Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Purchased
Edition: Hardcover (452)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Review: I think this cover is pretty cool. I love how it's an underwater image!
Mara Dyer #1
Main Character: Mara Dyer

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.
In The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Mara's friends had died. It's unknown exactly how it happens, though everyone knows that they were in the creepy house that they were told to never go to, as it used to be like an asylum. Sometimes people said that you could still hear the children's screams in some of the rooms. After the funeral for her friends, Mara decides to ask her parents if they can move. They end up moving to Florida, where Mara and her brother have to go to a private school. Uniforms are required, except on the first day, Mara wears her real clothes.

During her first day, Mara makes a new friend. His name is Jamie and he's pretty cool. Mara also meets another guy. She doesn't know what his name is, though he has a British accent. She later finds from Jamie that his name is Noah Shaw, and he has been known for dating just about the most popular girl in school. Fact is, they broke up.

As the story progresses, Mara finds that she seems to have powers that she can't control. The downside of this: her powers have to do with killing people. It's as if she wishes it to happen and she sees the picture of how it's going to happen in her head and it happens the exact way that she pictures. Mara thinks that she's crazy. Her family already thinks that she's crazy, but there's much more than that. With the help of Noah, Mara finds out the truth behind the death of her friends and the secret behind her powers. Plus... she may not be the only one with some supernatural characteristics.

Mara was the best characters that I've read about in a while. She's seen as crazy, though really she's just stating everything that's really happening to her. Then she ends up getting confused because maybe she is really crazy. I mean, she's kind of unreliable in a way. Plus, there's so much that we don't know about her past that just come back in flashback scenes.

Noah was British. Need I say more? He's rich and there's a lot more to him than meets the eye. He's always there for Mara and he also seems to always know when she needs his help.

Jamie was a pretty cool side character. He was kind of like a crazy friend that's kind of an outcast, yet he doesn't seem to care. I definitely want a friend like him! He also always has the funniest things to say at just the right moments.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was filled with many unexpected twists and turns. Many things I didn't even see coming. I'd mention them, but I wouldn't want to spoil anything. Also, I love how right in the beginning of the story there's a letter from Mara Dyer herself. For all I know, Mara Dyer isn't even her real name, and Noah Shaw isn't even Noah's real name. It's kind of hard to wrap my head around. It's like, everything isn't exactly as it seems. That's exactly why I love this book. The characters were amazing, especially the ones that were mentioned in all of Mara's dream/flashback type things. Have I mentioned before that I love flashbacks? Well, it's true, I do. I feel like they're such a creative way to show the reader some facts, and I think that Michelle did it brilliantly.

Notable Quotes:
I had a little fun with all the amazing quotes from this book. I was writing them down from like every other page! This isn't even all of them. :)
"Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real."
"You told me I smelled-like bacon."
"Well," he said evently. "That's awkward."
"Mara, if you're tired, I can hear it. If you're hurt, I can feel it. And if you lie, I will know it."
"Grounded likely means no phone or computer," Jamie said. "But if I encounter an owl, I'll try to smuggle a message to the outside, okay?"
"You're distracting," I said truthfully.
"I won't be. I promise," Noah said. "I'll get some crayons and draw quietly. Alone. In a corner."

Recommended for fans of:
Books that make you think!
British Guys
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Have you read this novel? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Yay!! I'm glad you liked it!! It totally creeped me out at times and I loved that! I was very into this book, and i loved the british thing... it just made him hotter!! I didn't love that Mara was so codependent on Noah, it made her seem too weak when he was around... but otherwise I LOVED the book and can't wait to read the sequel. I wonder if it's any good, have you heard anything?

  2. I keep thinking I need to read this book! Great review!

  3. I loved Mara Dyer and I'm so glad you liked it too. It's one of the most weird yet amazing books I've read and Noah was totally swoon worthy. The next book is more better than this one and I can't wait to read your review on it.

  4. I'm so glad you loved Mara! I loved this book too!! So much! I loved that it kept me guessing all the way to the end. When I finished and closed the book, I was like "what?!?" I have the next one in the series on my shelf patiently waiting for me...and gathering dust! ;) Fantastic review!

  5. I loved our unreliable protagonist Mara here-I wasn't sure what to believe but I was hooked on the writing and had to read through the ending. I also still need to pick up the second book!


Hello there! (: Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one!