What’s it all about?:
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own. But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…
What did I think?:
I read this on recommendation from my sister, who absolutely loved it. I have to agree, it’s a fascinating premise for a young adult novel, and incredibly accomplished for a debut. We first meet Mara waking up in hospital after a horrific accident where her three friends were killed, but she has no memory of the events and is diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and advised to seek psychological help for the trauma she has suffered. Seeking a new start, her family move to a new town where Mara can begin at a new school away from the potentially painful memories of her school friends. Unfortunately, Mara cannot escape the fact that her memory is returning about what actually happened on that night, and she is beginning to experience frightening hallucinations.
I knew I was going to enjoy this book from the opening chapter which details a sinister ouija board incident experienced by Mara and her friends, Rachel and Claire. The first few pages are pivotal to the plot, fast-paced and exciting, preparing the reader for the events to come. I thought all the characters were written well, especially our main characters, Mara and Noah, although I also loved the character of Daniel, Mara’s older brother and felt their relationship was both touching and special. There is a lot of confusion in the novel, as we are never quite sure exactly what is happening and why, but I thought this added to the story and appreciated the effort the author put in to maintaining this tension throughout. Mara is constantly questioning her own sanity after the eerie events that occur, and the reader is pulled right into her bewilderment and probings to find out the truth about what is happening to her. Noah is a worthy male counterpart, who has a few dark secrets of his own, and I can easily imagine teenage girls falling in love with him. As this is a trilogy, we have a thrilling cliffhanger at the end, which I won’t spoil… I can only say that I can’t wait to read the follow up.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):