Mara Dyer is starting at a new school in Florida. Sounds boring, right? Well, let’s try that sentence again. Mara Dyer is starting at a new school after moving to Florida because her two best friends and her boyfriend were killed in a horrible building collapse. She was also there, but she doesn’t remember anything from that night. Because of the traumatic event, she is currently exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, with hallucinations and nightmares about that night. It’s getting so bad that she can’t determine between what is real and what is not.
Already feeling slightly displaced, Mara is unnerved when Noah – the school’s notorious player – starts taking an interest in her. Hearing about his status upon the school’s population of girls, she tries to steer clear of him, but something about him just keeps drawing her towards him. But that’s when things keep getting weirder for her. She imagines the death of a dog abuser, it actually happens. She imagines the death of her Spanish teacher, it actually happens. Her hallucinations are getting worse too, so much so that she accidentally burns herself in her own bathtub. Mara doesn’t know what to do and the only person she really finds solace in is Noah.
I usually don’t like books that deal with hallucinations, but this one drew me in because of the supposed bad boy Noah. He’s really intriguing, witty, smart, and he knows that he’s got it. But at the same time he’s really sweet, especially to Mara and her younger brother Joseph. Speaking of, the family dynamics in this book were amazing. Most of the time in YA, I find the parents and siblings annoying. But in this one, the parents were really cool – although a tad overprotective, even though I couldn’t really blame them – and Mara’s older and younger brother were great too. They cared for their sister, but still gave her a slight hard time like siblings usually do.
The revelations of what truly happened the night the building collapsed made me slightly ill, and made me wonder about Mara. Could you imagine having the power she does? No wonder she’s slightly going mad.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Another interesting and different read in the YA universe. Good characters and I loved the descriptions because even I couldn’t tell if what Mara was seeing was real or not some of the time. As for that ending, holy crap. I really need to get my hands on the next book like yesterday!
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