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Mara Dyer #1

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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Mara Dyer believes life can't 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 strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

456 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 27, 2011

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About the author

Michelle Hodkin

12 books12.2k followers
Michelle Hodkin is the author of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, which was a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling series. The trilogy, which includes The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer, was described as “haunting and dreamlike” by Cassandra Clare and “darkly funny, deliciously creepy, and genuinely thoughtful” by Veronica Roth. Lev Grossman has called Hodkin “One of the greatest talents in Young Adult fiction.” The novels were praised by Romantic Times, MTV’s Hollywood Crush, and the Los Angeles Times, and books from the series appeared on several state reading lists. Additionally, The Retribution of Mara Dyer was selected as one of TIME.com’s Top 10 YA Books of 2014. Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan, before finally settling in Brooklyn last year.

You can visit her online at:


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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,965 reviews294k followers
July 9, 2015
Warning: this review contains flashing gifs and foul language.

I've spent two years avoiding this book. I remember in 2011 when I stumbled across that exciting GR description and pretty - if slightly creepy and discomfiting - cover, but my initial curiosity was quickly dampened by the reviews from my trusted goodreads friends. And for nearly two years, I have listened. My intentions were to never give this book/series another thought, until I recently came across this interesting page: 15 Young Adult Books Every Adult Should Read. And I noticed authors like Laurie Halse Anderson on the list. That's when something inside me rose up to meet the promise of a challenge - plus, who knows, sometimes my favourite books of all time have been those I'd taken a chance on against the odds.

But this book was just bad. The exciting premise is wasted on a novel that eats at the same lunch table as Twilight, Hush, Hush and Fallen. The mysterious paranormal aspect opens up many avenues for the author to have explored and yet she chooses instead to pick the dullest one - a cliched romance. And damn if this book isn't one huge glowing neon cliche. One where a boring heroine with a severe lack of personality meets a ridiculously good-looking, sexy, British bad boy - who could have anyone he wants - and he somehow finds himself madly in love with her. Why? Well, that remains the biggest mystery of all.

Two words come to mind when I think back over this book: wish fulfillment. But yes, the other two words spring to mind a lot too. This novel is a very fine example of a certain brand of book that contains mediocre-at-best writing, unbelievably hot male love interests and is an empty, easy sell for young teen girls. Noah really is quite laughably perfect (if you like controlling jerks, but I'll get to that in a second) with his perfect face, hair, body, smile (etc.), his massive fortune, his intelligence which includes knowledge of six languages and large quotes from various classic novels. He is so flawless, I felt like he'd just rolled off the factory production line, spritzed, polished and raring to go.

Ah yes, and about that controlling thing I mentioned. There's really no need to explain it in detail, I'll just pull up some quotes for you:

Noah placed his forefinger above my upper lip and his thumb below my bottom lip, and applied the slightest pressure, cutting me off. "Shut up," he said quietly.

What is Mara's response to his rudeness? I nodded feebly. o_O You nodded... feebly? What is wrong with you? I can't understand why you aren't all like:

Then: The waiter appeared then, and Noah plucked the menu from my hands and handed it over, rushing off our order in Spanish. The waiter departed for the kitchen.
I shot him a dark look. "I hadn't decided yet."
"Trust me."

This also happens in Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian orders for Ana without even asking what she'd like or if she's vegetarian or has any allergies. For one thing, it's flawed. But beyond that it's just goddamn rude. What exactly is sexy about a guy not giving a damn what you want? When you look past the pretty description we are given of Noah's perfection, I find him incredibly unattractive, pretentious and annoying. If I wasn't British myself, I think this book would give me a really bad opinion of British people; almost as bad as Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap remake when she tells her American twin "I have claaasss and you don't." *shudders*

This quote - "Because I'm European, and therefore more cultured than you" - might have been funny as an isolated incident but Noah's repetition of similar declarations of cultural superiority (with books, music, etc.) just made me think...

I also think Mara is in desperate need of a new girlfriend because the girls in this book are ALL her enemies. Even her two friends at the beginning get separated into best friend and evil girl who's trying to steal best friend away. The word "slut" naturally appears several times in this novel and usually when the characters are talking about mean girl Anna who immediately decided to make Mara's life hell because Noah showed some interest in her. This beautiful quote sums up Anna's characterisation:

"The list of what you're missing, Anna, is longer than the South Beach Free Clinic's walk-in list," Jamie said, and I was surprised to hear his voice. "Though I'm sure your hookup resume includes the same names."

Cue group laughter as good triumphs over the evil slut who doesn't deserve feelings. This always amazes me in these kind of books - that we're supposed to be sympathetic towards the MC and believe she is the victim and much more interesting because of her lack of sluttiness. I don't think I'll ever understand why that stuff matters.

I've been picking out all these quotes throughout this review but I've saved the best for last. If I had been drinking whilst reading this bit, I would have sprayed the contents of my mouth everywhere. I just... can't. This is in response to Mara finding out about how Noah slept with a girl who was in love with him just to prove a point to the girl's brother:

I should haul back and smack him, strike a blow for feminism or something or at the very least, get out of the car. But then his thumb traced my skin and without quite realizing it, I leaned toward him and rested my forehead against his.

... to hell with feminism! Hot jerk is touching my face!!

Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
June 7, 2011
Well, let me get this out of the way - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has nothing whatsoever in common with The Adoration of Jenna Fox, even though their publisher-provided plot descriptions are almost identical. What it is similar to is the infamous bestseller Hush, Hush, but it is just a tad less offensive. So, if you are a fan of that novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is your next natural reading choice.

I'll attempt to refrain from excessive ranting here, but, goodness, this novel is just as bad (or as good, depending on how you look at it) as Hush, Hush.

First, there is this wonky, messy and too often nonsensical paranormal story line that is, naturally, all but abandoned to concentrate on romance later in the book. Mara wakes up from a coma to find out that her 3 friends have died in an accident which she miraculously survived. She doesn't remember the circumstances of it, but something strange starts happening to her. She seems to be seeing ghosts everywhere, people around her are dying, she keeps losing chunks of time. Things are so bad with Mara, that her parents consider sending her to an asylum for psychiatric treatment. But eventually they all settle on helping her deal with the trauma by moving to Florida. Here during her first disastrous day in a new private school Mara meets, you guessed it, a scorching hot bad boy named Noah Shaw.

Of course, he's been around the block and allegedly dated every girl in the school. Of course, he is loaded. Of course, Mara is the first girl he ever cared about, cared enough to announce her his girlfriend and, oh my, drive her to school! Where have I seen this before?

What follows is exactly what you'd expect, a "romance" that is pretty much an exercise in sexual innuendo, douchebaggery and you-are-mine/i-belong-to-you mumbo-jumbo. I got sick of the constant alluding to "nailing" or "knowing what I put in my mouth before swallowing" very quickly. To be fair, unlike Nora, Mara does not just quietly take suggestive and offensive remarks thrown at her, she can return them as well - the "swallowing" line is hers. Plus, Noah doesn't try to kill her.

I suppose some female readers will find this sort of dating attractive, amusing, hot even, but for the life of me I can't work up any love for the male lead who is described by Mara's new best friend as a guy who uses and discards his girlfriends "like condoms" (allegedly).

What else is there to expect? In a Becca Fitzpatrick-like fashion, Michelle Hodkin fills her book with nonsensical things like a teacher (in a posh private school!) throwing stuff and insults at her students, or fortuitous situations where our lovebirds find themselves in various beds with no adults around (of course, there are super-duper paranormal reasons why the two can't go all the way), or one-dimensional characters - Mara's blonde mean girl arch-nemesis who turned a complete slut after dating our hero and an obligatory best new black Jewish bi friend (much better and more inventive than that obligatory best gay friend, right?)

Pardon me while I go roll my eyes at this mess some more.

