Friday, April 03, 2015

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I've had this book in my TBR since 2013 and I seemed to avoid it every time I hit upon it. I don't really know if I'm glad I finally read it, but in any case, I hated it. Oh, and if you're a troll and you're only going to tell me that I “didn't get it,” that I “should read the next books to understand it,” that I'm “wrong,” or things like that, stay away, or else, I shall delete your comments.

Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital bed with no clue as to how she got there. Her parents and the nurses tell her she was in an accident—a building collapsed on her and her friends and she was the sole survivor—and that she's the only one who know what happens... but she doesn't remember, so how did it happen?

During the first 30 pages or so, I was intrigued by this book. The idea sounded interesting, and I was already hooked. Things got bad when Mara moved to Florida and started her classes at her new school. She was there depressed doing unimportant things when love interest, which I'm gonna call “British boy”, appeared.

He was beautiful. And he was smiling at me.

And that is how I lost all the interest I had in this book. The only parts I enjoyed after this point were the flashbacks, which were almost nonexistent.

After the point in which Mara met Noah aka British boy (BB for short), everything was so cliched. Ms. Hodkin could have lead the plot to a more mysterious and intriguing one, but instead, she chose the romance... and a bad one, for that matter.

After a few days of this first encounter, Mara is obviously attracted to BB, but she can't help it, because 1) he's oh-so-handsome, and 2) he has a British accent.

It’s not your fault, Mara. Girls can’t help falling for Shaw, especially in your case.

Yeah, yeah, no one can resist BB's charms... but the truth is, I hated him. I hated him with all my soul. And I hated Mara even more because of her stupid behaviour when it came to him. For example, let's look at this:

Noah placed his forefinger above my upper lip and his thumb below my bottom lip, and applied the slightest pressure, cutting me off. (…)

“Shut up,” he said quietly. “It doesn’t matter. Let’s just get her checked out, all right?”

I nodded feebly, my pulse galloping in my veins.

Ah, so if you were Mara, would you “nod feebly”? Where is your self-respect, woman? Don't you ever let anyone shut you up like that! He has no right. Besides, not only BB is an arrogant a-hole, he's also a stalker:

I rushed ahead until another girls’ bathroom appeared. I pushed the door open, planning to leave Noah outside while I collected myself. But he followed me in.

Yes, she went to the girl's bathroom to get rid of him and yet he followed her. Not only that, but he also “does some research” for getting her phone number:

“How did you get my phone number?” I blurted, before I could stop myself.

“It’s called research.” I could hear him smirking over the phone.

“Or stalking.”

She calls him a stalker, and yet, she claims to be utterly and entirely his. Oh, and not only is Noah all the things I've said, but he also says this kind of things:

Because I’m European, and therefore more cultured than you

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Is that supposed to be funny? Because I don't think so. You know, if I were British, I would feel offended by having a character like him bragging that he's from there. There's absolutely nothing charming or sexy about him.

If you haven't read this and you still don't hate neither Mara nor BB, then wait for till I tell you something. The quote I'm going to post is Mara's reaction to finding out that BB slept with one girl just to make fun of her brother (which, btw, is Mara's only friend):

I should haul back and smack him, strike a blow for feminism or something or at the very least, get out of the car.

But then his thumb traced my skin and without quite realizing it, I leaned toward him and rested my forehead against his.

Oh, so you throw feminism out because he touched you? She should have thrown a feminist rant at him, but instead, what does she do? She rests her forehead against BB's... because she can't help but succumb to his charms?!?!

And the worst part is that Mara's only friend warns her that the man is playing with her, yet what does she do? She tells him he's jealous.

Now that I'm done with the love interest, I'll move on...

There's also slut-shaming in this book:

Much to my dismay, I spotted Anna among them. She had shed her usually wholesome ensemble for a staggeringly sparse angel getup with the requisite halo and wings. She overdid it on the makeup, the push-up bra, and the heels, and looked well on her way to ending up as some accountant’s midlife crisis.

Every time that girl appears, we're reminded about how many boyfriends she had, and who she screwed, that she dresses like a “slut”, etc. Oh, and do you know why they hate each other so much? Because BB paid attention to Mara. That is, they're fighting over a trashy boy. You know, that reminds me to another book...

Humans don’t hiss. Well, except trashy girls fighting over equally trashy men.

(I needed to introduce at least some of Meda's awesomeness. Sorry, I've just finished Crushed and I still can't get over how good it was.)

And then, I guessed the “big mystery when I wasn't even 30% done with the book. Yep, that's right. This book not only has all the things I've mentioned, but it also was predictable.

Boring, predictable, cliched, insulting, annoying... All perfect reasons to recycle it immediately and do something good for the planet. I'm not sure whether I'll finish the trilogy (because I have the other books), but it's certain that if they are as atrocious as this one, I'm not gonna be as merciful as I was with this one.

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