Review – The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
  • Posted:
  • August 13, 2012
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Last year I started to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I made it 50 pages and veered. I wasn’t in the mood for it when I picked it up and the characters did nothing for me. Fast forward a year after it’s been voted into the Blood Magic Challenge and I tried again. This time around the reading went much more smoothly.

Mara was in an accident. Late one night a building collapsed on her and her friends and Mara is the only survivor. Traumatized and riddled with PTSD Mara’s family decides to move to Florida to start over. Mara’s adjustment proves difficult as she tries to recall what happened. Enter Noah Shaw; arrogant, presumptive (and British!), who’s convinced that Mara wants him despite her numerous protests. While Noah is pursuing Mara she is seeing ghosts in mirrors, ghosts in public spaces, ghosts in her dreams, and her recall seems to be improving. However, the more she remembers the more it becomes apparent that she is alive for a reason, and  the reason could be her undoing.

Last year when I read Mara Dyer I clearly was not in the head space for it. I found Mara bland and low on personality, and reading about her losing her mind was just inappropriate for me at the time. This week I could not put this book down. What Hodkin has done is manage to break down so many themes and wrap it up in a creepy psychological thriller romantic teen novel. It hit every button. Between Mara’s jadedness, guilt, mistrust, and contempt you have her perfect foil – Noah. Noah is that prefect blend of hubris, confidence, and flaw, and the two are a great balance for each other. As the book goes on Mara’s remorse over her non-knowledge becomes stronger, as does her fear of the unknown. The unknown is perfectly personified in Noah, whose reputation is off-putting to her. This book is ultimately about breaking down expectations and tearing through facades, whether it’s the metaphorical wall of Mara’s memories or the physical wall that is Noah Shaw.

The one thing I wished that Hodkin had done was to turn up the volume on the creep factor. I felt that the romance dominated and overwhelmed the awesome macabre feeling that Hodkin was going for. At times, I completely forgot that what I was reading was a psychological thriller and not a straight romance. That said, I’m not that mad at it. This book sucked me in and I wrapped myself around it for a couple of days, and that’s the kind of reading experience I love to have. It’s not often that you lose yourself completely in a book.

5 out of 5 stars. Thank the publishing Gods that I have the sequel.

– BP


Amber Elise

2012-08-13 15:56:40 Reply

I definitely agree with you on the creepy factor. I felt that they could have turned the romance down to make room for some more psychedelic creepy stuff!

Great review, can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Evolution! 🙂