If you have ever had the pleasure of spending time with someone who has post traumatic stress disorder, you understand that there is a very thin line between crazy and crazy beautiful. In one hand, you have someone that can’t make sense of their reality, they see things that you and I don’t see, and they think in abstract patterns of the past and the present. In the other…you have someone that understands reality, but due to trauma, (in whatever form) stress, or even just plain “pain” has a hard time dealing with it.
In “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” you are introduced to the later.
I actually read this book about 4 months ago, and loved it…but it was not something I had planned for the blog. (I reviewed it for another site, of course, just not KO) But today, as I sat on my perch and tried (quite desperately) to throw together a review for a different book, I had a revelation. While this book is not ENTIRELY about love, (which I promised to deliver this week.) it is a very breathtaking part of it.
When a person thinks they are going crazy 1 of 2 things can happen.
1. They give in to it. They close themselves off, they disengage from any and all type of social interaction, and bask in the darkness created by their sub-conscience. The disillusionment of their past infusing itself into their future.
2. They get help. The seek counseling, they take pills…they open themselves up for acceptance. They understand that there is no sure fire way of dealing with their misconceptions, but they do their best to get them in check. With some people it’s a matter of starting over. With others it a matter of finding someone to listen. With Mara… its simply a matter of Noah.
“Mara Dyer doesn’t believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.”
Before I get all “ooey gooey” with you and start gushing about Mara and Noah, let me point out a few other things first. The most important being that this is actually a paranormal novel. It may not feel like it for 85% of the book, but it is. I don’t want to give away too much detail on this aspect of the book, (because it’s extremely integral to the plot,) but I will say that…though it’s conceptually amazing, it will take focus to understand it. I’m not insinuating that you need to buckle down and shut out the world while you are reading it, but there are a few parts where….if your concentration is lost, you will be lost right along with it.
Now…on to Mara and Noah.
Mara has amnesia, (this is not a secret, it’s pretty much unfolded for you on page 2) but that’s not what drives this book. It’s her very slow decent into herself that does. See…Mara thinks that she is going crazy, and because of this…she has hard time letting people in. Instead she uses snark as a weapon and tries like hell to avoid awkward situations, (which…let’s be honest, is never going to happen…she is a teenager.) She is angry. She is sad. She is hurt, and her narrative reflects it… in a very frightening way. To boot…everything she has ever convinced herself of, (life, love, normality) is all called into question when the people around her are affected by her “actions.”
Noah however is the opposite. He projects self confidence. He is smart, he says what’s on his mind, and he gives very little thought to what people think about him. Or at least that is what he wants you to think. In reality, he’s as complicated as Mara.
Together they form this impossibly complex, very intense couple, that will have your heart racing and your head swimming. Their attraction is not instant, (which is refreshing) and it is built from the rubble of self-doubt; but it is pure, and true, and completely captivating.
So were there problems? Sure.. there were a few. The plot jumped in a few places and there was a whole section (Santaria) that went a little off the rails, but none of these are enough to discount the book, (which, for the record… is a debut.) Another thing to keep in mind… it’s long. 464 pages long to be exact. But, if you are at all like me, it won’t phase you a bit…especially when you flip that last page and realize you read it in 1 sitting.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: We are products of ourselves, not our past.
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