Sometimes you wait and wait for the final book of a trilogy and after you read it you are consumed with a sense of loss. Such was my experience with The Mara Dyer Trilogy. I finished reading the final book in the trilogy, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and knew that I had to write a review so that everyone else would want to read it! But I can't just write a review about just the final book. I have to start with book one and what drew me in.

When you pick up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin you don't want to read it because of the wonderful description of the book on the inside cover. Nope, the description is vague and mildly interesting at best. However, the jacket of the book has one of the most intriguing and beautiful covers I have seen in a long time. I know you shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but in this case, I had to read it based on this gorgeous cover alone.

Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital room. She has no idea where she is or how she got there. She finds out that her closest friends were involved in a tragic accident and she was the only one who survived. Her parents decide that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress and the best thing for Mara is a change of pace. They move to a new city so that Mara can start a new life-a fresh start away from the places that will continue to exacerbate her stress.

Unfortunately for Mara, she starts to have flashbacks and begins to remember some of the things that happened prior to the accident. The flashbacks often contain "memories" that Mara can't possibly have. She seems to be remembering someone else's life-but whose? When she starts to see things that aren't there she begins to doubt her own sanity. That is, until she meets Noah, the handsome, bad boy at her new school. She wants nothing to do with making new friends, or boyfriends, at this new school. For Mara, being alone is the best place for her right now. However, Noah will not have it. He seems to know more about how Mara is feeling than she knows herself.

I know this sounds like your typical YA love story but it is so much more. This darkly, riveting book blurs the lines between what is real and what is unreal in such a way that as the reader, you aren't sure what to believe. Mara's struggle to understand herself and her past is poignant and heartbreaking. The love story between Noah and Mara is more of a necessary side effect than the reason for the book.

This is most definitely one of those books that you will either hate or love. If you are able to surrender your reality for a while, you will find that the mystery that surrounds Mara pulls you in and drags you into her world. I found that I couldn't put this book down because every time I thought I knew what was happening, I was wrong.

Take a walk in Mara Dyer's shoes and see if you would be able to keep it together when everything around you is falling apart. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is just the beginning of this eerie and alluring tale. You will want to make sure you have book two, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, waiting for you as soon as you finish.

Recommended by Brandy Walton

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