Caitlings's Reviews > The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
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Jul 31, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, paranormal, 2011-debut, romance, ya
Read in July, 2011

Occasionally, I get a tad obsessed with reading a certain book. A few months ago I needed to read Divergent. I got ever so slightly testy with Leiah because she read it so much earlier than I did. For a little while there I was afraid The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was going to be my next angry-that-everyone-other-than-me-has-read-this book. But, thanks to Christine and ALA, this did not become an issue.

However, if you are reading Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan or Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, I’m afraid we can’t be friends right now.But back to the book at hand.



Now that I’ve read the book, I don’t really like the blurb. But, that’s not important. What’s important was how fantastically awesome this book was.

What was so awesome, you ask? Well. First off, I went into this book not knowing a thing about the plot, not having any idea where it was going. Which was perfect for this book. If you can avoid any and everything about this book before you read it, please do. It will make the experience that much better.

The whole thing had a kind of Momento/The Matrix feel to it, in that at times it could be difficult to work out what had actually happened versus what was happening in Mara’s head. For both Mara and the reader. I don’t even know what to say about the plot because I don’t want to ruin a single thing of it for you. I had to keep guessing and changing my mind until…well, until things started coming together.

I loved the family dynamic in this book. It was real and complicated, and everyone wanted to help Mara but no one was quite sure how. I especially felt for her mother, teetering between hoping that if they treat Mara in a normal, things will go back to normal and insisting she get real, medical help. Mara’s two brothers were great too. I loved Jaime, Mara’s younger brother, he was so insistent and logical but still young so sometimes his logic just didn’t quite add up.

OH! And I LOVED LOVED LOVED all the pop-culture references. It was just the right amount of nerdy. And none of them felt forced or inserted. Same with the sexual innuendos. I’ve read a couple of reviews that were negative about the amount of innuendos but..come on…they’re teenagers. I don’t about you guys but based on my teenage experience that was about accurate. Possibly a little on the tame side. (Seriously, in grade 8 I had a classmate named Idil, female. Another classmate, Michael, forever and always called her A-dildo. Grade 8.) But yeah, the pop-culture references were fantastic!

And there’s Noah. I will say, I didn’t think there was much in the way of romance, per se, between Noah and Mara in this book. There was a lot of sexual tension however. I’m not even entirely sure if they ever kissed. The whole, was it real/was it just in her head thing…I can’t be sure. They had really good chemistry and I loved the little role reversal they had. I can’t explain that one at all but let’s just say Noah has a little, “But I’m the boy,” speech.

The ending was perfect for this type of book. It’s the first in a series, mystery/suspense/thriller with just the right amount of supernatural in it. I wasn’t expecting everything to be all wrapped up in the end. But a portion of the plot was wrapped up, Mara had to make an intense choice than live with the consequences. And everything was settling down when..BOOM! Cliffhanger. That’s the way cliffhangers should be. Not this…stopping in the middle of the action non-sense that seems so prevalent these days.

So, if you like pop-culture, supernatural, mystery, thriller with oodles of sexual tension and enough dead alligators to make soup for ten years, then this book is the one for you. It was fantastic!
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