REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 
by Michelle Hodkin (Goodreads Author)

Mara Dyer doesn’t think 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 mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
                                     She’s wrong.

                                     Hardcover, 452 pages
                                     Published September 27th 2011 
                                     Taken from Goodreads.
                                     ISBN:
                                     1442421762 (ISBN13: 9781442421769)

Upon reading this book, I had mixed feelings about how I would feel about it.  The premise, while great, was going to depend on the characters.  By page 30, I was hooked. 

THE BOOK:
And so it goes.  Girl gets in accident, All her friends are dead.  She has no memory of anything that occurred.  All she knows is her friends are gone.  Rachel, Clare, and Alex are still all gone.  Next thing she knows, her psychologist Mom is more on her case than ever, and her whole family (her, her two brothers, and parents) are being moved to Miami, Florida. 

The way that Michelle Hodkin writes is hypnotic.  It draws you right in, and you feel as if you are in Miami with Mara, her family, and friends.  It is very easy to sympathize with Mara and all she is going through.  Her “episodes” and “hallucinations” feel so real, and let you really get inside her head.  It is not long before we get to see exactly what is going on with Mara, and understand more as to why she is “around” at certain times and witnessing certain incidents.   
When Mara starts her new preppy private school, to say the least, she is not treated very well.  Here is where her brother, Daniel as well as her friend Jamie are her saving graces.  Jamie has been on Mara’s side since her arrival, and acts as her friend, confidant and tutor.  While Jamie has his own reputation, he seems determined to make sure Mara doesn’t get hated on.  Mara’s hallucinations only get worse upon moving, and it is clear that this is her minds way of helping her remember what happened the night her friends died.

Then enter Noah Shaw.  The gorgeous guy.  The one with the womanizer reputation.  The one who Mara clearly has her eye on from day one.  Strangly though, the guy who can have ANY GIRL seems to be looking at her too…

Once the story unravels and Noah and Mara finally get past their flirty banter, a real relationship unfolds.  A beautiful one at that.  Noah is so much more than meets the eye, and Mara just had to give him a chance before writing him off.  He would do literally anything for her.  And as it turns out.. they have a special “connection”which I will leave you readers to find out on your own.  J

Once the relationship continues, and Mara gets the help she needs for the trauma she has undergone, weird events start to take place, and Mara and Noah both seem to be the common factor in several of them.  These two each have a “gift” of sorts, and it can either go all wrong or all right.  The rest is on Mara, and her faith in both herself, and Noah. 

The hallucinations as well as the realization of what is really going on with her mind, allow us (and Mara!) to see what REALLY went on that dreadful night in the asylum, especially with Alex.  And this leads up to an absolutely DEVESTATINGcliffhanger.  Damn you,cliffhangers! 


THOUGHTS:


This book was amazing, from start to finish.  There is no point when I had that inevitable, “okay, moving on.. get to the point already!” feeling.  Straight through, it was a fast-moving story, with characters that stay with you long after you finish the last page.  Hodkin’s literary style is spell-bounding.  And while I typically don’t like books where there is a “super-natural-y” element, this was different.  It all came together and made for a wonderful story that needed that simple element to glue it all together.

 All in all.  There’s no way around it.  The sequel THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER is out October 23rd.  And this book has earned…

 5 coffee cups 🙂
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By bookswithcass Posted in Review

Interview With Loretta from BETWEEN THE PAGES!

I chose to interview Loretta for several reasons.  Firstly, she is the reason I started blogging.  Her blog is the first one I started reading, and it inspired me.  Secondly, upon embarking on my blogging journey, Loretta has been EXTREMELY supportive.  She is a wonderful person and I am very fortunate that I have had her to not only guide me but become a friend as well!  I hope everyone can find someone so easy to connect with, and that is so patient and helpful! 

Loretta owns Between the Pages and can be find on Twitter as well.  She also has a YouTube channel!

Loretta, what made you start your book blog?

 Reading has always been something that I have loved. I have never heard of “book blogging” until a couple years ago. My (in real life) friend, Angela @ Reading Angel had some a read-a-thon going on. She told me about it, and this is when I was introduced to a whole new world of book lovers!! I was hooked. I looked and found new blogs every day for a while. Found and read books I had never heard of. It was then about 6 months later that I became a book blogger myself!!

What made you make the jump into not only blogging, but making YouTube videos as well?