P.S. I dare you to explain what exactly happened in this book.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,577 reviews33.9k followers
September 6, 2016
1.5 stars Welcome to yet another teen romance masquerading as a paranormal novel. If you’re like me, you’ve been salivating to read this book for months because of the breathtaking cover—and of course, the premise of a girl waking up in a hospital with no memory of how her friends were killed is pretty intriguing. I’m sorry to say, however, that the maddening phenomenon I’m calling “cover fraud” strikes again, since this is another book whose interior does not live up to its beautiful cover art.

Mara Dyer doesn’t know what happened to her friends the day that a building collapsed on them, nor how she somehow escaped miraculously unscathed. The family decides to pack up and move to another town to get away from intrusive attention and so that her lawyer father can take on a high-profile criminal case. Until this point, things are pretty interesting and I wanted to know what was going on just as much as Mara did. Except suddenly, a boy enters the picture, and Mara pretty much loses all common sense interest in figuring out why people around her keep dying. And that’s when I lost my interest in this book, too.

I rarely have trouble adjusting any preconceived expectations about a book’s content, which is why I’m able to go with the flow for books such as Divergent or Delirium, which weren’t quite what I expected but I liked because the authors handled certain aspects of them very well. So if this was going to turn out to be a romance book with the paranormal stuff thrown in as a bonus, well, I’d be fine with it if I was sufficiently entertained. The issue with this is that if the book isn't entertaining and the romance doesn’t work for you, the whole thing is doomed. And this romance did not work for me at all.

Noah Shaw is one of those guys you’re supposed to find charming in spite of yourself. He’s arrogant, he’s got a smart mouth, he has a “deviant grin,” and he’s slept with just about every girl he’s ever looked at. As soon as Mara sees him, she seems to be struck dumb by his appeal, even if she pretends to hate him. Noah pushes the boundary of being a jerk a little too often for my comfort, however, and it isn’t until later in the book that we find out whether or not he’s actually a good guy. The problem really isn’t Noah, though; it’s Mara. While Mara is admittedly not a completely spineless, annoying heroine, she is incredibly obsessed with Noah, to the point where you’re embarrassed for her. Look, we all notice every single minute detail when we’re into a guy, right? But there’s also family and work and hopes and dreams to think about, and certainly if there are people dropping like flies, you’d think a girl would spend a little more time worrying about that instead of mooning over “the slender muscles in his arms.” (Mara really doesn’t seem to do anything outside of school and her only friend is a very politically correct bisexual black Jewish guy who pretty much functions as a Greek chorus.) The fact that there is so much attention paid to the way Noah looks and what Noah says is pretty sad—and honestly, although he has a few moments where I bordered on liking him, it never really happened. Plus he’s just not that hot.

The amount of wish fulfillment running through this book is also completely out of control. Noah has a British accent, speaks six languages, and mentions his parents’ “la vie boheme” lifestyle. He lives in a palatial house with a valet, a “Greek-inspired fountain,” a “flawless patterned marble floor,” “plush Oriental rugs,” and oil paintings, and his “startling” room has enormous windows overlooking the bay and bookcases that reach all the way up to the ceiling. He reads to her from E.M. Forster, he’s possessive and tells a random guy named Alain off in French, and he wants Mara even though he could have anyone. Although of course, he never slept with the one mean girl who keeps tormenting Mara. And despite his ludicrous wealth--he literally peels $5000 off from a wad in his pocket at one point--he drives a Prius.

There are also the clichés of a tony private school, a prerequisite dance to which Mara wears a “dark emerald green silk dress” that dips “dangerously low in the back” and someone literally goes “OHmigod!” when he sees her, a ridiculous scene in which Mara tells off a cartoonishly unpleasant teacher, and an eye-rolling occasion when Noah crashes her art class and takes off his shirt so that all the drooling girls can sketch him. The more I think about it, the more this reads like the script for a CW television show. And also, what was with

Oh, back to the dead people thing. There are some flashbacks to the day of the accident and more people die, but it’s all done with so little interest past the first quarter of the book that it’s really difficult to stay invested in the story, particularly when random events involving alligators, dog rescues, a seminar, a kidnapping, and her father’s court case are so haphazardly strung together. I guessed what the big secret was before I’d even read the first page , so it was an exercise in frustration to watch all the clunky pieces strain desperately to fit together into a cohesive whole.

Aside from the flat characters, uneven writing, and loose plotting, what turns me off so much about this story is that it’s all so shallow and all so meaningless. I read a lot of fluff books for sheer entertainment, but there’s got to be something in them that I like—and sadly, the best things about this book are the cover and the premise. Like Elizabeth Miles’ Fury, it’s another beautifully packaged book which is much more interested in indulging in superficial relationships than anything else.

I hesitate to weigh in this next bit as part of my rating because this is mostly a personal preference, but reviews are inherently subjective by nature, no? So I’ll go ahead and say that while I think Fury was technically the more tasteless book in terms detailing the dirty things that teenagers can get up to, there’s something about Mara Dyer that is much uglier to me. The fact that this girl is so obsessed with a boy is so wrong to begin with, but what really made me realize how much I disliked this book was the point when Noah starts jokingly quoting from The Velveteen Rabbit and Dr. Seuss and inserting fellatio jokes. I think most of my friends here know by my reading material that I’m pretty laid back and am not one to get worked up over the choices that fictional characters make that would not be my own. But I do believe strongly in the sanctity of childhood and feel a great deal of responsibility in doing my part in helping to protect that. While I know it’s all supposed to be funny and to show how clever and charming Noah is, I just find that sort of thing incredibly distasteful.

But in the end, I know there are many readers who will find this book a lot more appealing than I do. I don’t even blame anyone who still wants to check it out, because, well, look at that cover! How could it possibly be disappointing? All I can say is that I personally came away from this reading experience with an extremely bad taste in my mouth. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that I’d recently read so many fantastic books that were not only entertaining, but were also beautiful and moving and actually contributed something meaningful to literature. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer may very well end up being a popular book for now, but it will never end up being one that stands the test of time. What’s most disappointing is that it doesn’t even try to be.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.7k followers
October 21, 2022
Well, this book didn’t exactly age like a fine wine!!!!


This is the wearing-eyeliner-on-your-bottom-lid-but-not-your-top of books. The I Heart Justin Bieber graphic tee of series start-offs. The Twilight of YA fantasy paranormal romance. Wait. Twilight is the Twilight of that.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has all those fresh fresh 2011 tropes we knew and loved back in the day, and they...do not look clean as a whistle in the harsh light of modernity.

Young adult fantasy isn’t exactly a utopia in 2018, but man, reading this book really made me wonder how we survived for so many years! This was like a grocery list of lightly offensive tropes. YA typically has at least one of them, but to have so many! It’s almost impressive.

Except no.

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about YA fantasy of this type that is immediately evident. Maybe it’s the mildly sh*tty writing; maybe it’s the intense self-ostracization of the inevitably brunette protagonist; or maybe it’s the INSTANT APPEARANCE OF THE HOTTEST BOY IN SCHOOL, WHO NEVER TALKS TO ANY GIRLS but ohmygod wait is he coming to talk to you??? Ohmygod Mara!!!

It’s probably the latter.

So I knew from the get-go that this was going to be a Twilightian tale, but I didn’t know just how bad it would get. Until I was straight up informed, with the following quote, delivered straight into the eyes of our protagonist by the hottest British mouth ever to grace the Florida coast:

“You’re not like other girls.”

The subtext was screaming those five words so hard I didn’t think that they needed to be said outright!!! But I guess I forgot that the writing of this book is Not Good.

But even before that, I was given a warning. The quintessential good-looking blonde rich mean teens that rule this high school are named Anna and Aiden. Aiden is gay. His nickname is “The Mean Queen.”

