Fiction Recommendations

The Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

There is something about this cover and this title that just drew me in. I had to have it. I had bought it some time ago and then was converted to a fan of Kindle over Nook and completely forgot that I had it on Nook until recently when I was going away a while and seeing what I can download to my phone for the trip. I have to admit that there is a little fate sometimes to when I pick up a book. I had been so homesick when I started it and I needed it when I came to it. If you’ve already read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, that might sound strange, but I’ve been in love with Noah Shaw for about 23 years now. Almost everything about his character reminded me of my husband, down to certain little mannerisms that drive me just as crazy as they drove our protagonist. Obviously, he is now my favorite book boyfriend EVER.
I know, I know, I’m far too old for this, but seriously. The whole series is getting reviewed together for a few reasons. First, it took me long enough to actually pick the first one up that the other two were out already. Second, it is one long story told in three parts. Third, I obsessed over it and read all three in about a week. Honestly, if I didn’t have to do things like work, I probably would have finished them in a day and a half. I absolutely loved this series.
It was dark and mysterious and everything had a better explanation than I’m used to for why people are drawn together or not and why things are happening. I loved the distribution of abilities and the way they manifested, I loved the development of the antagonist and the villain and the rather slow way that everything was revealed. I even enjoyed the shifting POVs in the last part of the third book, especially the last scene.
More than anything, I loved Noah Shaw. Aside from the fact that he is so like my husband that I have some serious questions for him and the author, he’s pretty amazing even from a feminist point of view. I mean, he does have those rather tropey good looks and having girls falling all over him and super rich, but that’s not what makes him great. What makes him a great book boyfriend is his constant insistence that romantic things happen at a pace that is comfortable for everyone and doesn’t hesitate to tell his girl when it isn’t comfortable for him and exactly why. He listens and even argues but he also compromises. He doesn’t negate her decisions or treat her like she’s stupid when she has an idea he disagrees with. He’s not always perfectly nice, but he’s never a doormat. He’s not a perfect gentleman but he doesn’t overstep boundaries either. And before you start to insist that such a man isn’t real, I will remind you that I already married one just like him.
Mara, our protagonist, was great as well. Her dark streak is compensated for by her innocence in other matters and though she’s into Noah, she is also not a doormat. Not in any way a doormat and it’s rather beautiful. I loved everything about her too, especially the way she sometimes grapples with her abilities and sometimes doesn’t, the way she sometimes grapples with her sanity, and sometimes doesn’t.
Altogether, I really loved this series and may have gone back more than a few times to enjoy scenes I love. I’m gonna get the Noah Shaw series too, but only the first two books are out and it’s going to be torture to wait. Check out the series on Goodreads here!

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