Friday, 13 April 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ( Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Release Date: 1st March 2012 (UK)
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads description:

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

My thoughts:

It's not often I write a gushing review. I can usually be fairly level-headed, lay out my likes and dislikes and give a reasonable rating. But when it comes to Mara Dyer, the only thing I want to say is:


*takes a breath*

However, I realise that isn't exactly a satisfying review, so I will try to review it properly. Emphasis on try.

We wake up, with Mara, in a hospital bed, her being asleep for 3 days. That is the last thing I am sure of. Everything that happens from there on out has such a dream-like, surreal quality to it that I'm still not quite sure which parts were real. It's rare for me to get that "What the FRICK is going on" feeling but I revelled in it. I loved it. I enjoyed not having a fricking clue. It was interesting, it kept the book fresh and it kept me riveted.  

Mara herself was a fantastic heroine. You felt her confusion, her frustration, her fear and her determination. I loved her, because she tried. She was a little bit scary, vaguely sociopathic and altogether awesome. She didn't just give in to what was happening to her, and she didn't just give in to Noah either.

Noah....sigh. I feel like Michelle Hodkin looked in my brain, plucked out my favourite male qualities and made Noah just for me. I loved him, I loved his humour and enigmatic behaviour. I loved his ultimate reason for pursuing Mara and I loved his chase of her. I also love that she didn't give in straightaway, like I'm pretty sure I would've. She stuck to her principles until he SHOWED her that he actually wasn't a complete dick. I loved that he basically admitted to creating that persona for himself, because it was easier and more fun. I loved their relationship, how slow-burning it was. The amount of TENSION between them was insane. Their conversational exchanges were hilarious, I often found myself laughing at the things they said, having an actual physical reaction to the atmosphere they created. 

The writing was exquisite; it really captured the feel of every scene and emotion. I genuinely felt like these were real teenagers too. They spoke the way teenagers spoke, about thing teenagers talk about. There was no censorship for more sensitive readers. The book mentions words and topics I don't think I've really seen much in YA which I found refreshing because honestly, I really think these things are handled far too delicately in a lot of books. The language often felt lyrical and added to the atmosphere created by the plot; the feelings of confusion and disorientation that permeated the pages. 

The ending was I kinda loved how it was so abrupt and a bit confusing because it embodied the themes of the rest of the book. I seriously cannot wait for the next one.

Essentially, I adored it. It's the best book I've read so far this year (out of over 40) and it's one of the few books where, as soon as I finished it, I wanted to flip back to the front and read it all over again. 



  1. LOL Love your review! And sigh I love Noah, I know how you feel!! :P

  2. Hahaha! The beginning of your review is completely how I felt too. I loved this book. It is one of my favorites!! I can't wait for the next one! Great review!!

  3. Yay! Glad you loved this one so much! I can't wait to find out what happens next. I totally fell for Noah too! :)

  4. duuuuuuude, gushing reviews ARE THE BEST. I can't write a comprehensible review for Leah Clifford's Touch trilogy books FOR MY LIFE. But love this review! The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was SO GOOD! and I can't wait for book two. I need it now! :)

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  5. If you like Noah, then I must like Noah. It's almost guaranteed :P. Mara sounds like a great character too, and I'm definitely intrigued by all the "WTF" moments and all the tension. Great review! :)

  6. hehe, love it. I can't wait to get hold of this one after hearing you gush about it!

  7. I loved, loved, LOVED this book. All the confusing things that happened were perfect! Can't wait for the sequel which seems so far away. Anyway great review!

  8. Awesome review! I read this such a long time ago (or at least it feels like it) and this is a great reminder of all the awesome that it is! And yeah, Noah is definitely as close to the perfect boy as it gets. *sigh
    I might need to read this again...very soon.

  9. Wow! High praise! I need to pick this one up but my expectations are SOOOOO high I'm afraid there's no way it can live up to them. I'm interested to see what I'll think of Noah, I've heard good and bad things about him.

  10. Nice review :) I saw on twitter how much you were in enjoying this book. I keep looking at it when I'm in work thinking should I/shouldn't I buy it but I may just have to now!!!

  11. EEEEEE. YOUR REVIEW. AUIFHDVUIONJVHSDIZXL!! Man, it's taking all my willpower not to run to my bookshelf and just sit on the floor and devour this book all over again. You so perfectly summed up EVERYTHING I loved about it and oh geez, your paragraph on Noah? *DIES* NOAH EFFING SHAW. Without a doubt in my Top 3 Favourite Book Boyfriends. EVER.

    Man, the WTFery of the book... I LOVE IT. I hate when you're able to predict an ending or have suspicions halfway through. This? WE'RE STILL FREAKING CONFUSED AS HELL. Michelle is the queen of playing Twister with our brains.


  12. Yay!! So happy you loved this one too! Isn't Noah just...there are no words! *swoons* and that ending! Can't wait for the sequel fantastic review as always Cait!

  13. THIS BOOK is one of my favourite reads this year! It was so AWESOME and NOAH SHAW is absolutely AWESOME. There were so many things left unexplained by the end of the book and that ending makes me dying to read the sequel!

    Awesome review, Cait! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

  14. I read this book in January and it's also the best book I have read this year. Not that the other books I read were bad, Mara Dyer was just better. Especially that ending, I mean wow. Talk about major events that are pulling you to the next book. I love how there is a title but I am so curious as to what the cover will look like. I can't wait to have Noah and Mara back. Definitely two characters that I love to read, especially when their sharp attitudes are being used. Mara dyer has such a unique paranormal side mixed with this haunted, truly creepy side. I absolutely loved this book and I can't wait til The Evolution of Mara Dyer comes out.

  15. Wow, it shames me that I have had a signed ARC for a year of this book! Wasn't sure if I would like it but you just sold it to me!


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