When the lovely Mara, our unique brunette protagonist, asks her token gay friend - who is actually a token bi friend in this book for flair (but still professes his lack of attraction to Mara in order to be the sexless fixture so required by all early 2010s teens) - why Aiden has this nickname, Jamie (said lack-of-sex object) says because it’s obvious, and because he’s mean.

Are they...are they calling him a “queen” because he’s gay?

Uhhh. Pretty sure that sh*t wasn’t exactly enthusiastically approved even a whopping seven years ago.

There is also, in another totally predictable twist of horribleness, so much slut shaming based on clothes. Every mean character (meaning every single female who isn’t Mara, her love interest’s sister, or her brother’s girlfriend) is described for the absolute horrors of their, like, showing a shoulder or whatever.


One little tidbit that I forgot even happened in this type of book was that a natural branching off from the not like other girls trope was the you-don’t-need-makeup cliché???? So classic. So good. That’s another one that’s just outright said:

“You don’t need makeup.”

Soooo romanticcccc. What a dreamboat. Question mark. Is that the desired response???


The girl hate in this is like none I’ve ever seen, or at least like none I can remember and haven’t repressed due to my having read it in middle school.


But I should talk about Noah Shaw before I talk about the girl hate.

Noah is another amaaaaazing cliché who has somehow developed the ability to walk and talk and whatnot. I was excited to get into Noah, because I remembered everyone lusting after him in 2011.

I should have realized what that would mean.

Noah is the hot inexplicably British resident of Miami, whose house is twenty-five thousand square feet but you would never know it because he’s just so down to earth. His hair is always a mess! He doesn’t tie his tie right! He wears T-shirts underneath his uniform button-down, for some reason!

Plus talk about toxic masculinity!!! He punches a guy in the face for saying he’d f*ck Mara so hard that whoever pulled him out would be crowned King of England. (Which, disgusting, but like...also kind of funny. Almost. If it weren’t a rape joke.) Then he gets in another fight like two days later, but it might have been longer because sometimes they just say “weeks passed” in this book. ANOTHER AWESOME TROPE.

Noah checks the tragic backstory box in a big way (his mom was murdered in front of him at a protest and his dad is, like, so rich but so distant) and he’s SUCH a bad boy. He’s really promiscuous, but we won’t shame him for it like we shame all the girls in this book because I could, like, totally fix him.

It’s, in a word, amazing. No satire could ever lock onto male love interest tropes like this book manages to.

Also at one point Noah literally says (always outright with this book!) that he’s going to “fix” Mara. So. Just to let you know that the mental illness rep is sh*t, alongside the gay and bi rep being awful. And also Mara’s half-Indian, which comes into play only alongside a mention of the saris her mom buries in her closet in order to “be American.”

Make up your own mind on that one?

Anyway. When Mara gives into the ~true love~ between Noah and herself, girls she doesn’t know elbow her. They shove her books out of her arms. They hate her so much that when the Spanish teacher fails her on the exam out of spite, none of them stand up for her.


The plot of this is also so confusing. Time passes in jumps. Every day follows the same structure so it’s impossible to tell what’s happening.

But it all boils down beautifully to the not-so-happy-but-like-happy-in-an-edgy-emo-way ending: It turns out Mara and Noah are meant to be because their chosen-one style magic powers match up. (Aw!)

Bottom line: This book is truly a better, more obvious encapsulation of every YA fantasy trope I can think of than any satire could ever possibly hope to be. Which is, in a way, strangely entertaining.

I might have to continue the series just because of that.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,443 reviews78.1k followers
November 7, 2017
After feeling this was a 3 Star read (based on content) that I had a 5 Star time reading, I decided to meet in the middle with a 4 Star Rating. 😂 Just go with it. All you Mara Dyer haters out there, I get it, there are all the same issues here that people had with Twilight and all the other hyped teen paranormal books of the era. I found them too, but I was prepared going in; I didn’t pick this up until after everyone else had already read it so I knew that these books set feminism back about 100 years. I went into this book looking solely for an entertaining read and that’s precisely what I got.

Obviously I can’t add anything new to the review narrative that’s been circulating since these books were written, but I will say that Hodkin has that special touch, the one that people are embarrassed to admit to adoring because it’s not “cool” to like books like these anymore, but secretly they fangirl over it because *swoon*. These are saccharine sweet with cheesy romance and cliche plot twists, but I can’t help it. I DRANK THE KOOLAID AND WANT MORE. Sorry if that makes me shallow, but I’m just here for the trashy reads right now. If you need me I’ll be curled up in my pjs binging the rest of the trilogy bc I’m old and don’t care what people think of me. #JustKiddingPleaseLoveMe

Book #1 for my Nebulous November challenge! I’ve only been meaning to read this for the past 6 years, so NBD. ✨📚
Profile Image for Kat.
265 reviews79.6k followers
June 2, 2021
im not even going to try and pretend like i think this book holds up against the test of time, but i also never said i had good taste. middle school nostalgia, ya feel?

in conclusion, i love my foul mouthed murderess and her trusty smuthound.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
February 22, 2012

Hmm...Where do I even start with this book? I guess I should start by saying The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and I have this awkward love/hate relationship. If this book were a person, it'd be the boyfriend I sometimes had fun with, but never wanted to take with me in public because I knew he would do something stupid and embarrass the hell outta me. For majority of the first half of the book, I wanted to stomp it into the ground with my pair of patent leather pumps. However, somewhere along the lines, I started to enjoy myself a bit. I'd hear a strange sounds coming from my mouth only to realize, "Oh my, that was a chuckle." In many ways, I can really see why so many people would really like this book, but I can also see why others would want to gorge their eyes out with a high school cafeteria spork.

Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital bed one day with no recollection of how she got there or what happened to her friends who were killed in the accident that she managed to survive. Hoping for a new beginning, her family packs up and moves to Florida. As the memories Mara thought were lost start to slowly make a reappearance and dead bodies seem to pop up like daisies, she notices something is not quite right with her. She, then, struggles to keep hold of reality while trying to figure out the mystery of what really happened to her in her old hometown.

The Good:

I'll start with the good first since there are a few things I did like and I have so much more "bad" to rant about later in the review.The cover is beautiful! It has to be one of my favorite covers of the year and I get shivers just looking at it. Not only that, but the book's premise really appealed to me and is easily the biggest reason why I continued to turn page after page. It was a surprisingly quick and easy read and the writing style wasn't bad either. I really appreciated that both of Mara's parents were around, even though they seemed to dissapear at the most convenient of times. And like I said earlier some of the dialog I did enjoy and found funny. Most of the best moments for this book is between Mara and Noah, the love interest.

...okaaayyy so that's all I got for the good. Man, that's a bit pathetic. It's barely a paragraph.

The Bad:

This book had a lot of potential and for the longest time, I couldn't exactly put my finger on what bothered me about the book. If it weren't for the following issues, this could have been a 4 star read for me, possibly more.

The books biggest issues are the actual characters and all the sterotypes that come along with them. They were completely extra. The gay black guy, the extra bitchy popular girl who hates the MC for some vain, insignificant reason accompanied by tweedle dumb (her trusty side kick or fashion accessory. I can't decide which.), the bad boy who truly isn't bad (he has feelings, he's deep and likes to "fix" people), and the obnoxious, perfect, older brother.

1. Jamie.
Jamie is Mara's new best friend in Florida. He also happens to be a bisexual, Jewish, Black male with dreadlocks and a tongue ring. Oh, and he's adopted. Yes, I know. He is quite a little token cocktail, isn't he? Hodkin, you want to put a PoC or a bisexual or a Jewish person in your story? Be my guest. But, why, oh why, did he have to be all THREE AT ONCE? And if he wasn't "Black enough" let's give him dreads. And, oh noz, he isn't "gay enough" either, we must add a tongue ring! And what the hell, let's urbanize him while we are at it. Funny thing is he knows he's the token character:
“But none of this matters, because you’re not going to listen to your token black Jewish bi friend, are you?”
That is the part where Hodkin almost owed me a new Kindle. I literally had to stop reading or I was going to lose it. His characterization was poor, poor, poor. It felt like he was trying entirely too hard to be both gay and Black, neither of which I found convincing. About halfway through the book we don't see him again and I couldn't even be mad at that because I was too busy celebrating the fact I no longer had to endure his weird hip-hop lingo anymore. I realize this may have been Hodkin's attempt to add diversity to her story, but guess what?

