It's the final countdown to Christmas, so to keep the blog in the Christmas spirit, I thought I'd number my 12 all-time favourite books to give (or receive) as gifts.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin
If your giftee is a big fan of American Horror Story, this is the book for them. A friend recently bought the trilogy, but asked me to describe it her before she started reading them, and this was what I told her: it's about this girl, Mara (but not really), who has special powers and can do fun stuff with her mind; the books are all about what happens when people find out about this, and trying to lock her, and others like her, up to be lab rats.
It's gory, it's scary, it's dark and very creepy. The books in and of themselves are creepy enough as they are, especially at the start, when you're not entirely sure what's going on. But even as they progress, Hodkin isn't scared to pull out all the stops of a good ghost story, mixed in with a paranormal romance. It's an interesting mix, and by god, it works.
But, no, the creepiest part is the story behind Hodkin's inspiration: she used to be a lawyer, and one day when in New York in Court, she met this young girl leaving with another lawyer. The other lawyer and her got to talking, and the woman told her about how the girl (unnamed, for obvious reasons) had been in an interesting accident in an old mental hospital - and two of her friends had died. Hodkin says that even though the lawyer made it clear that it was just a case of weak foundations, etc, the girl had a look in her eyes that made her think there was a whole hell more to the story. So she went home and started writing about Mara. Some time after Unbecoming was published, she started getting "care packages" with letter and pictures that all told a story that was obviously impossible... right?
You can have a look at my review of the third and last book, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, here.