Friday, April 20, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The cover image says a lot -- dark, gothic, sexy, ambiguous. In this spooky, addictive read, Mara Dyer is the pseudonym of the narrator, a girl who has been in a horrible accident in which three of her friends die. What actually happened that night is a mystery, and she ends up moving in order to forget. Of course, we know how quickly such plans tend to go awry. For Mara, things go horribly awry; as if creepy hallucinations aren't enough, she's become the target of the cutest, most evil girl in school. But Mara herself might be hurting people in a much more lethal way. Could she have caused that accident? Could she have actually killed her best friend?
Soon, Mara is swept up in some suspenseful action and caught in the web of a gorgeous British guy. As with the girl in water on the cover, it's unclear whether he's out to hurt her or save her.

Though there are clear Twilight-esque set ups, this is a great read that will shock and confuse you. Aside from the other big questions that pop up at the end, the main one is whether you can actually stand waiting for book two.

Value: teen readers will most likely connect to Mara's confusion about her family and the charming but possibly dangerous boy in her life. Captures the desire to uncover the truth and the sense that nothing is exactly the way it seems. Very cathartic.

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