2. Daniel.
Or as I liked to call him: The kiss-ass perfectionist. He was just too over the top to be believable. He is perfect in every way: Perfect student, perfect son, perfect brother. I can totally see why Mara was annoyed by this. Every time Mara wants to go somewhere, Daniel has to first talk with their mother about it. AND IT ALWAYS WORKS. I have an issue when one sibling seems to hold that much power in a hosehold. There is a scene in the book where he is looking at the mail and says
“What lucky institution of higher education accepted me today?” he asked, eyes on the envelopes. “Ah, Harvard. That’s nice. And Stanford!”
Wow, so not only is he a kiss ass, but he's conceded too! If I ever saw Daniel out in public with his mom, it would go something like this:
I would to tap him on the shoulder and go, "Hey, buddy. You dropped something." "Huh? What? Where?" he'd say. And I would respond, "Your lips. I see them over there dangling off your momma's right ass cheek. Go and get 'em, will ya? It's distracting."

3. Noah
Noah is the bad boy love interest of the story that has had sex with the entire female population of the school. >insert eye roll here< His character is also over the top with bad boy stereotypes. He gets away with everything because everyone loves him. He is loaded with cash money. He's ridiculously good looking with a *le gasp* English accent. He's incredibly arrogant, rude and tactless. Oh, and most importantly, he only has eyes for Mara. Of course. Once he enters the picture, Mara completely forgets about everything. *cough*the plot*cough* I suppose it really isn't her fault. After all, Noah possesses a "panty-dropping smile." Hide your daughters!

Later in the story, a small piece of me actually started to like him, but unlike Mara, I couldn't excuse his original jackassness. Nope, couldn't do it.

4. Mara (What is your real name anyway?)
I didn't entirely dislike her, but I felt she made some really crappy decisions. This story could have really taken off and gone to an interesting place if she didn't become so obsessed with Noah. There were times where I thought she would use that crazy brain of hers, but then she would turn right around and ignore the problem. There was one scene when Jamie tells her When she actually talks to Noah about it, he admits it and what does she do? She just changes the subject and they never talk about it again. Then, there are times when Mara's logical skills seem to fail her all together.
What could I say? Noah, despite you being an asshole, or maybe because of it, I’d like to rip off your clothes and have your babies. Don’t tell.
Oh, yeah, Mara. That makes total sense. Or how about when you and Noah are in his room about to kiss, but you decide you don't want to kiss him Yet, you think having sex instead would be safer?

Because of situations like this, I just could not connect with Mara at all. I suppose I was supposed to feel sorry for her when her teacher threw chalk at her and made fun of her in front of the entire class. Sorry, Mara.

Then the teacher gave her an 'F' for showing her up on her oral exam. She told you to sit your ass down, Mara. That means do not pass go. Do not collect your $200. It means STFO. And you wondered why you got a failing grade. Then you went off, , and had a psychotic break down and lost two hours of your life. Was I supposed to care then too?

5. The Plot
I think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ran into the same issue Incarnate did. It got so wrapped up in the romance; it completely discarded the premise of the book. When something exciting actually started happening it completely came out of left field and hit Mara in the head. I was really disappointed that we really didn't find out more about Mara's abilities. The explanation given by the end of the book was easy to guess and I was expecting more answers. And I read somewhere that this book is supposed to scare you. Lies. All lies

6. The Ending
Damn that cliffhanger. I actually finished reading the book and I'm rewarded with the worst cliffhanger possible. I started screaming at my poor Kindle Touch (which is awesome, by the way. Thanks for asking. :D). WTF, dude!

Okay, I have to stop naming things that irked me or I'll start sharp shooting a star off this review. I'll read the next book, but along with Incarnate's sequel, it's going right on my "You're on probation" shelf.

Oh, and riddle me this: How is this book considered paranormal? You go the entire book with alomst nothing supernatural until the very end and suddenly it's paranormal? That's just lazy.

Okay, I'm really done this time.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for "That's All" Ash.
158 reviews1,926 followers
September 17, 2013
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This is THE best book I’ve ever read.

I don’t rate my books one star to five stars. I rate my books one-star to “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.”

People always want to know what my absolute hands-down favorite book is. And it’s funny because when they ask, they always give me that good minute-long silence for me to think it over. But I never need a minute. And I probably never will.

This is my favorite book.

This book is my trump card whenever my friends and I are talking about the most amazing books ever written during those 3 a.m. conversations; it’s the book that I’ve read 14 times; it’s the only book that I have that’s completely covered in margin notes.

It’s the book that made me a book snob.

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Mara wakes up in a hospital, only to find out that her friends are dead from having an entire building collapse upon them.

And her only clue as to how that happened is that she was the only one that lived.

After burying her friends and her former life, Mara’s family moves her away, thinking that all she needs is to start over.

♦New state.
New town.♦
♦New school.
New friends.♦
♦New life.

And Noah Shaw.

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“Have you kissed many boys before?” he asked quietly.
I raised an eyebrow. “Boys? That’s an assumption.”
Noah laughed, the sound low and husky. “Girls, then?”
“Not many girls? Or not many boys?”
“Neither,” I said. Let him make of that what he would.
“How many?”
“I am taking away that word. You are no longer allowed to use it. How many?”
My cheeks flushed, but my voice was steady as I answered. “One.”

At this, Noah leaned impossible closer, the slender muscles in his forearm flexing as he bent his elbow to bring himself nearer to me, almost touching. I was heady with the proximity of him an grew legitimately concerned that my heart might explode. Maybe Noah wasn’t asking. Maybe I didn’t’ mind. I closed my eyes and felt Noah’s five o’clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear.

“He was doing it wrong.”

Noah’s the only one that believes Mara when she tells him that she’s going crazy.

When she tells him that she can kill people with the gun of her mind and the trigger of her imagination.

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♦Is it real?
Or not?♦

“Fix me,” I commanded him. “This thing what I’ve done—there’s something wrong with me, Noah. Fix it.”

Noah’s expression broke my heart as he brushed my hair from my face, and skimmed the line of my neck.

“I can’t.”

♦This book is suspenseful and intriguing and riveting and it has a page 359 that’ll make you stop breathing.♦

”I don’t have a choice.” I told him.

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“You always have choice.” He said.

Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.7k followers
December 3, 2017
You know when you read a book and you can stop rolling your eyes and think “I’m too old for this shit”?!
Well, that was me reading this book.

The premise was interesting. A girl uses a ouija board with her friend. She wakes up in the hospital not remembering how her best friend died. Paranormal things start happening…

But there were so many bad YA tropes I just couldn’t deal.

Conversations that would never happen between teenagers (come on nobody will quote a few sentences from Lolita just like that). Evil teachers that want nothing else but to torture you. Throwing chalk at you (although I’ve had a math teacher that told us he once threw a dictionary at a student back in the “good old days” when it was a boys only school). Her finding a way to prove how much better she is than said teacher when she becomes fluent in Spanish pretty much overnight… that only happens in your head, not in real life.

