Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.
Mara has so much going on in her life and it takes most of the novel to sort through her initial conflict. You know she is a survivor of a terrible accident and her emotions are strung tight. She can’t remember what happened, so her mental state is in question through most of the book. She is sure she is seeing her friends who died every time she looks in the mirror, but she is forced to push it all aside and try to deal with her first day at a new school.
Her family moves to Florida and she is enrolled in a private school with her brother. He has no problem fitting in, but Mara just wants to blend in and go unnoticed. She isn’t able to though because she is the new girl and everyone has an eye on her for one reason or another. She meets a few interesting people, but none so interesting as Noah. He scares her and intrigues her at the same time, but he is the school playboy and she wants nothing to do with that. At the same time, Mara slowly begins to realize she has some wicked powers, but has no idea how to control them.
Noah’s charming and pulls her in, becomes her protector and gives her support to figure out what is happening in her mind. Noah has his own secrets, but he has to convince Mara to let him help her before it is too late. Mara pushes him away and has some tough decisions to make on her own, but will she make the right ones? Who will suffer as a result of her decisions? Her family? Her new friends? Noah? Great suspense and interesting twists leading to the cliffhanger ending.
There is a lot going on in this book. Several side stories seemed to be unnecessary in my mind, but didn’t detract from the story. Her father is the main lawyer on a defense team for a murder trial. As a result, there is another storyline used as an undercurrent in the book. It was intriguing, but not necessary to keep the story going. I wanted one of the side stories to keep going, but instead was left hanging in terms of what happened to her quirky friend who was expelled from school.
Despite that small issue, I fell in love with the book! I read it in one day- could NOT put it down. Lots of great tension, a fantastic book boyfriend in Noah, a wonderful brother in Daniel and great plot twists. The descriptions of the settings, the dialogue, and conflicts all work together to weave a beautifully written tale. This is the first book in a trilogy and I can’t wait to get the next book.
Web Page: http://www.michellehodkin.com/