 Youtube was something that came a long time after I started the blog. I posted pictures before. Then I saw how a couple people were videoing them. I loved that idea. So, I wanted to do it too! Now I have a very successful youtube channel, and I am also a member of TotallyBooksessed which is a separate youtube channel where we talk all things books. I am Tuesday!

What is your FAVORITE genre of books?

It is always hard for me to pick ONE genre. Because there are SO MANY that I love.

If I had to choose one it would have to be YA. ALL that is included in YA!!

Is there a type of book you dislike?


Oh yes. I do not like biographies, the ONLY ones I will read are about Marilyn Monroe!!

I do not like classics. BESIDES Jane Eyre.

War book, No thanks.

I gotta know, what’s your ALL-TIME favorite series?

ONE? Just ONE?

A Need So Beautiful & A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young.

These two books stand out to me so much. Anything that Suzanne writes is amazing. The characters, the plot, just everything about these two books are amazing. Bottom Line.

Pssst. The Paranormals by J.L. Bryan too 😉

Cliffhangers. Love ’em or hate ’em? (& why!)? & What sequel are you most excited for?

I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with them suckers. Lauren Oliver is GOOOOOOD for them! Oh my!! Delirium, Pandemonium & Hanaeach had a cliff hanger that had me picking my mouth up off the floor. So I am soooo ready for Requiem (Delirium #3)!!

I am excited to read, Insurgent. Even though something happened to take away from it for me… BUT I am still very much excited to read that one!

Between The Pages is such a cute name! How’d you come up with it?

I sat and looked through The Blogger Directoryforever to make sure that I did not take any ones blog name. That was important to me. I could not figure it out. Then one day I was trying to read and hubby was annoying me. I told him I was going to throw my bookmark at him, and he said “No you better just stick it between them pages” When I jumped up, he thought I was Coo-cooo because I shouted BETWEEN THE PAGES!!

So Between The Pages started out of hostility towards the husband! Hahah!

Do you have a favorite author?

A? Like as in one?

I cannot pick one. So how about the top 5?

Suzanne Young

J.L. Bryan

Matthew Merrick

Lauren Oliver

Rhiannon Frater

Ok… top 10?….ha!

I read ALLL THE TIME about how much you LOVE Jenny Pox! Can you tell me why this book (series) stands out so much to you?

Jenny Pox which is the 1st book in the series by J. L. Bryan touched my heart, ripped it out, then fixed it back all in one sitting. Jenny is such an amazing character, and everything that she has to go through and is PUT through all because she is different is heart breaking. But to see her grow, fall in love, which she never thought she would ever have that, and just become this person who yes has this problem, but no she knows there is a way around it, a way to live.

It was just something that moved me as a reader. The characters and everything are amazing. I wish there were more books in this series.

Also, these books are not YA. They are books with young adults in them… they are … grown up/epic!

You have so many things going on, how do you do all of it, with two kids!? (Btw, awesome that you can manage all of that!)

Coffee!! No, really.

Last year was worse. Because I was in school, and working. Then I was like there is NO WAY I can do this anymore. So I quit and focused on school. Now I can finally take this test, yippee, and I am ready to work again. I have no schedule or anything like that. They tend to get messed up. But I have a daily “this is what I have to do today” list that I go by, no matter what order it happens do I care as long as it gets done.

Kids come 1st though. Before reading, blogging, or studying. My time with them is something I take very seriously. =D

Anything you’d recommend other readers do? Whether it be join GoodReads or start blogging, any advice?

Yes! Definitely have GoodReads. Twitter. Join meme’s. Comment. Make your blog pretty. Eye appeal is everything.

Just be you. Be honest. & have fun!!!!!

Thank you for having me Cass. Happy Reading
I would like to thank Loretta for doing this interview!  Be sure to follow her on Twitter and read her blog!  And don’t forget about her YouTube channel!  (all links above!)

What Book Would You Be in!? Blog Hop MONDAY!