The love interest is a stylishly disheveled boy with a British accent that wants nothing else than the plain main character because “she’s not like other girls” (he actually says that out loud!). He wants nothing more than to make her “his”. Possessive and pretty violent. I got flashbacks from Twilight…

Said main character becomes arch enemy with the pretty popular girl just because. Plus she hates the girls wearing “slutty costumes” at the Halloween party…

Towards the end, I could see the potential but it was a complete fail. Part of me was curious to see where the series would go but after the ending, I don’t think it’s enough for me to continue the series.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,543 reviews9,858 followers
June 29, 2022

Oh, my goodness, this was so enticing!

I had no idea what to expect going into The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It is a series I hear mentioned all the time, but literally knew nothing about.

One of those, 'everyone has read it but me' series. The one you hear EVERYONE talking about but just cannot relate.

For 2019, I created a TBR jar to help clear off some of my backlist titles and this was the first book I pulled. I knew that I would either love it or hate.

Luckily, for me, I truly enjoyed it!

Upon waking up in the hospital, Mara Dyer, has no idea how she got there. In fact, her whole recent memory seems to have been wiped clean.

Before long, she discovers she was involved in a terrible accident that killed her best friend, as well as two other kids, and left her in a coma.

Her parents, focused on Mara's recovery, decide to move the family to Florida, feeling it would be harmful for Mar to continue living in a town where she has suffered such trauma.

Once in Florida, Mara slowly begins to remember what went down that infamous night. Some of it floods back to her in nightmares, while some, more disturbingly, during the day as vivid hallucinations.

Guys, some of this stuff was hella DARK and it took me completely by surprise.

The first big spooky hallucination, I was like, 'okay, we doing this. I like this!'.

Then, to up my enjoyment levels even more, we meet Noah.

Noah Shaw. Now, seriously, I am not one to get all swoony, professing love to book boyfriends, but...

I'm swooning. There's just something about him.

His witty banter, his English accent, his clothes, his swagger. Yep. I could read about him all damn day.

Watching the relationship grow between Mara and Noah was so much fun. She tries to resist his MANY charms, but eventually succumbs. He's irresistible.

Soon enough, he becomes the only person she trusts to help her figure out what is wrong with her.

She hasn't felt right since the accident and throughout the course of the book, the true events of that night are pieced together for the reader.

Even at the end, it wasn't what I expected. I knew it was a paranormal romance, but I didn't know what the 'paranormal' elements entailed. I did a good job keeping myself in the dark on that one...

...and I like what is happening with this story. I am definitely planning to continue with the series.

In conclusion, I love you, Noah.
Forever and Always.

Profile Image for brooke.
63 reviews1,359 followers
April 15, 2023
3.75 stars

”today. tonight. tomorrow. forever.” noah's eyes held mine. his stare was infinite. “i was made for you mara.”

there has been a lot of hype revolving around this trilogy, and i’ve seen mixed reviews so i was really curious about this one and wanted to see what it was all about.
— this book was different than any other books i’ve read, it keeps you guessing until the very end. michelle hodkin's writing style was perfect for this kind of book. it's eerie, creepy, but still contains some light-hearted elements in it. hodkin makes it nearly impossible to figure out what is happening to mara. at times i was like “what the fuck is going on”, this book will always have you questioning if this is real or just another hallucination.

mara dyer is the ultimate unreliable narrator, you will always keep guessing where the storyline is going but you will never be sure. — mara is a wonderful heroine who is damaged and broken. she suffers from PTSD after an accident that killed her boyfriend, best friend and boyfriends sister and she miraculously survivors. she is the only one who knows what happened but she has no recollection of that fateful night. she constantly has nightmares and hallucinations in which she sees her dead ex bf and his sister, and struggles to figure out what is real and what isn’t. in an effort to start a new life, her whole family move to florida, she struggles to come to terms with life as a teenage girl and the deaths that seem to follow here wherever she goes.
— mara is the epitome of “not like other girls”— noah literally says that to her and i wanted to gag. honestly what was the reason 😭

”his touch felt like home.”

noah ”my girl is talented” shaw the man that you are!! i welcome you to the exclusive list of my book bfs. i started this book bc i’ve heard he is the british version of aaron warner and i pretty much agree with that statement, bc you will either love or hate him.
noah shaw is your typical arrogant heartbreaker who is rich, sarcastic and a bad boy with daddy issues. he gets whatever and whoever he wants bc of his charming good looks, but changes his bad boy ways bc he ends up falling head over heels for mara. it was giving “i can have any girl i want but i wanted you” — noah brought this story to life, he provides the rock that mara needs to work through her issues. the relationship of mara and noah develops slowly, at times i was screaming KISS HIM OMG KISS HER but the wait is totally worth it! oH AND HE SPEAKS SIX LANGUAGES — we love a multilingual king!!

at times this book felt like your typical high school story. where there is a mean girl who is in love with the popular guy in a somewhat obsessive way and will go through all these lengths to embarrass/bully you to impress popular guy, but he takes no interest bc he is already head over heels in love w you. but the dark, mysterious plot made up for it.

— i also loved the family bond in this book too, mara has a strong connection with her brothers.

ultimately, i enjoyed this book a lot! it’s super creepy and somewhat disturbing but also beautifully eerie it was also a bit of a cliche and got super cheesy as their romance took over the entire plot for the last half of the book, but i didn’t care bc i ate it up. (DONT LET THE CHEESY ROMANCE THROW YOU OFF, IT WAS WRITTEN IN 2011, SO IT WILL BE KIND OF CRINGY BUT IT’S OKAY HAHAH) they have the best witty banter tho, boy does ms hodkin know how to write great dialogue!! the way it had me giggling and kicking my feet!! — but i was mostly intrigued by the paranormal and thriller aspects of this story.
also that ending was INSANE, IM GAGGED talk abt a cliffhanger i was not expecting that at all!! now i can’t wait to continue on with this trilogy.

Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
September 18, 2016
“But without my big mouth, no one would know that a seventeen-year-old who likes Death Cub for Cutie was responsible for the murders. No one would know that somewhere out there is a B student with a body count. And it's important that you know, so you're not next.”

This book messed with my sanity. It teased it, played with it and then tossed it aside and left me trying to gather my wits, something that felt like catching feathers in a tornado. Impossible.

I was very hesitant to start this book. I was convinced it would be nothing special and I wouldn't like it. You can imagine my surprise when I felt hooked to this story since page 1. Page 1. That's all it took to dive in a unique reading experience that almost sent me straight to the asylum. (pun intended)
“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.”

There's not much I can say about the plot without spoiling you except that it follows the story of Mara Dyer, a girl whose best friend was killed when they were together and couldn't remember anything about it. She was traumatized, she couldn't put it behind her despite her family's efforts and love, she saw ghosts and things no one else could, and she was certain she was going crazy. And then she met Noah Shaw and everything changed.
“And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely,

What makes The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer a unique reading experience

-The mystery. The mystery is tangible and gives you the creeps. There was something utterly disturbing sinking in my skin, giving me goosebumps and making my heart race. You needed answers but you didn't get them. All you got was more questions and a sense of foreboding. And a brain smelling like roast potatoes.

-The paranormal element. Dead people making appearances, portraits looking at you, bugs at your food, horrible deaths etc etc. I will not be able to look at my bathtub the same way again.

-The humor.
“One little joke involving hemorrhagic fever and they brand you 'unstable'.”

As you can imagine some light moments were essential to make you breathe, and Michelle Hodkin knew exactly how to make you laugh (or giggle maniacally, depends on the person-not that it happened to me.)

-Noah Shaw.
“What could I say? Noah, despite you being an asshole, or maybe because of it, I'd like to rip off your clothes and have your babies.”

Hot. Arrogant. British. Owns a massive book collection. Loves dogs. Pant-dropping smile. Sensitive. Extremely and unexpectedly sweet. Hot.
I loved his scenes with Mara, the way he refused to give up on her and supported her. He can be the one to save her from the darkness or doom her to a life deprived of light.

What say you? Care to give it a try?

