Release Date: Already out, buy a copy!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Add it: Goodreads
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.Despite the ridiculous amount of gushing (and pull-my-hair-out cryptic) reviews I read for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I don't think I was quite prepared for it to mess with my mind as much as it did. I don't want to say too much about the plot specifics, because going into this book completely unprepared is the best way to achieve full appreciation for it. So here are the basics: Mara wakes up in the hospital after she was involved in an accident that killed three of her friends. From that moment on, her life gets messed up. Nothing is what it seems, everything should be questioned and both your mind and Mara's are going to need serious therapy once you're finished.
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.
Michelle has pieced together an absolute masterpiece. She knows exactly how to leave you holding your breathe, fingers fumbling over pages in a desperation, frantic to uncover the secret of Mara. You can never be certain what is truly going on, because Mara herself is never certain. Michelle threw me for a loop so many times in the best damn way. You might think you're on track with one theory, but then something totally unexplainable is added the mix and you're left scratching your head, eyes bugging out of their sockets. And even by the end of the book, while some questions are answered, there is clearly SO much more to uncover, with a twisty cliffhanger ending that will see your jaw spending the afternoon beside your feet.
The characters are all so strong and likeable. From new friend Jamie who is ridiculously awesome to Mara's amazing family, especially her brother Daniel. It was so, so nice to see such an ordinary family unit with strong ties to one another! Mara herself is such a strong, feisty, heroine who I immediately took a liking to. I loved how we experienced this with just as much confusion as she did. Her own feelings mirroring my own, of fear and worry and... desire. Despite the insanity and downright creepiness of her life at the moment, she dealt with it in such a believable way. Her actions and thoughts as everything spiralled out of control felt so real.
And then there's Noah Shaw, whose name will be whispered from the lips of woman [and men] during... er... well, let's just say, it's not Noah they should be thinking of at the time. I think he's officially stolen the crown for Sexiest YA Hottie. Just as Mara was warned about him, so was I. But I still wasn't prepared for the way that devious smile and smooth British accent poisoned my mind. The chemistry he shared with Mara is currently on the run from authorities, due to the amount of volcanoes it caused to erupt around the world. I don't know how the publishers expected the book's spine to hold together such an explosive romance. The witty banter, sexual tension and intoxicating steaminess these two exude is like crack. So addictive and so disappointing when you finally come down from that high, because nothing you try after it will live up to what you just experienced.
It's smart, it's provocative, it's dark and it's twisted. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will blow your brains. A pulse-raising, mind-bending, jaw-dropping debut, it's the type of book that reminds you why you love reading. The ones that consume your mind for the entire day until you can fall back into its pages. The ones where it's physically painful to put down to cook dinner, because how are chopping carrots going to solve the mystery of page 406? The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a novel you can't forget in a hurry. Michelle knows how to write suspense and she nails it. Without a doubt, one of the standout novels of 2011!
Note: I loved the Harry Potter references!!
5/5 Golden Apples!!