Blog Hop run by The Crazy Bookworm!  Come join in the fun here.
This weeks question is:
If you could put yourself in any book, which would it be and why?
Ah!  This is so hard for me.  There’s so many great settings out there that I would love to place myself in!  However, I think I’m going to have to go with….
The Fault in Our Stars.  I want to go to Amsterdam with Hazel and Augustus! 
Check it out on Goodreads
The food in this book seems SO delicious!  (and I am a chef at heart so this feeds my soul!) Also, the scenery described, and the houses, it just seems like such a wonderful place to visit!  I would go as an observer, not even as a friend of these two.  I wouldn’t want to intrude on their time, just be a little innocent bystander! 
Going on about this book… it was EXCELLENT.  You should DEFINITELY give it a read if you haven’t.  It is worth all the hype that it recieved.  I promise. 
So, make sure to join in the hop!  And also let me know in the comments below what book you’d love to be in!  And of course..
Stay Reading!
-Cass

By bookswithcass Posted in Monday

Sunday Catch Up

Hey guys! Just wanted to check in let you know I haven’t abandoned you! I spent friday in Atlantic City

Tomorrow I will be posting two reviews. If there’s a book you want me to review, check me out on GoodReads and if I’ve read it, I’ll review it for you.

I recently finished insurgent and am starting two new books today ( super excited!). Let me know what you’ve been reading! I love book suggestions too. 😉

I’d love to hear about your book blogs. Leave me the links in the comments!

Thanks to Loretta and her issue book video, I got some GREAT ideas for what to read this week! Check her out at – http://www.betweenthepagesreviews.com

Stay reading!
-Cass

Top Ten Tuesday- Top Couples

For this weeks Top Ten Tuesday, we were allowed to choose our own topic. With this, I chose top couples! I don’t think I’ll make it to ten. But, I’ll do my best.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Join in the fun!

1- Katniss and Peeta The Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins)
2- Cassia and Ky Matched Trilogy (Allie Condie)
3- Lena and AlexDelirium Series (Lauren Oliver)
4- Hazel and Augustus- The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)
5- Hadley and OliverStatistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Jennifer E. Smith)
6- Katie and MattSuzanne’s Diary for Nicholas (James Patterson)
7- Emily and ChrisThe Pact (Jodi Picoult)
8. Tris and Four- Divergent Trilogy (Veronica Roth)

Okay. Only eight. This is cause I am sooo picky about couples!! But in the comments below tell me your faves and link your Top Ten Tuesday!

Stay Reading
-Cass

Bout of Books Readathon! – UPDATE!

To join in the Bout of Books read-a-thon get the info here!
My Goals
  • Seven books in Seven Days.
  • Not to lose my mind



Books To Read

  • Insurgent
  • (Title Chosen Later) by: Sarah Dessen
  • My Sisters Keeper by: Jodi Picoult
  • In Honor by: Jessi Kirby – DONE! 
  • Wanderlove by: Kirsten Hubbard
  • …suggestions being taken


Notes

To be quite honest, I have finished many of the books I wanted to read within the past two weeks.  Right NOW im looking for something light (but not too mushy) to read, suggestions appreciated!  Either leave em in the comments or send ’em my way on twitter.

All in all, I’m extremely excited to be participating in Bout of Books!  If you wanna join in, click the link above, and make sure to use the #boutofbooks hashtag on twitter and to follow @boutofbooks.  

Updates

5/15Number of books I’ve read today: 1 and 1/4.
Total number of books I’ve read: Finished 1 and 100 Pages of book 2
Books: In Honor by Jessi Kirby and Insurgent by Veronica Roth

5/14
Number of books I’ve read today: 90% of one 😦
Total number of books I’ve read: 90% of first book
Books: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Okay, so I finished In Honor this MORNING, I know it doesn’t count but it was close enough to finishing one book that I’m keeping my goal as a book a day!

Sidenote- In Honor was WONDERFUL.  A truly great read!  Review to come. 
Insurgent is next up.. wish me luck!

Leave your links below with your update posts!  I’d love to check em out!
Good luck bout-of-book-ers!

Stay Reading!
-Cass





Character of the Week (1) – ALEX

Alright ladies and gents, this is going to officially be the Weekly Thursday post. 
Each week I will choose a character that I love, and I will tell you why I love them. 
First up, is…

ALEX – from Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Oh Alex.  You may be my favorite male character in any book, well…ever.
Here’s a tip: DONT read this if you don’t want to know too much about the plot of Delirium.  I am trying my best to leave Pandemonium entirelyyy out of this post.

Moving on…

Why?  Why do I love Alex?  Because I find it impossible not to.  Alex is one of those characters who consumes you.  He makes you agree with him, and his way of life, and everything that he stands for.  The proof?  Lena. 

Let’s look at this realistically.  The begininning of Delirium, Lena was a conservative girl who would not dare question “The Society”.  In fact, when her best friend Hana even expressed some disrespect towards The Society, Lena flipped out. 

