This is one of the very few YA novels I’ve been looking forward to for awhile and when I was able to get a copy of it almost a week earlier than it’s release date, I was really excited to start reading it!
Prior to the first chapter, we are told in a “hand-written” letter that Mara Dyer is not her real name. Intrigued already! It goes on to say that she’s responsible for murders and so begins the story.
One day Mara wake up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there. Her family tells her that she and her friends were in an accident and she was the only survivor.
Because of the traumatic event and no memory of it, Mara and her family move from Rhode Island to Miami in hopes that the change in scenery will help with the recovery. To no avail, Mara starts hallucinating on her very first day at school and she slowly begins having nightmares of that dreadful night.
At school is where a lot of her hallucinations take place and it’s also where she meets Noah, who by reputation, is an ass. Rumors that he sleeps with girls and leaves them are abound. and she’s hesitant to believe his friendly and flirtatious demeanor. But she can’t help but succumb and I even found myself having to put the book down just to catch my breath!
Throughout the book Mara is trying to deal with what happened to her… what is happening to her, but because it’s the first book of the series, it seems like a lot of that stuff is pushed aside while her relationship with Noah is built up. I had thought that not getting to the point was going to annoy me, but Michelle Hodkin has a way of making you not care so much when she puts these two characters together. Much like Mara feels like when she’s with him.
It really took some time to get more in depth with Noah’s character and what point he serves other than being a nice distraction. He definitely is in the story a lot not to play some kind of significance and by the end of the book I kind of felt this book should’ve been about him instead. Not that I don’t find Mara to be entirely likeable or her story interesting, but Noah’s was more intriguing and I generally found him to be more enjoyable to read. Though I suppose that’s one of the many things that make these two characters compatible.
Overall, I found this book to be thoroughly satisfying. The pace of it was done well without leaving anything out but not giving away everything all at once. The characters were enjoyable and realistic with their speech. I did notice about three typos towards the end of the book, but by that time I was fully committed to the story and the more than one surprise twists were enough to keep my (self-diagnosed) OCD in check and have me eagerly awaiting the sequel!
Rating: ★★★★ 4/5