Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

8:32 PM

Yes, yes, I am aware that I'm extremely late to this...well, hype I guess?

Anyhow, I've only just read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and was impressed. I think it deserves all the hype and...I guess you'll see the rest of my thoughts below. ;)


Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 452
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover

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.

I'm just going to say right here that this review will be very hard to write without including spoilers, but I will try my best. I mean, look what I have to work with. A six sentence blurb? Dude.  

It is impossible not to mention the characters. On the other hand, it's also impossible to mention them (or at least some of them) without revealing spoilers. You see my dilemma here. 

I loved the characters! Mara was so relatable. There isn't any of that beautifully poetic prose that so many YA novels are famous for (e.g. Shatter Me, The Raven Boys, etc.). Both her talking and inner dialogue sounded like an average teenager might sound without coming across as tacky. She draws too which I found neat, since I draw. She insults the school's hottest player boy with seriously inventive cussing. She kicks the vending machine when it doesn't spew up her drink/snack. She's real. She also has this whole I-don't-care-what-you-think-about-me thing going on, which is awesome. Mara also has real relationships with the people around her. 

Her mother. Mara loves her, but is also frustrated by her because she's over-protective. Her mom wants to communicate better but Mara just needs time alone to figure things out, not over analyze them. These are very authentic aspects of parent-child relationships. 

Her dad. Even though her dad wasn't around a lot it was, I felt, okay because of valid reasons. He was a lawyer and had to work on an important case much of  the time. And even with that, I loved the way the author showed the obvious love between Mara and him. 

Her brothers. Let me take the time to say right here--the sibling relationships in this book were freaking amazing. They were so supportive, sweet, and caring towards each other, and had each others backs in general. I can't count the times that Daniel, Mara's older brother, got her out of a sticky situation with their mom. And even though he's the perfect one, getting accepted at all the Ivy League colleges and always being on time, etc. he worries about Mara and isn't bothered by the fact that because of what Mara has been through he has to watch over her more which takes away from time for his own things. He is legit the best big brother in the world! I want one. And Joseph, the younger brother, was the sweetest combination of enthusiasm and seriousness. I loved that he was into stocks and texted advice on the market to one of Mara's friends. 

Noah. Ah, Noah, Noah (aka "the love interest"...this is not a spoiler). Basically, he appears to be the player, bad boy type (and he is to some degree) but he cares. He cares deeply which is why I think he tries to not care most of the time. So it won't hurt him. He's so nonchalantly infuriating, and amazing person for all his strengths and weaknesses. 

I also loved Mara's friend,who I honestly can't remember the name of right now. *grimaces* Sorry. I'm not good with names. But he was the epitome of diverse. If my memory serves me right, he was a short Jew with dreadlocks and was bisexual. He brought an awesome sense of humor to the mix.

And this is where I say-- I can't remember the last time I've loved the whole cast of characters so much. Kudos to Michelle Hodkin. 
I'm in awe of the author's writing ability. First of all, it was a little choppy which was unique but not why I'm in awe. Her ability to portray Mara as someone struggling with deciding whether or not they were going crazy was epic! As I read, Mara materialized in my mind as a confused girl who was really nice and good, but who also threatened to become bad or do bad/wrong things for good purposes. There were times in the book where I would wonder if maybe Mara was crazy, if only a little. I believed in Mara, but there was always a lingering fear in the back of my mind that she would embrace her darker side and believe that she was only capable of wrong.

Okay, whew, those are the things that stand out the most after finishing this book. One thing I noticed is that the plot doesn't really move from one big checkpoint to another. It kind of only addresses a few similar points about the same thing and at the end there are still many things that are unexplained. BUT, I wasn't bothered by this. I don't feel like it affected the awesomeness of the book. Also, the ending. OH. MY. GOSH. Cliffhanger. Plot twist. All the good things. It will slap you in the face and then you won't do anything about it because you'll just be sitting there with a stupid look on your face because how. It was amazing! 

I recommend this book to readers who like paranormal, confusion, flashbacks, mysteries, and confusing dark nights. Lots of confusion.  

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. I have written it solely for the entertainment of the readers of this blog and myself.

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  1. Replies
    1. OH MY GOSH YES. I just want to hug it forever (cause that's not weird)!

    2. I can't wait for The Retribution of Mara Dyer! I love the covers!

    3. Gah, yes, I think I might have to wait to read books 2 & 3 together. I just don't know if I could handle it reading book 2 and knowing book 3 isn't at my library. XD
      I think I like the The Retribution of Mara Dyer cover the best. <3

  2. I usuall steer clear of covers like ... that, but since you've liked it (sorry, don't hit me, LOVED it) i'm gonna give this one a try.

    1. Haha, yes! *fist pump* Success, I've convinced you :)
      (Secretly extremely happy and *gasp* giggly that someone makes decisions based on my opinion)

      I definitely understand about the cover since I tend to leave those types on the shelf too but after (or as) you read the book it comes to have sort of a symbolic meaning.


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