Rating: 3 Stars
“Nightmares and visual hallucinations were my new normal, apparently, and something about my behavior in the psychologist’s office made him recommend a long-term care facility”
I will say this now, this book was not bad, it has multiple flaws but it wasn’t terrible, to say the least. It more so was lacking and had potential. As I was reading this, it was more so a whirlwind of things I knew what was happening and then things I didn’t expect.
Mara Dyer is not her actual name, but I somehow skipped that and read the entire novel and discovered it after I did, but even with that fact it doesn’t change on how this book is perceived. Mara was in an accident that she wakes up from but cannot remember what has happened. Her friend Rachel, boyfriend Jude, and his sister Claire are dead because of this accident, which leaves Mara to feel immense grief. The grief turns into PTSD and she begins to have hallucinations. Mara’s father takes a case in Florida and so the family moves down there, and so Mara can have a fresh start. During her first couple weeks there, she meets Noah Shaw and begins to hang out with him, and he stays with her even when she starts to unravel her past.
When I started to read this book, it gave me a lot of nostalgia because when I was beginning my teenage years I read a lot of Wattpad stories, and the school atmosphere and how the characters acted with each other reminded me a lot of this book (I don’t mean that in a negative way at all).
I, however, feel as though there was a lot of build up with Mara and Noah that the main plot gets pushed away. Mara has hallucinations and weird things happen throughout the story, but I think in the first 65% of the novel is character driven, that the visions that she has become infrequent and by the end that there is so much of the plot added to it, it kind of made me feel overwhelmed. I also think that this book should have been a lot shorter than it is because of how much time is spent away from the plot.
I feel like Noah and Mara’s relationship, in the end, is very cute and I love them together. I think when they meet in the beginning that the author was trying too hard to make them start some kind of relationship that it’s clearly forced. When Noah and Mara have their first encounters, it seems awkward, as one would assume it would be, but the more frequent they begin talking to each other, it becomes forced. Also, the dialogue, for the most part, is accurate but when either Noah or Mara randomly say a word that I don’t think anyone would really know off the top of their heads, seems unrealistic, but I guess it doesn’t have to be since it’s fiction, it still is random.
“He would kiss me, right now, after everything I’d done. I was poison, and Noah was the drug that would make me forget it.”
Mara and Noah are good for each other because now after all that has happened, neither one of them has left one’s side, and since the truth is out, Noah can protect Mara from whatever may come their way. All though it seemed a bit rough through the beginning of the novel, their relationship has gone a long way.
Some of the things that did confuse me while I was reading this was whenever Mara would hallucinate, she saw Claire, Jude, and Rachel, but Rachel only seemed to be the main person in her life. It did explain that Claire wasn’t close with her, which was understandable. Jude was her boyfriend at that time, and even though it was only for a couple months, that had more of relationship too. So even when Mara’s mother would say that she must miss Rachel, or something linking that to the accident and grief, I find it odd that he’s not mentioned.
Another thing is that Jamie becomes Mara’s friend and although he’s not really present outside of school, the author has made a point to make him a part of her life, but at the point when things get trippy (around 65%), Jamie just isn’t mentioned for the rest of the book, unless I missed something, but I feel like I didn’t.
The events that happen at the 65% mark become more interesting because this is the point where I actually didn’t know what exactly what was going on. I was trying to piece it together what happened because Mara is our narrator so we’re only getting information from her. I wish the author would have taken out some of the character development and added more to the weird power thing that Noah and Mara have because I feel like it was forced in there that it got explained to the point that we know has happened and the basics.
One other thing that I did like is, that authors tend to bring in added details of the main character’s family lives in the books, but they aren’t really relevant. With this book, Mara’s father has been working on this case, and it comes up every now and then, and I wasn’t sure that towards the end that we would hear anything about it. Not only did it happen, but there were also other parts of the story that were linked to it, so I liked that part a lot.
I know this review might come off as negative, but I did enjoy this book a lot. I did connect with the characters and I had fun reading their interactions. I also did enjoy reading the hallucinations and have the weird mystery of what’s happening that it captivating me into basically reading this book in one day.
Overall, this book was lacking in some areas but I did enjoy this novel a lot. I cannot say whether or not I will continue with this trilogy, but I will keep this book in mind, at least for a while.
“And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely, His.”