Thursday, February 16, 2012

"The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

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."

For much of this book I was entirely enthralled by it- but then when I reached the last third or so of the book I found myself becoming less and less enthralled and frankly more and more confused. After reading (and rereading and rereading) the last line of the book all I can think is "Wha?". Very rarely do I have to go back and reread a book to have a complete and thorough understanding of what had occurred in it and unfortunately this book does go against the norm and I will have to do so (hopefully in doing so I will be able to pick up on all of the little hints that pertain to the last sentence of the book). Furthermore, I found the last third of the book to be quite rushed (everything surrounding Mara's little brother and father? I thought that it came out of the left field and didn't fit with the feel/ pace of the earlier 2/3 of the book).  

That being said, the last third of the book didn't wreck the novel for me in the slightest. Why? Because of Noah Shaw (AKA Sex-on-legs). Noah is perhaps the most arrogant, charming, and intriguing YA male character I have ever read of before (think a mixture of Chuck Bass and Jace Wayland x 8593284609802986092). I cannot tell you the number of times I burst out laughing while reading of all of his antics. And even better than being arrogant, charming and intriguing, Noah was genuine and had his heart in the right place.

Typically I don't find that female characters do all that much for me (as I have mentioned numerous times, I find that they often lack personality when compared to their male counterparts- that they are extremely underdeveloped), but I didn't find that the case with Mara. I found her to be extremely interesting- I wanted to know more about her (Who is the real Mara Dyer? How crazy is she?) and I did come to really like her (I LOVED the fact that she was able to go head-to-head with Noah's snark).

All in all, while I was disappointment by the last 1/3 of the book I do believe that this is an amazing debut by Michelle Hodkin. It becomes evident while reading this book that her talents lie in creating extremely likeable (not to mention swoon-worthy) characters. Furthermore, despite my criticisms I will still read the sequel to this book (in the hopes that it will answer many of my burning questions).

Rating: 7/10

Memorable lines from the book:

'"My girl is talented," Noah said. 
My heart stopped beating.
Anna's heart stopped beating' (pg. 169). 

'"What," I asked slowly, as I eyed animal crackers strewn all across it, "the hell?"
"You were convinced they were your pets," Noah said, not even trying to surpress his decadent laughter. "You wouldn't let me touch them"' (pg. 372).

"Because," he said, "you aren't broken" (pg. 393).


  1. This is on my TBR list. It seems really nice, but I really appreciate you mentioning some of the criticism you had with the book because what you say bothers you in a book, are the same things that bother me generally, so it’s nice to have a heads up! Thank you for the review!

  2. This book is quite frankly an adrenaline rush. From page one you are just drawn into Mara's world. There was also such a creep factor to this book that I loved. Noah was amazing, definitely a bonus for this book and I loved how Mara could hold her own with him. Mara herself was such a great heroine. Very tough and determined to find out what is going on. She will do whatever it takes to protect anyone/anything she loves. All I can say for the ending is WOW!!!! Such a good crazy ending and perfect for leaving off and hopefully book two will start right there because I am definitely very curious. I absolutely loved this book and so can't wait to see where this series is heading.

  3. I agree the last 1/3 stretched believability a bit and seemed to deviate from the previous 2/3rds, but like you, it didn't ruin the book for me at all. I just adored this book, it was so strange and weird and I kind of liked having no idea what was going on. Usually I hate that. And I loved Noah. Your description of him as a Jace/Chuck combo times a huge number is perfect. Glad you enjoyed MARA for the most part Avery!

  4. I love the blurb and your review, but it's the excerpts you shared that made me really, really, really, really, really want to read this book.

  5. You know I was so disappointed that this one didn't rock for you. I was thinking... no way! I'm not reading it... UNTIL... "sex on legs". Yep, that had me. I have to know this boy! HAVE TO KNOW! LOL


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