Enter AlexAlex comes upon us like a tidal wave.  He is seen from afar at first, but soon enough, we get to know what he is all about.  His sorted past, and his confusing identity.  All the while, we are fascinated by Alex.  He has the ability to make Lena change her mind about the life she thought she knew.  He has the ability to make her… LOVE.

Alex cares deeply about Lena.  He takes her to his home, a place she once both feared and did not believe existed.  He shows Lena where he was raised, and shows her what it really is to be an invalidThe dreaded word.  It is at this point that Lena starts to see that the invalids are people too.  That maybe the life she knew isn’t the life she wants anymore.  And Alex grants her happiness in a way she did not know possible.

Of course, due to you know; the amor deliria nervosa– none of this comes cheap.  Lena has to burn some bridges to get to the life she now knows she deserately wants.

The life with Alex. 

 Alex is a romantic.  He tends to Lena, and shows her new things, looks out for her safety. He leaves notes for her, and most importantly introduces her to poetry.  All the while, in every movement he makes, he is above all; loving her completely. 

Here’s some real reasons I fell in love with Alex and his character..

From the first kiss (Lena as narrator):

“Are you sure that being like everybody else will make you happy?”
“I don’t know any other way.”
“Let me show you.”
And then we’re kissing. Or at least, I think we’re kissing—I’ve only seen it done a couple of times, quick closed-mouth pecks at weddings or on formal occasions. But this isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen, or imagined, or even dreamed: this is like music or dancing but better than both.”  -Lena

Alex to Lena upon meeting her one of the first times:

“I told you,” he whispers back. I can feel his breath just tickling the space behind my ear, making my hair prick up on my neck. “I like you.”
“You don’t know me,” I say quickly.
“I want to, though.”  –Alex

Lena’s thoughts on love:

“And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It’s the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.”  –Lena

To sum it up; Alex makes Lena do something she never thought that she could.  He makes her forget the way her life was before, and sweeps her off her feet.  All in all, he is perfect.  Or at least to me ;).

Voice your opinions below! 

Can’t wait for next week!

And of course,
Stay Reading.

-Cass


Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to my first post for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic is:
 Top Ten favorite book quotes!
 I’m not sure I’ll get ten, but I’ll put the ones I really really love here.


The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles – preferably of his own making – in order to triumph. –The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein


“I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know that the whole point- the only point- is to find the things that matter and hold onto them and fight for them and refuse to let them go.”  -Delirium, Lauren Oliver

“There are some feelings, and actions, for which words are utterly useless” –Dont Blink, James Patterson



In the movies, salvation is cheap. So is innocence. You pay a quarter, and a quarters worth is just what you get. Real life costs more, and most of the answers are different. –The Green Mile, Stephen King


“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”  –The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini


“That’s what love is, when your hindsight is 20/20, and you still wouldn’t change a thing.”  –The Pact, Jodi Picoult


“There is no one truth. There’s only what happened, based on how you perceive it.”  –The Pact, Jodi Picoult 


Let me know some of your favorite quotes!  And dont forget to link your Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish!



Stay Reading!
-Cass

The NEW Additions!

So, I’m having a bit of a dilemma.

I am currently debating (here, and on twitter) whether to do YouTube videos or not.
Please, voice your opinion in the comments below.

For now, I am just listing some of the goodies I picked up this week!

Give me some feedback on what you got this week, and if you’ve read any of these books, let me know!

Fifty Shades Trilogy by: E.L. James

Divergent by: Veronica Roth

Insurgent by: Veronica Roth

My Sisters Keeper by: Jodi Picoult

The Uglies Series by: Scott Westerfeld

Image above from here
Again, let me know what you got this week! I’d love to hear!
Follow me on twitter, and on goodreads!
Most of alll….
Stay Reading!
-Cass

YA Dystopia..

Recently I’ve realized 90% of the YA titles I’ve been reading, or are on my TBR list are dystopians!

I think we all know this is thanks to my OBSESSION with The Hunger Games.  
However, due to this obsession, I’ve encountered such gems as:

Delirium
The Maze Runner
Matched
Pandemonium
Divergent – TBR
Uglies (trilogy) -TBR

Basically though, I’d like to tryyy and break away from the dystopians (after I finish those mentioned above on my TBR).

Who knows some good YA that’s not crazy mushy romance or sci-fi?
Leave it in the comment below!

and tell me what YOU’RE reading!

Stay Reading!
-Cass