The characters were easily the best part of the book as they made everything come to life. It was through the people closest to Mara that we got to see how everything built around her and she struggled with survivor’s guilt. It was an interesting take and watching her slowly learn more about what happened that horrible night and what was happening to her now was an compelling ride to be taken on.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t have problems with the novel. The ending made me scream and not out of excitement. Mara often frustrated me to no end and even she seemed to acknowledge it.And something about how the lack of resolution to her situation got to me.
I had no idea what I was getting into the The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. For the most part, I expected to see a story that was laced with horror. yet, I didn’t notice anything of horror. That’s not to say some very weird stuff didn’t happen. In fact, there was quite a number of inexplicable things happening. That was not a downer for me. In fact, I found those elements rather interesting.
From here on out there will be spoilers many spoilers. If you haven’t read the book, I would suggest that you don’t read any further.
The plot in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is rather sparse. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective. Everything that happened in the story added together wonderfully. Even more impressive was the fact that mundane events and happenings were brought in later on to serve as an interesting plot element. The plot twists and turns until we finally come to understand exactly what is going on and the extent to which things were going on in the background.
This story is truly based on character building. A lot of time is devoted to making sure that the reader knows the characters. Their ticks and habits become very clear. You almost get to feel as close to some of the other characters as you do to Mara. That is extremely commendable. It was what kept me reading when I wasn’t sure how any of it related to the plot. I was so thoroughly engrossed in the characters that I just wanted to follow them and learn more about them.
One thing I noticed and related to was the stark lack of women in Mara’s life that she felt close to. Sure, there was her mother and her best friend (who died), but that was about it. Mara was close to Daniel, the best brother on the planet. Seriously, I wish I had a brother like Daniel because he was always by her side, never mean, but always caring. There was something genuine about that relationship that felt real as they bickered, but still loved each other. Then there was Jamie who was a fantastic best friend. His tenure may have been cut short, but I’m hoping he makes an appearance in the upcoming novels. He had just the right about of sass to his character to make me crave for more. He also came off as an interesting character and it was a shame that we didn’t get to see more of him.
Then there was Noah. From the moment Noah walked into Mara’s life I knew he had me completely. Then he spoke revealing that he had a British accent and I was done. Noah from then on proved to be caring, gentlemanly, and a little bit dangerous. People certainly thought he was more of a bad boy than we came to get to know and that made for interesting scenes. Time and time again he eschewed expectations. More than anything, he tolerated Mara’s erratic behavior like a champ. It wasn’t until he started displaying his own erratic behavior that things started to make more sense. The reveal that Noah had something weird going on with him in the opposite sense of Mara was a nice touch. It explained why he was drawn to her and why he refused to give up on her. It made all his actions seem even sweeter. By the end of the novel, he was by far my favorite character.
Yes, I enjoyed him far more than Mara. She does get a pass because she follows the cardinal rule of a main character. Even when she wasn’t likeable and her decisions didn’t make sense, she was always interesting. For that reason, I never felt like I needed to put the book down. Mara is a tough cookie. She takes like in stride, but it’s very clear that something strange was happening to her from the beginning. The story opens with Mara in the hospital after surviving a building crashing around her and her friends. Where as she lived on with a few bumps and bruises, saved by a extremely convenient pocket of debris, her friends had closed caskets because there wasn’t enough of them left to show. At that moment it felt like something was strange about Mara. When death continued to follow her assaulting the people that got on her bad side, it became clear she was the cause. By the end she realizes that it was all her unintentional doing.
The ending is what really made my opinion of the book drop. This was a cliffhanger if there ever was a cliffhanger. There’s no one who would consider this the ending of the book. This was confirmed by an end that actually said end of volume one. It’s really frustrating to get to a book you’re enjoying and find that there isn’t an actual end, but a screaming proclamation of to be continued. It didn’t help that all the major reveals and realizations were piled on at the end rather than being a little bit more spaced out.
What did you think of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer? If you learned you had the ability to kill people who wronged you, how would you react?