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Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.7k followers
August 28, 2019
oh, hey there, noah shaw. welcome to my harem of book boyfriends. ;)

also, you know how they say good althetes sacrifice their bodies for their sport? well, good authors will sacrifice their minds. and michelle, sis. im worried about you. because this is beyond psychotic. lol.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Lori.
541 reviews321 followers
December 4, 2013
I truly have no idea where to even start. I'm sure if I just said 'Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow' over and over again that it would get my point across just fine, but that might be a little repetitive and inarticulate. I'm going to try to get my very gushing thoughts in order for you guys.

When I opened the pages of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I had no idea what to expect. The synopsis really doesn't give you much, and I like it that way. The vague synopsis, the eerie cover, and the fantastic title really set the tone for the book. The overall feel of this book is very different than most YA's out right now. It's very dark. You will realize that from the first page. Sometimes it sent shivers up my spine. But it's also a fantastically done love story that had me aswoon on many occasions. So although I didn't quite know what to expect, I fell in love with this unique and extremely captivating story very, very early on.

Who is Mara Dyer you may ask. Well, I'm not telling. You will have to find out for yourself, but I will say that she was damaged and she was unreliable because of that. That was a aspect that I absolutely loved! Mara just really wanted to be a normal girl and that made her relatable and realistic. I loved her sense of humor, it reminded me of mine. Mara Dyer is a mystery you will want to figure out. You will love her!

Now for the romance....sigh. Michelle Hodkin is trying to kill us with this romance. Heart attacks and swooning will ensue. Noah, Noah, Noah. He is everything you love!I guarantee it! He even has an accent! He's also a bit of a bad boy with a reputation. He's just....Whoa. I'm gushing, huh? Let put it into more intelligent sentences. There's no insta-love. There is a believable, intense, sexy attraction that builds slowly and makes you fall in love right along with the characters. I swooned, I giggled and by the end of it I was head over heels. This was the best romance I have read in a long, long time.

I'm not done! No, there is more to this story than great characters and heart stopping sexy romance. Much more. It's scary. It's 'make the hairs on your arm stand up' eerie. It's awesome! There were many times I just had to set the book down for a few moments so I could just take it all in. I died a thousand little deaths from the sheer hotness and awesomeness of this book. It left me speechless and breathless and this review in no way does it justice! The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book I could read over and over, and I probably will.

This is an incredible debut. Michelle Hodkin is an author that everyone will be talking about. This book is the next big thing. I LOVED it! It claimed my favorite book of the year spot before I hit page 50. I will hand sell this if I have to--but I won't have to. Am I getting my point across? READ IT!
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
February 14, 2017
SPOILER FREE REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fQpa...

People have been recommending this to me for ages and I just decided to pick it up on a whim recently and oh my freaking god, this was amazing. I flew through this and literally had to force myself to put it down and get some sleep.. it was that good. The characters were amazing, the plot was amazing, the writing was amazing, IT WAS SO GOOD. It really wasn't what I was expecting but in the best possible way. I'll film a more coherent review soon, I need time to process my thoughts and that cliffhanger.

P.S.- I have fallen in love with Noah Shaw and now frequently envision us skipping off into the sunset together. I'm thoroughly convinced it will actually happen soon enough.

Profile Image for John Egbert.
189 reviews164 followers
December 3, 2011


Replace "with you and Jade i guess?" to "with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer?" and the reply can stay the same.

Yes. I went there.


(Yes I am actually aware of how juvenile that was.)

There will be no love for Mara Dyer here. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you go read another review. The funniest part is that whenever I make a warning like this it ends up getting ignored and I'm trolled anyway, but hey, it was worth a shot, right?


Also, because I can't be fucked to individually tag every single spoiler in this review, I'm just gonna say that if you don't wished to be maaajorly spoiled then DON'T read this review.

So let's get into this.

Let me just start by sighing the biggest most exasperated and tired sigh on the entire planet earth.


Now we can move on.

There is a lot, and by a lot I mean A FRIGGIN SHIT TON wrong with Mara Dyer. But let's start with the basics first.

Fucking. Jamie.

Okay, look, I know what you're probably thinking.

"OMG! Mello/Italy is always bitching about minorities not being portrayed enough and when there is a minority in a book she bitches anyway! Instead of whining she should just take what she's got! She never shuts up about anything!"

To which I'm thinking,


And I will get into why I'm thinking that.


I'd like to think I'm less violent than that, but you never know. So you better pay attention!

I have a lot of literary arch nemises...nemisises...neme -- enemies. Literary arch enemies. That list of arch enemies now includes Jamie whatever-the-fuck-his-last-name-is-because-I-can't-be-arsed-to-check.

Firstly, he is a douchebag.

Here are some quotes from our lovely lovely James:

Quote: "Anna used to be the abstinence poster girl, but post-[Noah], you could write a comic book about the many adventures of her vagina. It could wear a cape.”

Why he's a douchebag: I don't know about you, but I'm smelling some slut shamingggg. This entire comment is sleazy. What the fuck does her sex life have to do with him, anyway? Oh, that's right, NOTHING. And why does the entire situation mentioned warrant ridicule? If anything, it's showing how broken up she was over Noah fucking with her and warrants sympathy, which is exactly what I feel for her over the course of the novel.

Quote: "(...)Take Anna, for example. She’s only a few IQ points above a corpse, and yet she sullies our Algebra II class with her stupidity.”

Why he's a douchebag: Okay, first of all asshole, you haven't seen her grades. You haven't talked to her for over five minutes. Outside of your quick judgements and Anna being a jealous jerk towards Mara you seem to know nothing about her. So kindly SHUT UP about her IQ points, which are clearly soaring above any you may have, may being emphasized here.

Quote: “Noah doesn’t date. He’ll screw you—literally and figuratively. Everyone knows it—his conquests know it—but they pretend not to care until he moves on to the next one. And then they’re alone and their reputations are shot to hell.I heard that a senior from Walden tried to commit suicide after he—well. After he got what he came for, pun intended, and didn’t call again."

Why he's a douchebag: How Noah's flings in this novel are treated in general is really fucked up, but I'll get into that later. This comment, however, greatly enrages me. It fucking comes to the point where a girl is so miserable over Noah using her for sex that she tries to kill herself, and Jamie makes a fucking pun about it? What the fuck? Considering that his own fucking sister was one of these girls YOU WOULD THINK THE ASSHOLE WOULD BE A LITTLE MORE SENSITIVE, BUT NO.

And all of this is just the tip of the assholish iceberg. Jamie likens Noah's exes to used condoms, constantly refers to "getting vagina" or (I cringe in agony, pain, misery and sorrow as I type these words, mind you) "getting pussy" as if it's some kind of goddamn sport, as if having sex with girls is like, oh, throwing a motherfucking football!




And why does all of this make you an idiot? Because, you, dear moron, think that I should have to put up with this bitch as representing minorities. Jamie's black, Jewish and bi and a self admitting token to the novel. I do not want Jamie or any of his asshole caliber representing me or any other normal human being on this planet.



I want more minorities in YA. But I don't want any more sexist, stereotypical fuckwads that happen to be minorities in YA. We already have enough of those, don't you think?



...before I get even more psychotic over this, let's move on!

Another thing I had a problem with.

The Treatment of Anna

Okay, I know, you're probably thinking:

"But! But! But Mello/Italy! Anna is the mean girl; she deserves everything she gets! She's a bitch to Mara! And she's a bitch to Mara only because she's jealous! Why are you defending her?!"

First of all, Anna is only a mean girl because Mara Dyer is an especially uncreative book in terms of characters. Second of all, no, she is not actually a real mean girl.

I hate to say it, but Anna is pathetic as a mean girl. She never does anything actually mean to Mara besides calling her a slut for getting with Noah (which all of the main characters pretty much do to her, not saying that it's right) and taking her sketch book and making fun of her drawings. And not "OMG YOU SUCK THIS IS AWFUL" making fun of, either. For a supposed mean girl she's actually quite tame.

On the outside, Anna is your blonde jealous slut who's mean to the main character. But on the inside? She's actually a lost, angry girl who's ridiculed behind her back for being in love with and not being able to get over Noah. And because of this she often outlashes at other people, which is kind of understandable, considering.

Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but you know what? It isn't.

For instance, Anna's mistreatment shows through when Mara says, “Having everyone stare and wonder what sort of hijinks your vagina’s been up to isn’t as thrilling as one might imagine.” to Noah after rumors of them (Mara and Noah) being together start floating around the school.

But didn't I just quote Jamie as making fun of Anna using exactly that phrasing?

"It could wear a cape," is what Jamie said. And yet, despite Mara's apparent discontent about her own sex life being made fun of constantly, she apparently sees no issue that her own best friend does it to someone else. That's hypocrisy, and it's also fucked up.

(Jamie never gets called out for saying that shit, either.)

So, yeah, that's why I like and can easily defend Anna.

And ANOTHER thing,

How Noah's ex-girlfriends are treated

This is especially fucked up.

Like, more than everything is in the novel is fucked up, even.

And that's just shocking.

I will get more into Noah later, but right now, basically, all you need to know is that he's supposed to be really "slutty". (I use the quotes because I really don't believe in calling people sluts.) And a huge dick. (I don't use quotes because I have no problem with calling people dicks.)

So, he's also a heartbreaker.

And I mean severe heartbreaker. Serial heartbreaker. As in, makes girls feel special and then drops them, later talking about them like they're nothing (in case of what he does to Anna).

One girl had it so bad, as I quoted Jamie saying above, that she even tried to commit suicide.

I, unlike the characters in this novel, actually have a problem with this. I'm sorry, but you can not just use people like that. Jamie says that Noah will "screw with you, literally and figuratively" and that is not okay and not mysterious and not hot. That is fucked up and that is wrong.

But is Noah ever held at fault for this? Actually, fucking no. And are the girls he flung aside ever given any sympathy for, or treated as real people who actually got hurt? Actually, fucking no.

And that makes me angry.

So angry I could turn into a pink haired anime girl and friggin slap the shit out of someone!

But, really, that's fucked up.

Over the course of the novel these girls are likened and referred to as, with not a single fucking hint of sympathy, as many awful things I don't really want to mention, but to give you the gist of the fuckery, one of those things being used condoms.

And that is NOT okay.

Look, before anyone thinks I'm just all pissy over this because obviously I've had something like this happen to me before and I'm totes just too sensitive, let me let you in on a little tiny secret: YOU'RE WRONG.

It's just that, you know, I just happen to take a little offense for people that have actually been hurt that way, because as a fucking human being with the smallest emphasizing capabilities I ACTUALLY SEEM TO CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, YOU KNOW. I DO THIS ALL THE TIME. SHOCKING, I KNOW, SO I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A MOMENT FOR THIS SHIT TO SINK IN.




Are you okay now? Good.

We can move on again, because I think I've flipped my shit enough talked enough about this subject.

Noah himself

The sexy, rich, British, "slutty" high school boy.

Girls are supposed to go:

However, this is how I feel about his "smexyness":
(A look of mild amusement and disgust.)

First of all, I friggin hate that entire stereotype.

By the way, this novel is filled with stereotypes, in case you didn't notice.

There isn't anything sexy about Noah. Perhaps that's just because I'm weird. Perhaps because what I find sexy in a person is nerdiness, modest yet cool, awkwarness (like me), kindness and nice teeth. (And, you know, of course they're going to have to be kind of cute too but I'm not too picky.) Noah is none of these things. He's arrogant, pushy, fake suave (I say that because his suave isn't even real suave, it's the fake contrived suave) and he reminds me of James Potter without the Marauders, Snape or Lily.

Trust me when I say that this is not a good thing. And look at my James Potter essay if you don't believe me. Frankly, I don't like Noah or James Potter or that stereotype because, well, I don't like dicks.



That came out sounding...

Shut up. I know you're laughing at me right now, so shut up.

....anyway, if you'd all get your mind out of the gutter for a moment to listen to me bitch some more, the point is that Noah isn't any of the things the book, or more to say Mara, tries to make him out to be.

And what is it with the British accent fetish? I hate to say it, but British accents aren't very sexy. (Don't kill me for this, I'm just sayin'.) Seriously, they aren't. Nor are Irish accent. NOR IS ANY ACCENT. No accent is automatically going to boost your character's smexeh factor. /end accent rant


The shocking blandness of the whole thing.

Mara and Noah's relationship...the whole thing with her and Noah's powers (which, no, I still don't understand)...THE WHOLE PLOT...

I was basically like:

Me: Hey, book, book! Is this the part where I care? can I give a fuck yet? Oh, please, please, please?


Me: ....okay....


Mara didn't even get a clue about all the paranormal stuff that was supposed to happen but didn't until, like 80-90% into the fucking book, until, like, 80-90% into the book. It was infuriating, especially when she had the nerve to make comments like:

"Something is happening to me."

And you're like: "WELL NO DUH, YOU IDIOT."

The worst part is that inbetween when the book starts and the part when you actually do start to give a fuck (never, by the way) the book "appeases" you by giving you Noah and Mara as a couple to swoon over.


And to make things more interesting beyond that (zero) Mara constantly reminds us of her visions and nightmares and of how crazy she is. Guess what, Mara, after a certain point...


I know I sure as fuck didn't.

There was one part, where we figured out why that asylum collapsed on her and her friends, the part with Jude, where I almost gave a fuck.


But then, no, I didn't, and why? Because we were flashed again to another lovely snippet of Noah and Mara's relationship. That cancelled out all the fucks I could ever give.

[image error]

What else is there...?


I'm sorry, but I just could not like Mara.

Inbetween her Bella Swan like thinking (being mad at her brother and boyfriend for trying to get her something for her birthday), swooning over the guy that's obviously bad news (Noah, in case everything I've written above couldn't hammer the point into your skull enough), being generally unbadass and boring (I literally considered just putting the book down when I was almost two thirds of the way through. It was that boring.) and me actually putting down the book for a day or so to read Homestuck (a webcomic) and marvel over an awesome female character there -- no. Just no. I can't. it's just against my morals.

She's even one of those psuedo-geniuses that so often appear in YA novels, yet it's never actually shown with her actions that she is in fact smart.

As I'm embarrassed to admit, I even turned to scrolling through fanfiction if, only for a moment, to escape her annoying, borderline-sueish and boring ways.

All I can say for this book is that at least there's no purple prose.

Now to finally end this criminally long review...

"But Mello/Italy! Isn't there anything good you can say about this book?"

Yes. Like I stated above, there isn't any of the awful prose that marks an especially bad PNR. (Although there are some questionable moments...) Also, underneath all of the ick, it does have it's clever moments that made me lol. But, however, despite this, I can not excuse everything else I've witnessed while reading this novel.

Look, Michelle Hodkin, if you're reading this (and I have heard that authors do indeed stalk their reviews) I am not saying you're a bad person or that you think this way. I'm just saying what I've seen in your novel, alright? I know the gifs make me look mean, and the swearing makes me look cruel, and my tone makes me look really arrogant, but whatever. You're probably a really nice person. I don't know. I just hate your book. Sorry about that.

I've just finished a full length novel, alright? So I know how hard it is. Even though I'm in the editing process I know I'm not even half done yet and sometimes it makes me want to scream. But, you know what? That has nothing to do with how bad this book is. Sure, it doesn't even touch the surface of atrocities like Hush Hush and Halo/Hades (DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED, PLEASE) but it's still bad and there isn't really an excuse for that. Maybe I'm being mean. Probably. Maybe I'd be upset if I read the same things about my own novel. Surely. But does that mean I wouldn't want people to tell me the truth about what I've written, even if it hurts me? Well, to be honest, yes. But, to be really really honest, no.

