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
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.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
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 Twilight, Shatter 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.