Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)
Source: My Choice; Own

From GoodReads:

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.
Wow. That about sums it up. Wow.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin was incredible. It wowed me in every single way. The cover, the story, the characters...even the title is amazing. I could gush forever, so let's make it easier and take it one by one.

The Cover. Just look at that cover! If that doesn't draw you in, I don't know what will. When I first saw it (in a tiny little thumbnail), I thought it was two dancers. When I realized it was actually two people in water, I definitely did a double-take. Looking at the way the girl is almost lifeless, barely bobbing her head above the surface and the way the guy seems to be holding her afloat...breathtaking. Such a good cover for the story too.

The Story. After inspecting the cover and getting a kind of creepy, disturbing vibe, it isn't surprising that the story mimics this feeling as well. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is not for someone who scares easily, though I wouldn't call it scary either. In a nutshell, the main character is going crazy...or, she thinks she is. Keeping that in mind, there's a lot of strange events that occur. I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't, just like Mara couldn't. From a reader's perspective, this was very interesting. It made the whole plot completely unpredictable. Without knowing what to expect (or honestly, what the heck was happening!), I was alert the entire time and pulled to keep going till the end. Though, the end doesn't wrap things up because there's another book coming! Even so, I enjoyed the ending and can't wait to read what happens (or doesn't happen) next. :)

The Characters. I loved all the characters in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. All of them. Mara herself is a very interesting to share headspace with. We only know what she knows and what she experiences, which is quite a bit. Unfortunately, because we're in her head, we don't know what is real outside of her head. This makes her intriguing and I enjoyed experiencing her POV. Her thoughts about her hallucinations and experiences help ground the reader with all the weird going on. Plus, her voice is typical, normal teen, and I enjoyed that. While I definitely loved her brothers and new friend, Jamie, I also could not get enough of Noah. He's got a lot of mystery about him, but not in the typical mysterious-bad-boy way. He's not even really a bad boy, though his reputation suggests he's been a jerk in the past. Either way, I loved him and I super loved him with Mara. Here's to hoping there's more Noah in the next book!

The Title. Can you believe this title? It's so original and out-of-the-box for typical YA titles. It strikes me as so odd and different that I absolutely love it. Doesn't hurt that it's also so fitting.

Final thoughts:  Buy it. Seriously.


  1. As for the characters - love Mara. I love her psychotic episodes and her reactions. I love her brothers very much. Daniel was very supportive and Joseph was hilarious. Spin-off series? And Noah Shaw? Don't hate me, but I didn't love him. He was cute, fun, intriguing, but I will not spend the rest of the week wishing I had a Noah Show of my very own.

    1. I completely agree with what you said about Daniel, Joseph, and Mara. I can see why some people don't love Noah, but I do love him with Mara.