Monday, September 21, 2015

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can't 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 strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.

Rating: 1/5

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer started out with the promise of a creepily seductive paranormal read.

It all began when her friends died. Mara wakes up in the hospital and she can’t remember what happened, why she was at an abandoned building when it collapsed or how her friends died and she escaped without a scratch. After that, strange things keep happening to her; Mara starts seeing her dead friends, relatives, she gets hurt in impossible situations and worse, she starts loosing time.

Sounds awesome, right? I love paranormal stories and this one started out great! It was a shame that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer turned out to be nothing but another cliché YA romance.

My problem with this is, that it’s just the same stories we have read over and over and over and over again in countless other novels. Actually, I’m gonna teach you how to do one right now, let’s call it Cooking with Mila! Here’s what you’ll need:

-Create a plain Main character (mostly Caucasian) who is actually beautiful but doesn’t know it. Stir until hot guy tells her she’s beautiful (Don’t worry, even though she’ll become emotionally dependant on him, her self-esteem issues will still be there).

-Make sure the girl has no personality, self-esteem or sense of self. Remember, it’s important for her to be an empty shell so that people can imagine themselves into her all the more easily!

-Now that you’ve that done, create your love interest! Remember that your love interest will be a guy, leave different sexualities/skin color to token characters. It would be great if you can just cram every stereotype possible into one character and just fill your diversity quote with that one. If you can, add a bit of homophobia in there too, like the MC being offended/disgusted/ashamed to be thought of as gay/bi.

- Your LI will be perfect, and for that you’ll have to use the artificial flavour of “YA perfect brooding asshole” *Other brands could give you a decent guy instead, and we don’t want that. He’ll have a perfect body, perfect face and perfect skin (Of course he’ll be Caucasian!). British accent recommended. He’ll also be a perfect asshole, invading personal space to shy girls he just met, not accepting a “No” as an answer and having, of course, a much more sexually active life than your MC. His penis will be so powerful that just by touching it (or thinking of it) every girl’s reputation will be ruined, as well as any sense of self-respect or worth. Take into consideration that every girl who even thinks of this guy will magically be transformed into a cardboard copy of a mean girl stereotype. You’ll probably want to wash the personality out of them first, too.

-There won’t be a plot, just have them fall in love when they meet but invent dumb reason so that they have to be apart. There has to be some tension after all!!

- Cook and let it burn. Now write something better. Unless you need money, in which case you’ll have a best-seller!

You can see that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book.
Personally, I think it’s great for a fun read or whathever but I was looking for something exciting and paranormal, not the same lame love story we find all the time in YA. Change the names and you can pretty much recycle everything!

I was looking forward to witnessing the freaking unbecoming of this girl, this Mara Dyer (That’s the name she picked, really?) and watch her loose her mind with all the stuff that were going on. Instead we find Mara, who never really does anything! She hallucinates, gets hurt and almost killed, and she never tells anybody! I don’t know what it is with YA books and having teens do everything without the help of a grown up, but this was ridiculous. Mara gets annoyed at her mom because she thinks that her daughter is loosing her mind, HONEY YOU’RE LOOSING YOUR FRICKEN MIND. There is a difference between not wanting to accept what is happening ad being a moron.

Besides that, what else was it to Mara? What was it that had the hottest guy in school smitten with her since DAY ONE? Seriously, he meets her and he chases her down everywhere even though the guy has never cared about anybody before her.

It was really annoying to read from Mara’s POV because she does nothing. Noah tells her they are going on a date and even though she doesn’t want to she just kind of accepts. Then Noah says they are dating and even though she doesn’t want to he says that he does so she just sighs and says “Ok.”

I hated Noah and his stupid perfect lips and perfect out-of-bed hair and his perfect hair and his perfect- HE’S PERFECT, WE GET IT!
He was nothing but a creepy stalker and pushover who treated girls like crap.

The entire school was suddenly obssessed with Mara's love life in a very Twilight kind of way, it was over the top and ridiculous, as if people didn't have I don't know... a LIFE to get back to.

Overall, I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the romance had been eliminated (or better constructed) and the spooky elements better developed.

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