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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review: THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Mara Dyer #1
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
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Mara Dyer believes life can't 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 killer her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
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"Sometimes, the mind has a way of protecting us from things until we're ready to deal with them."

Woah. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was my first YA, paranormal read after a long line of adult contemporary romances. It. Was. Awesome! The build-up was wonderful and though I felt the excitement leveled off a bit part-way through, it picks right back up and leaves you hanging. Literally too. There's a cliff hanger!! I haven't read a book with a cliff hanger in what feels like forever. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

"Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real."

Mara wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection of how she got there. But she quickly learns that she was the only survivor among her friends of a horrible accident. Mara (with her family) moves to Rhode Island and enrolls into a private high school hoping to start anew and move on from the tragedy. Unfortunately, she's suffering from PTSD and hallucinations. As the story progresses, she begins to question her sanity (as did I) as the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur.

I really liked how the flashbacks were spread throughout the book. The pacing was good and it felt more realistic that she didn't remember everything all at once. The story was intriguing and kept me on edge, questioning what happened and what would happen. There were many memorable secondary characters. Mara's family was a big one. I loved how overbearing and protective her mother was. Or how her older brother Daniel would look out for her at school or even at home. Then there's Noah Shaw. Oh, Noah.

"Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. I was made for you, Mara."

Cue swoon. I was suspicious about him at first, especially with his interest in Mara but he stole my heart pretty quickly. Noah's "the guy" when it comes to whose pants the female population of Croyden want in. Luckily, he's not an a-hole about it and he's actually quite the gentleman. Saving Mara from the humiliation of her art book being shown (+10 brownie points) and always opening doors for her (+5 brownie points). 

And that ending!! I'll be honest, I didn't see that coming at all and I'm not entirely sure I believe it was even real. I look forward to reading what the sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, will have in store. There's a HEA in the horizon... right?

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Jamie Roth
I really hope we see more of him!
Any moment with Jamie present was enjoyable.
He was a great friend and was good comic relief in an otherwise intense story.

A Better Person
"You're the only one who knows, Mara. The only person who knows me. I don't want to lose you."
I won't lie. Even though Noah made my heart melt in this scene, 
I was secretly chanting "Do it." The dark side was just too tempting.


  1. Hahaha. Don't you dare peek at the ending of Evolution, but I can tease you that it has an even bigger cliff hanger that is absolutely insane comapred to this one. Imo. You may think otherwise :D Same! I still don't know if it's all in her head or wth is real in Mara's world. She's such a mystery though Evolution gives a bigger insight into her world. NOAAAAAHHH!!! :) Jamie is such a sweetheart :P He definitely deserves this badge :D So glad you loved it, Jennifer!

  2. This book has been in my TBR list forever.I've never got the right chance to start this book.Hope I'll be able to soon,I am really intrigued after reading your review.

    Mishma @ As the page turns

  3. Aww, how sweet! I wasn't sure if this was contemporary or paranormal so thanks for the clarificaiton. Now I'm really intrigued to know what happened! I can't believe I never read this one. :O Awesome review! :)

  4. I read this some time ago and never continued on with the series. I remember being a little confused about what was actually real and what was going on in Mara's head. Noah was the highlight for sure. I do remember not being happy at the end with the cliffhanger. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series. It's all out, right? If not at least you probably don't have to wait long for the last book. Wonderful review, Jennifer! :)

  5. This book, man. THIS. BOOK.

    It was intense and SO CREEPY and mysterious and then, oh, Noah <33 He was hilarious and gorgeous and took all my feels!

    So glad you loved this :D :D

  6. I feel like the oddball because I'm practically the only one who hasn't read this yet! There's just so many other books out there with similar premises and I never want to read duplicates of something, you know? But your review has really turned my thoughts around and made me think that this definitely gives something unique and special to the premise, and I'm definitely excited to give it a try. Thanks for sharing! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf