June 4, 2011

Early Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Length: 450 pages
On-Sale Date: September 27, 2011
Format: ARC paperback

Mara is just a regular girl ... until she's not.  After going through a traumatic event, it's impossible for her to be the same.  No one's sure how to handle it all.  Her family picks up whatever pieces they can manage, and do their best to hold Mara together.
This is Mara’s life now.  She is consumed by the accident.  She’s figuring out what she can, and filling in the blanks wherever she is able.
Only it’s not that simple.
Mara doesn’t understand the things she’s remembering.  She’s seeing things that she can’t explain; that leave her questioning her sanity.
Just as Mara’s uncovering the truth, she is swept up by Noah Shaw.  Despite Shaw’s reputation, he might be just what Mara needs.
Will Noah be there for Mara or will he end up being the worst thing for her?  What really happened to Mara that fateful night?  And who is Mara Dyer?

This was a book I was waiting for.  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book you should be waiting for.  I fell in love with this story.  It kept me enchanted from cover to cover.
Michelle Hodkin didn’t waste time.  Time passed fluidly in Mara Dyer.  There was no boring in-between, only thought provoking narration.  She left you hanging on every word.  Every chapter felt as if it was it’s own story.
It’s not easy to come back to yourself after a traumatically horrible event, and sometimes you find that you become someone else entirely.  Mara had no memory of what happened to her that awful night.  She didn’t know what part she played.  Her lack of recollection was wearing her down, and made her increasingly unstable.
This wasn’t something that Mara could have prepared for.  There was no instruction manual for the confusion or pain she felt, though many felt that therapy and medication were the right direction for her. Ultimately, whichever path Mara chose was her decision.
Mara seemed broken, and she was definitely confused, but that never deterred from her character or personality.  She was lost, but all it took was new surroundings to trigger her rediscovery of herself.
The story was situated around Mara Dyer, and her family was a part of her.
Mara’s family was completely imperfect, but they were the true definition of family.  Yes, Mrs. Dyer was a little overbearing and neurotic, but she was a good mom.  She did everything she could for her kids, but even she couldn’t control everything.
Mr. Dyer was as sweet as could be.
Mara’s relationship with her brothers was unparalleled to anything else.  Even twelve year-old Joesph looked out for his big sister.  The charm to their interaction was that it felt so completely real.  I could see my brother and I in them.
Each sibling had their own distinct identity, but you could see the similarities that labelled them as family.  They had the same way of communicating, but didn’t share the same interests.
When one family member was down the rest tried that much harder.
This dysfunctional family functioned as one unit.
Michelle Hodkin truly created family.  The Dyer’s were wonderful to read about.
Mara’s love interest was an arrogant jerk, until you got to know him, then he was just plain arrogant.  I liked that Noah had characteristics you didn’t like about him.  He was cheekily cavalier, and could not have been more amusing.  In many ways Noah was opposite to Mara, but they shared deep similarities that strengthened their connection.
The character interaction was fluent.  I loved the banter between the characters.
I predict that the ending will startle readers, however, I thought it was literary genius.  You will question everything, and your jaw will drop.

One thing's for sure, the Mara Dyer you start with won't be the one you end with.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from the publisher. This did not influence my review in any way.


  1. Sounds great girl! I shall have to pick it up :)

  2. Really couldn't wait to read this! Soo jealous of you!

  3. lovely review =)
    I thought the same about her family!