The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {Book Review}



Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series: Mara Dyer #1

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: 9-27-11

Pages: 466

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

Source: Received as a gift


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.

My Review

I am so confused about this book.

I have the feeling that, if I’d read this book 5 years ago, it’s exactly the kind of thing that I would’ve been obsessed with. But fortunately (and unfortunately?) I’m just not in that place as a reader anymore. This book had so much promise, though. I loved certain parts of it; I just wish that there had been more of those parts and less of some other parts.

Basically, The Unbecoming of Maya Dyer is 30% paranormal/thriller and 70% Noah. I don’t always have a problem with books that are skewed in the romance department…but I probably would’ve liked this book a lot more if Noah hadn’t been so annoyingly cliché. He’s a sexy player with a British accent who knows six languages and quotes classic literature from memory. Can you say *gag*? And somehow (of course), he falls in love with the mysterious and totally “different” Mara Dyer from the very first second that he meets her.

But if I can try to ignore that part (and the host of other completely stereotypical characters, including her brother, best friend, and the token slutty mean girl), the rest of the book was really interesting. I was sufficiently creeped out by this book many times, and I was intrigued by the flashbacks, memories, and hallucinations. It’s like this book was a weird combination of TwilightShatter Me, and Pretty Little Liars. But while I was able to really enjoy the parts that reminded me of the latter two, it was hard to ignore the cardboard-cutout characters and controlling instalove. It was frustrating for it to have so much potential, but get wasted in favor of a cheesy teenage romance.

Ultimately, this book was entertaining, well written, and hard to put down, but its glaring flaws held me back from being able to love it as much as I wanted to. But I’m enormously intrigued by the paranormal and thriller aspects of the story, so I will definitely still be continuing on with the series.

My Rating 3 Anchors

7 responses to “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin {Book Review}

  1. Yep. I’m with you, Miranda. And your description of it being a combo between those three books is PERFECT. Sigh. Curious to see how you feel about the second book!

  2. “Basically, The Unbecoming of Maya Dyer is 30% paranormal/thriller and 70% Noah.” Yep. I DNF/skimmed this one and didn’t get all the love for these books at all. I was actually thinking it was just me at the time and was going to give it another chance. Now I’m not sure! Guess I’ll have to wait till you review the next one ;D

      • Thanks for the link! I’m definitely convinced now, I’ll have to see when I can get it from the library. It will probably be awhile but I’m for sure going to read them both 🙂 The second sounds like it has a lot of improvments, and I’m glad there were more creepy parts!

    • Haha that’s weird that we didn’t like it for the exact opposite reasons basically! You probably wouldn’t like the rest of the series, then. I recently read the second one and liked it a lot more, but it was because there was less Noah and more craziness 😛

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