Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

This book was a lot more 'Ohhh my wordd I love Noah!' Like, he's everything. But not in a silly way, he stands by Mara and it means the world. He is her rock, they trust each other. I like their relationship a lot, because it never seems too-soon or co-dependent, and it never seems teen-dramatic, even though it so easily could be. Michelle created them so perfectly, as individuals and for each other. And somehow she never loses that passion and chemistry between them. I might say it was even a little sexy..

This story, gahhh I loved it even more than the first book. It's.. Thrilling! And captivating. It's filled with twists and turns and chapters that end with me holding my breath (sometimes because I hope she gets to kiss Noah, and sometimes because MAJOR PLOT TWIST that I most definitely did not see coming.)

Michelle Hodkins takes you on this journey where, again you don't know whether Mara is actually getting more delusional or if her circumstance really is getting more twisted. It's exciting mostly because everything we read unfolds as Mara sees it and she is so lost and confused while she puts the pieces together. It's a beautiful story of trust and deception and passion and desperation. And mmm I do love the tragedy, the reality of psychiatric care and the supernatural aspects that Michelle so finely weaves into the book. I'd want to call it a psycho-thriller. Yeah. Is that a genre? That's what it is!

I'm being vague about the plot on purpose, because watching it unfold is most of the fun. It reminded me of The Lovely Bones every now and then, just because of how frightened I was sometimes. And again, felt like Gone Girl, with the second-guessing and not-knowing. She has flashbacks that were fields and carriages and rituals and old languages, that remind me of Reign. But also, and especially near the end, it felt a little like Dollhouse, or Catching Fire, where you begin to think someone is messing with her but you just can't figure out who or why or in which parts.. IT'S THE BEST!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

(Fun intro fact: This started off intriguing and then it just got way too.. accurately PTSD for me. It was too close to home and too realistic for me to continue, and so I stopped reading it for a while. When I came back to it, I was so happy I did! I found the accurate portrayal to be beautiful and true and, an important part of understanding what Mara is going through.)

This book is thrilling and fun, there's a gorgeous British bad-boy-with-more-going-on-than-everyone-else-sees (how can you not love) and there's a complicated situation that Mara is trying to figure out. It was kinda cool that I had just finished Gone Girl, and started reading Stephen King's 'Carrie' at the same time as this one, because it's got aspects of both.

-You have no idea what's real and what's not, and there's an important and urgent mystery to be solved while making sure that, to the prying eyes and public, you look like everything is fine. And then, there's this potential supernatural aspect that you're wondering about while Mara discovers more of the real story and wonders deeper into what's been happening since the accident.

There's a moment, about three-quarters into the book where it's like 'Um, really Michelle? Unneccesary. Aligators, really? Why you gotta do me like dis.' BUT THEN IT ALL MAKES SENSE AND IT'S AMAZING. Seriously, just keep reading. All the twists that may have felt annoying with other characters or in another book, just WORKS in this one. So well! Cassie Clare is right, it is haunting and dreamlike.

This book was fun to read, a true adventure of love and fear and "whattt is happening?!" In her acknowledgments, Michelle Hodkin thanks some of my favourite authors for their support (*fangirls a little.. keeps reading*) and then ends with 'I can't wait to share what happens next' and I WAS LIKE BUT I NEED TO KNOW NOW MICHELLE! I'm lucky it's already out, I rushed to get the second one immediately, it's that good.

Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie)

I found this book in my favourite second-hand bookstore. It was a soft and well-loved book, with that sweet smell of old book, mmm. Its pretty cover and romantic storyline meant I couldn't leave without taking it home with me. And I'm so happy I did, it's the sweetest! **I later found out it's also being made into a movie, so while I was reading it, two of the actors I've been obsessed with recently were filming the story! Which yes, gave me even more feels!

The story is long, but in a comforting way. It's filled with all kinds of love, over years and through different lives. It's filled with sweet moments and difficult choices and that always-hopeful belief that Rosie and Alex are meant for eachother. It's the kind of story that you get lost in, and never really want to leave. I giggled at the emails they send and the children as they grow up, and Iawhhhed and noooo-ed and, so many feelings. I marked so many pages that were just, perfect butterfly moments.

Mostly, it's the kind of story I know I'll read many times over the years, because I'll see different things every time. There's everything from childhood crushes and teenage could-we-last-forevers, to there's 'she's engaged, I missed my chance' and all the hardships of marriage. The story tells of the magic and hope that friendship can be, and of the beauty that a shared life can be.

Here's a picture from the movie set, I love it. 

Three quotes I loved: 
“I've learned that home isn't a place, it’s a feeling.”

“Our life is made up of time; our days are measured in hours, our pay measured by those hours, our knowledge is measured by years. We grab a few quick minutes in our busy day to have a coffee break. We rush back to our desks, we watch the clock, we live by appointments. And yet your time eventually runs out and you wonder in your heart of hearts if those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades were being spent the best way they possibly could. In other words, if you could change anything, would you?” 

“You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with, and if you’re OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who could make you happy, really happy, dancing on air happy.” 

And the movie poster: