Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Bought from B&N
Published September 27, 2011
Amazon - Goodreads

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 heard so many incredible things about this book that I thought I was going to be absolutely blown away by it. Unfortunately I was left a little underwhelmed, but hear me out... Overall it was a really great book, just not what I was expecting. I've been thinking about how I was going to write this review since I finished it and I'm still a little unsure where this will go so I warn you ahead of time about the rambling and for parts where I will most likely contradict myself!

I'm very conflicted on weather or not I like Mara, the main character. She was a tad crazy, but admirably protective and super witty, but sometimes I didn't agree with her decisions, especially at the end of the book. I sympathized with her when she was being harassed by a girl at school and I liked how she handled herself in those tense situations. Sometimes I wanted to shake her and just ask why she was being so crummy to her caring mother. I get she was super over protective, but I mean your entire family moved to a different state just so you could get a new start, give them a break. But at the same time (here comes the contradicting parts) Mara was going through a heck of a lot with having just come out of a coma and completely forgetting what happened the night her friends died in the accident so there's that to consider too.

A part that I did enjoy in a love/hate (mostly love) kind of way was how every chapter ended in a cliffhanger so I just had to keep reading, no matter what time it was. I stayed up until two in the morning until I finally got to the point where I had to stop because I literally couldn't keep my eyes open. I love that I never had a problem with not being interested in what was going to happen next, because there was always some twist hiding around the corner.

I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. I guess I mean that in a mostly good way, but a teeny, tiny bit bad too. Like somethings would happen and I would just be 'Oh no way! That's so awesome, I totally didn't see that coming!' while other times I would be thinking 'How the heck does that fit into the story, that came out of nowhere.' Of course, this might have just been me, if I go back and reread it I'll probably find the clues that lead to the outcome of certain events there all along.

My absolute favorite part of the book was Noah! *swoon* The first scene of the book he was in I knew I was going to love, love, love him! He's kind of got the whole 'bad boy' thing going on, but we later learn that there's so much more to him than all the rumors around school. Sure, he may be a little bit of a... hmm how to word this appropriately...err a guy who gets around a lot? Yeah, let's go with that, but as the story unfolds we get a glimpse into his life. I thought he brought out the best in Mara, and that Mara did the same for him. A lot of scenes that they were in together were super cute and were my favorite parts of the book.

I really didn't like the choices Mara made during the end, it was just very different. It was a pretty great cliffhanger so I definitely can't wait for book two! I want to know the aftermath of certain choices that were made at the end of the book and just to see what happens next in that 'holy cow!' part of the ending.

Hilarious Quotes:
(I literally busted out laughing when I read this line...)

“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.”

And this one's super funny too...

"My God, you're like the plague."
"A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless moral resonance? Why, thank you. That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me," he said. 
"The Disease, Noah. Not the book."
"I'm ignoring that qualification."

Characters: 4/5
Creativity: 4/5
Voice: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Impact: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

So this could be an Inception thing, ya know the movie? The first time I saw it I just thought 'Joesph Gordon-Leavitt looked absolutely lovely.' Then I saw it again and realized there was way more to it than Leavitt's nice derriere, that the plot was totally mind blowing and the character's were completely incredible. So I'm thinking this is just another case of  me needing to try this again and pay more attention to other aspects of the book instead of studly Noah perhaps. Also now that I know where the plot is going I can see if there are any clues hidden along the way. I recommend you pick this one up because it's just a really unique story that left me thinking about days after, heck I'm still thinking about it!


  1. That first quote was hilarious!! I haven't read this one, but I've seen the cover a lot - had no idea there was a sequel. I DEFinitely know what you mean about unpredictability being both good and bad. I hate it when you feel like you already know the end and you've just started, but things also need to follow a plausible arc. I just finished Variant, and I mostly enjoyed it, but "the big twist" came SO far out of left field it almost put me off of reading the rest of the book.

  2. Noah sounds pretty epic. ;) I look forward to reading this one when the times comes haha. I totally get being underwhelmed by a novel sooo many others have been raving about. I think our expectations grow leaps and bounds in instance like this one.

  3. This wasn't what I thought it would be either, but I think that's a huge why I ended up enjoying. That, and all the suspense.

  4. =D I absolutely loved this book. I'm glad you liked it. It is VERY addicting. =D So I definitely understand how you had to stay up reading until 2 in the morning because that is what I did. I want to go re-read it now! lol And I just read it a couple of weeks ago!

    I can't wait for the sequel. =) Great review!

  5. I loved Noah too and he is probably one of the main reasons, who am I kidding, the main reason, I'm dying to read the sequel !!
    GREAT REVIEW Katie !!

  6. Ahhh, **finally**!! :D :D :D

    First off, I KNEW you'd like Noah. ;)

    And I understand why you think some bits were pretty random. But ngl, a huge part of why I loved it so much was all the WTF-ery going on. haha It made you think and question whether you even trusted Mara (or anyone else) at all.

    I've already read the book a few times and I've noticed new bits every time. I don't tend to miss/overlook details too much, so that was pretty surprising. Michelle is sneaky! haha So now after a few re-reads, to me, almost everything has significance. (Maybe those random bits to you will make more sense after a re-read?)

    And the ending! OMG. I definitely had to read that part alone, numerous times. lol Definitely wasn't expecting that...

    I guess it goes without saying that other than Pandemonium, Mara Dyer 2 is now my most anticipated. I seriously cannot wait!!

    (Btw, after hyping it up left and right to everyone with ears--especially you, I was a little nervous you wouldn't like it at all. So even though you're not a crazy fangirl like me, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) I'm relieved. hah)

    P.S. We should have a FB discussion on this one. Y/Y? :D

  7. See I didn't like Noah very much-he was such a player and that doesn't work for me. I much preferred the parts without him because they were so psychologically twisty! I wasn't sure what was going on in many parts.

  8. Love those quotes. I still need to finish this book!