Monday, June 25, 2012

The Epic Reading List Mark Two Updated: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

So, Epic Reading List: Mark Two:

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce
5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin

The reading list mark two is done. How odd...
But the wrap-up post is coming soon. In this post I want to focus on The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. 

I loved this book. It was twisty and turny and wonderful. I had heard such wonderful things but still went in a little skeptical about it. I didn't need to be. I loved it. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be at all but I was so beyond pleasantly surprised. I read the first ten chapters over the last two days and then sat down and read the rest of it today.

Mara very quickly became one of my favorite heroines. She's sarcastic and snarky (my favorite word!). She has these awesome realistic thoughts. I love her slightly violent urges (as opposed to the really violent ones) like when she wanted to punch Noah in the throat for laughing. She cares but isn't exactly sure how to go about showing it. I want to be friends with her.

I loved that I didn't know what was real and what wasn't. I still don't and I think that's such a wonderful testament to Hodkin's skill. I was unnerved when Mara was and torn when she was. I could see how she could do what she did in the end and understood how it seemed worth it at the time. Nothing is easy for her and her struggle with everything is brilliant and engrossing. It's equally about a girl struggling with loss as it is about a girl struggling with guilt and the unknown.

Noah. Oh...Noah. Hot damn Noah. I think I echoed every thought Mara had about Noah. He is fractured but not totally broken (not that we know now anyway). He also cares but isn't really sure how to do it. As he gets to know Mara we get to see him figure out how to care. Noah understands Mara better than she realizes and he struggles with trying to show her that. The art exhibit was a wonderful gesture, though a little overshadowed. His confidence is a wonderful sort of mask but it plays so well against Mara. He's never taken in by her sarcastic bait. It is so true that they are made for each other. I could see him being a healer so perfectly. It just made so much sense. This guy who doesn't understand how to care being this healer. It's wonderful. I loved how it all fit together.

I have definite mixed feelings for Mara's family. I adored Daniel and Joseph. They care so much and have their own little quirks. I am sort of waiting for Daniel to die horribly or be evil or something. He's such a wonderful character and brother. Her dad wasn't in it all that much but her mom frustrated me to no end. Much in the same way that she frustrated Mara. She means well and maybe she's right about a lot of it and her reasons for being concerned but I wanted her to back off a little.

Every time I thought I knew where the story was going I was completely surprised. It was setting up to look like Jamie was going to be a killer and even though I knew I was supposed to think that I couldn't help but wonder. Just like I wonder about Daniel. I knew something was going on with Noah as well but I absolutely love It's so unlike anything else I've read about (and I love how this led into the real or not real confusion). I just loved how twisted everything became. Nothing was wrapped up and I am so excited for The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I was thrown for a loop by the revelation at the end. I still love how everything still dissolves into confusion. It keeps me guessing.

Also. Animal crackers. Allowing drunk me to strip down and keep my pet animal crackers in his bed is now a requirement for any future significant others I might have. I loved, loved, loved that scene. I love their dynamic. I loved the whole book.

I hope we see more Jamie in the future as well.

I can't believe it took me so long to read it but I am thrilled to not have to wait quite as long for Evolution. I devoured this book. It has such a fun voice because Mara is such a fun character. The wit and humor are exactly my kind of thing. They're the same sort of jokes and comments that I make. I love it. I was so wrapped up in it that even though Mara and I think similarly I didn't do a single Life Lesson.

Overall Rating: Beyond Epic

I'll have wrap-up posts done soon. As well as an announcement about reading lists. Please tell other people loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer as much as me!


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