Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Source: Publisher (thank you!!!)
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.This was a while ago but does anyone remember my OMG IT'S MARA post? Yeah. Well. I've reread this book twice now and while there are many elements I think the author did brilliantly, there were some things about the book that I wasn't completely taken with. I'll start with what I absolutely loved: Michelle Hodkin's writing. The first chapters are perfect---Hodkin instantly hooks you with the alluring promise of mystery and murder. I was insanely curious by the time I finished chapter one, and you can imagine how quickly I sped through the chapters to understand what was going on. I couldn't believe it when I heard that originally Hodkins never had any intentions to write; the YA genre would be missing some stellar talent if she hadn't!
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong. [from goodreads]
And then there's Mara. I adored Mara's character--she's kinda messed up after the accident but she had me with her snarky sense of humor. I also loved her interactions with her brothers, Daniel and Joseph because you see a side of her that isn't always present; Mara's very sharp, but when it comes to her family? She melts a little and lets her sweetness peek through. Mara's parents are also there throughout the story and thankfully, they act like parents. The Dyer family unit was present the entire time in the book and I totally dug that :)
But then there's Noah Shaw, the love interest. I enjoyed his character and I definetely enjoyed his interactions with Mara (their verbal quips, their sexy moments, hellooooo) but there were times where he would conveniently swoop in and situations would be easily side-stepped. I used to ignore this type of thing in the past but after two years of analyzing book structures and whatnot, I can't do that anymore. And the paranormal element that I was eagerly waiting to be revealed felt a bit...lacking when it was shown in the latter half of the book. But knowing that there's a sequel coming out, I'm not too worried because I think Hodkin will better explain what's occuring in Mara Dyer.
So while there were concerns on my part about the romantic lead and certain plot points, I still loved this book because of the writing. Michelle Hodkin has a flair for writing creepy, suspenseful passages (the gators! holy crap!*) as well as romantic moments and her protagonist is a witty, sarcastic girl that you just can't get enough of. I can't wait for the sequel where Miss Hodkin will bring everything to light--I have a feeling it'll be explosive.
*if you read this book, you'll know what I'm talkin' about!