Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age: Young Adult
Species: Human
Rating: 5/5
Interest: Pretty Cover/ Nice Name/Story Siren loved it
Source: Bought

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. (summary from

"These are the kind of books that make me remember why I love to talk about books, why I love to review them so much. Flawless book." I wrote that about Mara Dyer at 5:30am on Goodreads. I had just spent the past 6 hours reading that book from cover to cover. It's no secret on the blog that for the past few weeks I haven't been reading; a look at my Goodreads could tell you as much. With my winter break going on, I settled into a perpetual state of laziness where I did not read. Any book I did pick up got about half of my attention for a certain number of pages and then I would just quit. It drove me nuts. Until last night, when, on a complete whim, I picked up Mara Dyer. There was this...pull to read it, like tonight was going to be the night. Turns out the book was right.

I knew Mara Dyer was going to be a book about murder and a mystery. I thought I had the entire book solved within the first 50 pages. I was so completely, totally wrong, when I was convinced I was right. Hodkin led me on the entire novel. I thought it was this one person and I was so wrong. It is absolutely thrilling when I'm wrong about what happens in a novel. It means I have to go back and look at what clues I could have misinterpreted. I mean, I even thought "could it be this instead of this" and I was right, but I pushed it aside because I thought this was going to be a normal book. So freaking brilliant! Every single twist is beautifully delivered with the perfect amounts of creepy, confusing and thrilling. I could not get enough of this book because I could not tell what was going to happen next and that never happens to me anymore.

Every single character in this book was absolutely exquisite. I wanted to know more about almost all the characters in the book. Mara's family had me laughing, worrying and deeply wanting to meet them in real life. Kate, Claire and Rachel were these amazing people that I needed to speak with. I felt cheated out of getting to know them with their little involvement. I wasn't able to decide what I thought about Jamie. I liked him, in spite of his oddness, but he was there/not there so much I couldn't explore him as much as I wanted. There was this sort of "this can't be it" feeling when his part of the novel ended. Hopefully he'll be in the next one though so I can see his interaction with other characters, especially Kate. Noah was absolutely wonderful; he really reminded me of those characters in Koren/Taiwanese/Japanese dramas. The gorgeous leading boy with a tragic past, more money than sense, a promiscuous reputation and an obsession with the new girl. It was part of the reason I loved him so much. Noah was sarcastic, loyal, English, sweet, with a killer wit. He was a perfect boy in other words. Mara was indescribably amazing. She was so strong, but with just the right vulnerability from the accident. I cannot tell you how much I love her. (I'd go on for three more pages.) The only thing I'd have liked to see more of was her missing Rachel, that's it.

I said before that Mara was a murder mystery. However, it's also so much more than that. It has genuine notes of romance, loss, horror, and the terrors of navigating high school as "the new girl." There was so much more to it than the main plot and somehow that made Mara Dyer shine. One of my favorite aspects of the novel was Mara's family heritage. Her mother's side of the family is Indian. There's a picture of Mara's grandmother in her sari on her wedding day and I thought that was so incredibly cool. One of my best friends is Indian and I'm always on the look out to show her that there is in fact, diversity in YA books. I also enjoyed that most of the novel was set in Florida, because you guessed it, I'm a Floridian. I didn't grow up in Miami, but I've been there, crazy and wonderful place.

There is so much I would love to say about Mara Dyer but I can't, because it would reveal too many secrets about the book. I've found an easy solution to that though. Go out, buy Mara Dyer, read it, and then fangirl endlessly with me about how awesome it is. Please, I am begging you to do it. I need someone to freak out with. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is unquestionably one of the best books I've ever read with captivating writing, an ceaselessly thrilling plot and a steamy romance that I can't wait to know more about. Go. Read it. Now. You will thank me later.

Teaser Lines: 
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and all that jazz. Anna use to be the abstinence poster girl, but post-Shaw you could write a comic book about the many adventures of her vagina. It could wear a cape." 

(I laughed for 10 solid minutes after reading that the first time.)

Happy Reading,


  1. What's the next book called?

    1. The title and cover have not been announced yet. However, Michelle Hodkin is going to be releasing them soon on her blog. You can go there for future updates.

  2. This is a story in which telling you too much of what happens spoils it. Suffice it to say that while dark, it is an intriguing study of how difficult it can be to control your thoughts. Michelle Hodkin's debut novel was an enjoyable and quick read and there are sparkling moments of surprising humor that made me laugh out loud appreciatively for the author's wit. It is a multi-layered mystery, with no end to the paranormal-esque experiences in which Mara finds herself in.


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