absence & change.

So i’ve been away for a while. a holiday, perhaps. new things, old things, heartbreaking things.

But as I sit here, on the woven coloured rug that I’m inexplicably fond of and grow more so every day – I realise that change is good. It’s good. Great, even. Sure, things will hurt, and I’ll cry and tear the figurative hangings off the figurative four-poster, but I’m human. Hurt and pain are inevitable things in life. And I don’t say that as though I’m resigned to it. There’s a big difference between resignation and acceptance; in my case, it is most definitely the latter.

I have a job now. It’s nothing fancy, it’s nothing career-propelling, but it’s a job nonetheless. Something to fill those aimless hours that I used to spend wandering the ever-strange recesses of my thoughts. And I enjoy it, I really do. It’s nice to be surrounded by lovely people, engage with friendly customers who don’t mind if my left hand shakes when I carry things for them or if I take a little longer to do things because I’m still learning on the job. (Of course, it helps that I get paid and I can finally stop fretting about paying university living fees. But that doesn’t really need to be mentioned.) My colleagues are a godsend, and not one of them seems to think any less of me for being a little less physically able than they are.

That, and I’m about to head into my last year of my undergraduate degree. Is it frightening? Yes. Is it exhilarating? Of course. Do I think I’ll fail it? Possibly.

Will I fail it?

Not a bloody chance.

funny.

You think things will work out. You think things will be forever.

I think I was just proven otherwise.

It’s times like these that I’d love to be sitting in a café in Paris, smoking a cigarette and saying to myself, well done kid. Well done on growing up. You know, like some older gentleman will inevitably say in some New Wave French film while eyeing the young woman up and down. And reconciling the cynicism of that gentleman with the naiveté of the woman… these are two parts of me I’m finding tricky to mesh.

My life isn’t a fairytale, caught on old cameras and lived in a paradise. It’s really not. And it probably never will be. But you know what? That’s fine. It’s really quite fine. Because the rawness of humanity, the grittiness of misfortune and searing sensations of passion and joy – you won’t find these in fairytales. You won’t. Fairytales are idealised. My life isn’t. It’s young, it’s full of mistakes and awkward silences and embarrassments that I’d rather forget. But it’s mine.

And nothing lasts forever. I’ve learnt that now. I’ll get moments, I’ll get fleeting fancies, seconds of possibilities and wonderings and the ever present what if? 

But that’s okay. It’s really okay. I’m twenty years old. I’m about to throw myself headfirst into my last year of university. I have a vague sort of plan as to what might happen afterwards. Key word being vague. Who ever lives their life out exactly as they plan it, after all?

I’ll tell you who.

Absolutely no one.

Review | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

11841579-1

  • Paperback (Simon Pulse, 452 pages)
  • First published 2011; this edition published 2012
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars (3.5)
  • Buy the book here

“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…”


Mara Dyer… isn’t Mara Dyer.

That’ll make absolutely no sense if you haven’t read the book, but if you have, you’ll know what I mean. (It’s not a spoiler, don’t worry!) And despite the weird timelines and often jarringly sudden flashbacks, I found The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer an intriguing book. Michelle Hodkin has created an interesting YA novel out of tropes – the girl with abilities, the unexplained events, the hot, arrogant guy who is shrouded in mystery – and yet, this novel doesn’t entirely slip into the abyss of cliches. It actually manages to emerge triumphant, a beacon amidst the many badly-written and excruciatingly cringey young adult novels. It’s not a perfect book, by any means – but it is a good one.

There were things that grated on me – such as Noah’s arrogance and his almost controlling nature – but overall, Michelle Hodkin’s writing flows, is easy to read and is very engaging. It took me less than two days to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and I do not regret reading it at all. I’m excited to get my hands on the two sequels, and I fervently hope they’ll be as good as, if not better than, their predecessor.

All in all, an enjoyable YA read, and if you haven’t read it, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is well worth a look.