Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) by Michelle Hodkin

11408650The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, High School, Death

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Mara Dyer believes life can’t 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 strangely unharmed. There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.


What a strange book.

So strange in fact that I don’t know what to make of Mara Dyer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is peculiar. It’s a paranormal story with scenes that border on illogical and highly infused with sometimes cringe-worthy, sometimes heart-stopping romance.


It’s also thrilling and hard to put down. I kept my lights on, as recommended by Rachel Hawkins, and let me tell you that you’ll want to do that, too.

It won’t scare you. But it will raise goose bumps on your arms and legs and make you check over your shoulders every five minutes to make sure no one is watching you.

The horror is well put in the plot. It comes out during unexpected moments and always takes the reader by surprise. There isn’t much of it, but the reader is constantly on the edge of his seat, because he knows it will appear at some point.

Mara Dyer is a snarky, if not judgmental and headstrong, heroine. But she has a soft side. Noah on the other side is calm and seems to have an answer to everything. He and Mara are two strong characters and, though I hate to admit it because the romance irked me most of the time, they do make a perfect match.

It’s definitely a character-driven story. The plot is there, and honestly I always wanted to know what would happen, but there is not much description. Characters rule the story, not the world-building or details or anything else. They make the intrigue. Without them, the story would have no meaning.

There are some things I would change about it, if given the chance to: I’d cut on the romance, the unnecessary blah blah and drama – hell, that Spanish teacher is a demon – and I’d pour more horror scenes and craziness inside it.

Because that’s what makes it thrilling.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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17 thoughts on “Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) by Michelle Hodkin

  1. This is one of my favourite series Lola and I couldn’t agree more, it’s creepy without being scary and keeps you in suspense. One thing I found with the series too is the books change with each installment. They still have that creepy element but there is more world building while we still see character growth which I haven’t come across often as it’s usually one or the other. So glad you enjoyed this one Lola and awesome review. Looking forward to seeing what you think of the rest of the series ❤


  2. This review pretty much sums up how I feel reading this book. Strange is a perfect word to describe it. I love Noah and I agree with u that he and Mara are a perfect, slightly adorable match. I’m not trying to ruin the fun, but book 2 is creepier and more confusing. I should be reading book 3 but I just can’t. I hope u would enjoy them more than I do! 😀


  3. This is hands down one of my favorite reads and I don’t usually enjoy the weird and the peculiar. But I loved this. Loved the romance, but then again I’m all about it. Glad you at least liked it.


  4. I could not agree more (especially the eye-roll worthy romance scenes at times… I get it, just not my cup of tea). I just recently read this book and it had its exciting, suspenseful moments. You could sense the teen angst in the descriptions and inner monologues of Mara. I’m guessing more description of their peculiarities and the world building comes within the series.


  5. I tried to read this a few years ago and I only made it a couple chapters in. It’s just not as interesting to me as a lot of other books I’ve read. I keep thinking that maybe I need to try and read it again, just to see if I can actually finish it, but then I look at all the books I really do want to read and so I keep shoving Mara Dyer aside.


  6. I’ve picked this book up about a year ago but I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. The romance killed it for me, I thought a lot of it is unnecessary. I’m glad you liked it though. Maybe I should give it another try since so many people are obsessed with this series.


  7. I have wanted to read this book for what feels like forever! I love that you are so engrossed in the story and need to keep the lights on. I don’t mind a character driven read. I must pick it up!


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