Summary/Cover from Goodreads:
"Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
Months before Mara Dyer was released, I had already heard rave reviews about it. Then I knew I had to pick it up. I have never heard of a psychological thriller before, so it seemed new and unique to me. After completely finishing the book, I understood what everyone was talking about. Mara Dyer certainly contains a fresh, new idea. Michelle Hodkin has introduced YA readers to a new kind of genre which was suspenseful and thrilling. I loved it, even though I didn't fully understand the book. It's just utterly mind-blowing. However, some of the characters didn't hit it home for me, leaving me a bit disappointed.
When I first read the synopsis, it instantly drew me in. It was so vague, yet capturing. I needed to know what the book was about. Let me just say, the synopsis given is a pretty short and abridged version of the entire book. In less than 5 pages after starting Mara Dyer, I was drawn into the story. I was curious beyond belief. The book starts out with Mara and her friends playing with the Ouija board. Next thing, she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. She is informed that her three bestfriends died after being crushed by a building. But Mara survived. Throughout the entire novel, she has hallucinations of her dead friends, and of other things. She is psychotic. She has nightmares. Nightmares of what happened the night of the accident. She goes to a new school, and meets Noah (SWOON), who becomes her boyfriend. Mara soon finds out that she can imagine people's deaths, and make them happen. So many mind-blowing events happen throughout the whole entire book, I wouldn't be surprised if this book makes the reader crazy.
The characters were a bit of a problem for me in Mara Dyer. For example, Mara Dyer (what's her real name?). I didn't hate her, or love her. She was just, I don't know, there. I understand that she is a psychotic girl and can never think straight, but she made some terrible decisions. It's as if she couldn't control herself most of the time. If I were to describe her in one word... well I can't. I felt as if there was no trait or attribute of Mara's that I could describe her with. Another problem-character was Jamie. Jamie is Mara's only friend at the new school, Croyden. Sure, he was a good friend and everything, but he left and was never mentioned again for the last half of the novel. Why was he even included? The only character I really enjoyed was Noah Shaw. Hodkin does a fabulous job of making him sexy. My goodness, he is one British boy I'd like to meet. He is also a witty smartass, which makes him all the more lovable. Regardless, Noah and Mara's relationship wasn't my favorite. Did Noah only like Mara because she's like him? That's what I'd like to know.
The reason I loved this book so much was mostly because of the plot. Hodkin added a little bit of everything into the story: murder, romance, paranormal, and thriller. The mix of genres was blended perfectly, and it was just astounding. I found myself constantly wanting to know what would happen next. I couldn't have asked for a better plot. The ending of the book---can you say CLIFFHANGER? Oh my goodness, I need book 2. It was chilling, intense, and right on.
Michelle Hodkin's writing was simple and very enjoyable to read through. Everything flowed gently and smoothly, never uneven and incoherent. It made the novel very easy to read through without any trouble, which is another aspect of the novel I loved.
So Mara Dyer had its pros and cons; but I have to say that the pros won over, and totally canceled out the cons. Mara Dyer is certainly nothing I have read before, and I'd love to see more psychological thrillers come out in the YA genre. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good mystery.