Jun 17, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing Date: September 27, 2011
Pages/Format: 452, Hardcover

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Like

I'd been wanting to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for quite some time for several reasons: the stunning cover; I heard it's amazing; and all the fan art that looks amazing, plus all things Noah Shaw. So my expectations were somewhat high, and I was hoping I'd really like it. While I did like it, I was kind of disappointed--I don't seem to see what other readers see.

There's nothing that I straight up disliked from this book, nothing I can pinpoint. (At least, none that I can remember.) I just had some issues with the overall content. I get that Mara is kind of crazy and not fully there, but some things just made no sense. And there was repeat info--i.e., so-and-so would just sit down, then on the next page so-and-so would sit down again. You can't sit down when you're already sitting down. I also thought that, if you took the second half of the book and put it with the first half, they don't seem to match up; they seem like different stories. I didn't realize certain things would happen, but I just didn't understand some of it, and some of it was unrealistic, even with Mara being so off. Now this wasn't really a problem with the book itself, but I had the intentions that it had some hot romance (not that I'm a perv or anything) and such--but there was, like, nothing. That surprised me.

All that being said, there was a lot that I did like about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. For the most part, the writing was great. Totally readable, flowed well, and just worked with Mara's voice. And I loved the dialogue--Hodkin is fantastic at putting words in her characters' mouths. She's also great at writing some nail-biting scenes, and scenes that put butterflies in my stomach and just give me feels. I loved that.

Besides the characters that I'm supposed to hate (mean kids at school), I loved almost all of them. Mara was an interesting POV to read from. She can't remember what happened during an accident that killed her boyfriend, two friends, and left her alive. Since then, she's been...off. Seeing things, hearing things, kind of going crazy. Her family was also interesting (even her mother was a little much), and I loved her brother Daniel. The family was done well and purposeful, and actually felt kind of real instead of just there. Mara's friend Jamie is just HILARIOUS. I loved him, and it was always great when he was in a scene. And last but not least, the one and only Noah Shaw. He could be a total ass (a fact not quite lost on me), but eventually his asshat-ery was forgiven and I fell for him. Boy is fine, and I want more and more of him.

In the end, I think the hype and anticipation got to me on this one. That, and the fact that I'm still confused on what on earth happened with several things in the book. The pros definitely outweigh cons, but I'm bummed that I didn't love this. It's definitely different than I thought it would be, but I'm interested to see what happens in Mara Dyer's evolution next.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Not really.
Would I reread it? Maybe.
Would I purchase it? Possibly.
Would I recommend it? Not straight up, but a lot of people love this book.


  1. I loved this book! I borrowed it from the library, and I read it was was kind of confused but really liked it. I got it on sale from Amazon. Then I attempted to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and by the end of the first chapter, my brain clicked off. The second book is confusing. And apparently, there is a massive cliffhanger. And I'll just wait until The Retribution of Mara Dyer comes out (October, I believe). I hope you continue the series! Great review :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. you are not alone. I felt the same way. I just didn't see what everyone else saw in this one. Great review.

  3. I loved this book! and I agree the second one was a bit confusing but it kept me reading beginning to end. Plus it did end on a cliff-hanger and it was a sad one.

  4. See I really hated Noah-his asshat-ery could not be overlooked by me but I loved the unreliability of Mara and what was going on there too (plus I adored the cliffhanger, which left me absolutely stunned.)

  5. This review is perfect. My feelings exactly. I don't think I'll be able to wait so long for the third book!

    Zaira Lynn (Fishing Charter Skagway)


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