Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 1442421797
ISBN-13: 978-1442421790
Goodreads   Amazon

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.


I have thought about this review all day. Mostly because my emotional reaction to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyeris confusion. Sheer and utter confusion.

Now, this is not to say that Mara Dyer is not a good book. It is. There is lots of good in there: good writing, good mystery. But that’s about it. Mara Dyer is just good. Barely average. Parts were somewhat disjointed as though we were inside Mara's brain and the book was written the same as her thought process--like there were missing details, purposefully removed to add to the confusion.

The characters are shallow and thin as rice paper. Mara is whiney and inconsistent. Aiden and Anna were plastic copies of other evil stereotypical just-there-for-angst characters of many YA novels. Noah was unrealistic and multiple-personalitied. From chapter to chapter I just didn’t know who I was going to get. Jamie was the only character who seemed to be thought through and remained himself. And I liked him and Daniel the most of all the people in the book.

Torn between hating it and liking it with mild curiosity, I was left confused and vaguely disappointed. There were so many almosts, but nothing really developed or came to light in the some 400 pages. Mara Dyer felt like a 400+ page introduction. There was a major cliffhanger at the end. Which is enough to have me put book 2 on my TBR. I can't decide if I hate Hodkin or appreciate her cunning.

I don't know how I feel about it, except that confusion pretty much describes it. Maybe that’s how we’re supposed to feel?

2 Moons: For all the hype, I was let down.

Get to reading,
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  1. I think this is the first review I see about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer that hasn't any fangirling in it! I hate it when a book doesn't live up to the hype. You expect so much of it and than nothing... I'm still curious to read it though! Thanks for your review :)

    1. Helene, I will "fangirl" when it's justified! I just didn't find anything to fangirl about! I've got The Evolution to read, hopefully I'll get to it this year and see how the second installment goes!

  2. I was...not a fan of this book either, hah. It was very confusing, and I don't think all of that was deliberate. Your commentary on the shallowness of the characters, plastic copies, etc., etc. are spot-on, too. Most people seem to love this book though, so to each her own...

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. There was so much that this book could have been...maybe the rest of the series is going to be better??

  3. You know, I had the first thoughts as yours.. I was left very confused and just shocked at the end because Mara Dyer wasn't just a reading experience.. it is very hard to put into words! This is why I loved Mara Dyer so much.. my emotions were scattered and I just didn't know what to think of it at the end.. Still I have to say that I ended up staying all night to finish it and that counts for something right? and Yes, that cliffhanger is SO BAD! I am sorry it was just a good and average read for you, I hope The Evolution of Mara Dyer is much better for you :)

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Juhina, I hope The Evolution is better for me too!

  4. Aman, I bought a signed copy of The Evolution at YALL Fest 2012. It's on my list to read, I just have to get to it.

  5. Hahahaha! This is such a Richard blog post. This must mean there is a lot of romance involved with a cliffhanger at the end.

    I got the first two books and had them signed at yallfest, but I'm in no hurry to read this series. I'm content to wait until it is completed because I don't like cliffhangers. I actually asked Michelle Hodkin if it was true that she had major cliffhangers at the end of the first two books, and she refused to tell me! So, yeah, I know there was the big, major, humongous hype machine that surrounded the release of book one, and everyone goes crazy when these come out (like with Divergent) and I don't like buying into that because it often weakens the book for me. Once the third book is out and everybody gets it out of their system and is quiet about the series for a little while - THAT's when I'll break my copies out and start reading. Because I am indeed curious, if nothing else.

    Mostly I'm just curious as to whether the hype machine is a ripple effect or if there is actually something to the story, like is it good. I'm hoping it is good if I spent the money on the books. :)

    1. And this is such an Asheley comment! I think that the hype machine really jaded people's views of the book. I hope to get to The Evolution by this summer. You'll definitely hear my thoughts!

  6. Oh NO! I'm sad you didn't like it. I loved this book.

    1. I may not have liked it, but I'm glad that so many other readers, you included, did!

  7. I agree 100% with you. So dissapointed. I had no idea what I felt until i just let myself accept the fact that unlike the hundreds of people that loved it, I didn't lol oh well.


Thanks so much for the comment love!