she spots a vase full of her best friend’s favorite flowers, she asks where her friend is and if she will be back soon. Mara then discovers to her horror that her best friend was with her when the building they were in collapsed. Mara survived. Her best friend, Rachel along with another friend and Mara’s boyfriend died in the collapse.
Mara is devastated by the loss. Her parents are concerned with her mental health and the family decides to move to Florida for a fresh start.
Once in Florida it becomes evident that Mara is still having difficulty coping. She is hallucinating and she still does not remember the night if the accident. Mara starts classes at an exclusive new school and has difficulty making new friends. When she meets a boy named Noah she can’t help but be attracted to him.
However, even though Noah seems to be interested in her, she is warned that he is notorious for breaking girl’s hearts. Mara has no desire to become just another notch on some guy’s bedpost. Plus, with her hallucinations intensifying and people around her seeming to die off at an alarming rate, Mara does not have either the time or the inclination to get involved with any high school drama.
Mara needs to discover exactly why she is seeing things and she needs to remember what happened that fateful night before she goes completely insane.
This book is not a lengthy one. The story moves at a rapid pace and readers will empathize with Mara. Teenage readers will relate to her feelings of frustration. Mara cannot tell her parents what she is seeing. She knows they will never believe her. The one person she could tell anything to is now dead. Teenagers who rely heavily on friends for emotional support will understand Mara’s situation.
The character of Noah is destined to become a favorite “Book Boyfriend” of many readers.
This book has equal parts drama, humor, horror and teen romance. There is something for everyone in this story. The fact that this is a first novel is very impressive. I expect that this author has a very bright future ahead of her. She has a knack for capturing the emotions of teenage angst and translating them onto the page without making the situations seem overly dramatic or cheesy. She has also done an admirable job of including the issue of mental illness into the story and in including not only it’s effect on the sufferer, but also on that person’s family.
The audio book was narrated by Christy Romano who was the perfect choice for the voice of Mara.
Audio book Length: 9 hours and 40 minutes
RATING: I rate this audio book as 5 out of 5 stars in the Young Adult category.
The ending of this book is a perfect cliffhanger. Readers will want to start the next book in the series immediately.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
“The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” is Michele Hodkins debut novel. To learn more about this author and her other titles visit http://www.michellehodkin.com