I remember my lurking days of GR, searching each book for a review that would tell me everything I wanted to know about a book so I could make up my mind over reading it or not. Sorry to say, but I write these kind of reviews for that me. If it's cruel, or whatever, sorry, but I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. It's not like I'm a cruel bitch who can't respect other people's feelings. It's that I'm a cruel bitch who doesn't like to be told what she can and can not say. Sorry if that bothers you.

*wonders how she got on soapbox without realizing it*

*steps off of soapbox*


So, I think I've basically told you all I can about the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.




This turned out a lot more angry and antagonistic than I ever intended it to be.
Profile Image for lulu.
107 reviews519 followers
March 31, 2023
this book made me feel so nostalgic. it literally transported me back to 2013/2014 days. it’s not perfect but i still enjoyed the story.

sooo ngl it feels a bit weird to read YA romances bc they’re so young so it feels a bit wrong ykwim? like im not tryna be imagining no 16 year old kid at my big age.

i really enjoyed the first half of the book because it focused a lot on the paranormal aspect which i’ve really been craving lately, but the second half focused more on the romance which i honestly didn’t really care for. i did like noah’s character though, he was cool ppl. he can definitely hang.

i loved that it had me pretty much guessing the whole way through, and that there were some creepy dark themes. honestly just what i needed rn. i almost wish it was a bit darker tho.

the writing felt a bit choppy. and the dialogue was cringe but i honestly didn’t mind it. it gave me a good laugh bc this was written over a decade ago so i kinda loved the vibes.

ANYWHOOO im actually excited to read the next book because it ended on a cliffhanger and i’m invested in the plot now.

im so happy i had my best girl iqra reading with me 💗
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews678 followers
March 4, 2017
Shit Shit Shit Noah effing Shaw Shit Shit Shit Shit

Damn you for making me squeal like an idot in front of other people!

Damn you.

For the past week I must have started close to a dozen books and this was the only one that I came back to and actually held my attention. I don't want to jinx it by proclaiming it had broke me out of my month-long slump because really it's too early to tell but what I can definitely say is my attention didn't waver the whole day I was reading the book.

Drat did I just jinx it anyway?!?
Let us hope for the best then. *fingers-and-toes-crossed*

Mara was more than a decent heroine which, I didn't know why, just came as such a pleasant surprise to me. She had PTSD from the accident she and her friends were in when the book opened. I need to give the author credit for not creating yet another YA heroine who solely obsessed about her love life and magically forget about everything else. Mara was not like that at all: she didn't suddenly tossed aside her messed up life and she actually had the presence of mind to want to put her shit together before thinking of having a boyfriend. That was refreshing I tell you. Woohoo!

Until... I realized something - Mara Dyer had a stronger willpower than me....

I should be ashamed of myself since I'm not in high-school anymore but let's be honest here, I mean it's Noah fucking Shaw!   You really expect me to resist him? Like seriously? Then I'd say you are i n s a n e.

Pleeease I know he's not perfect. The boy smoked, which to someone like me who's allergic to every goddamn kind of smoke on the planet, oh THE HORROR. But my squealing may just be loud enough to make me forget that fact....

Their innuendo-peppered banter just about did me in. It's a unique take in a YA book for sure and I definitely loved it.

To be honest though the story didn't make absolute sense and there were more questions than answers after I turned the last page so there, you have been warned. Although going along for the ride was a fun experience for me!

And that ending?


you know I am sooo reading book 2!

Profile Image for Cait.
76 reviews1,671 followers
July 2, 2012
This review can also be found at my blog, Cait's Corner!

Laides and Gentlemen, gather 'round! welcome to......*trumpets blare* Cait's Review of Mara Dyer!

The profound, prolific, and purely dramatic prologue. *lights dim and a single spotlight focuses on me; a narrator's voice comes out of the loudspeakers*

Cait doesn't think The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer can get any more terrible than reading Twilight and having no memory how she read that without imploding.

It can.

She believes that there must be more to this book with the beautiful cover that left her friends squealing and biting their nails in anticipation and left her mysteriously excited.

There isn't.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's read about this book, she can't not instantly fall in love with it.

She's wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is everything I hoped it wouldn't be, and even more. Not the good kind of more, but the oh-dear-God-please-no-make-it-stop-I-can't-take-this-anymore- kind of no. Now having said that, though, I really can understand how some people would like this book; the writing is fine and there are actually some good quotes like:

I twisted my arm to curl him behind me and he unfolded there, the two of us snuggled like quotation marks in his room full of words.

Mara does have some pretty good quips and comments especially at the beginning of this book; I actually did gigglesnort a couple of times.

Can I just say thank God or else this would have been a full-blown rant, for sure

The pacing is actually pretty fast; I went through this book a lot quicker than I ever thought that I would, and it did, for the most part, hold my attention. However, it held my attention for almost all the wrong reasons. Here, let me explain:

First up, everyone, we have our maestro of this disaster, Mara DYER (hint, hint, people about her speshul-ness)

I know that I've said that people have been insane before, but this girl literally is one of the most insane characters that I've ever read about. Until at about this point in the book I at least had a small grasp on the belief that she hadn't totally lost it, but, at these lines, I totally abandoned any support for this character. I know that some books are meant to have the MCs bust a nut, like Katniss from the Hunger Games, but Mara's break with reality was not believable and somewhat scary/absurd especially because we're supposed to believe that she's not insane. :

"This must be very difficult for you."
You have to admit, the paranoia was humorous. What could the detective possibly know? That I thought Morales should die and she died? Crazy. That I wanted the dog's owner punished for what he did to her and he was? Laughable. Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.
"Yes, it is very difficult." I said, nodding again, making the hair fall farther over my face to mask my insane grin.
"I'm sorry for your loss," he said. My shoulders trembled with the attempt to stifle my laughter.

Back it up, you crazy-ass bitch. I will kill you if you come one step closer.

How in the hell am I supposed to defend and believe in the fact that she's not insane when she does things like that? There are also other times ( I believe 4-6 other times) to support this where she just stands somewhere for up to two hours and has no idea what she did there and why she just stood there for so long. Her "ability," which I will talk about later, should not attribute to any of these "episodes" that she has. I can't even comprehend any of what she does; it's all so random, and put in the worst situations that make me anything but like Mara Dyer. I wouldn't touch that girl with a ten-foot pole if I saw her in real life. Call me cruel, but after you kill someone then you start maniacally laughing about it; about how funny it all is, then I will not be friends with you or even equate myself with you. Ever.

Oh, and another thing that really annoyed me? How much she complained about her "perfect brother" this and "he should be less perfect" that. All she ever does is gripe about how perfect he is, and not in a joking manner either. She means it as in the teenage angst why does he have to be so perfect while I'm not kind of way. You know what, Mara? Your brother has been nothing but kind, gracious, and covering your sorry little ass every step of the way! Let me list them, here:

1. He talks and convinces your mother several times to let you come out and hang out with people your age, while your mom thinks you're too mentally unstable to do so and, frankly, I agree with the woman
2. When he does convince your mom he has to promise to not leave your side and basically alienate the rest of society; even the girl he really likes, to stick by you to make sure you don't go crazy and start laughing manically by yourself in corners about killing people.
3. He drives your sorry ass to school every single day even when you're being depressed and in that typical Bella Swan kind of "oh, woe is me my life sucks I hate everyone" moods which, by the way, happened a lot.
4. He is constantly out for your best welfare, and apologizes to you right away if he's done something, in your definition of it, "wrong". Most of the time it isn't even his fault and really shouldn't apologize to you, but he swallows his pride anyways.
5. He's basically the prefect blend of being attentive to your needs and not being over protective (like your mom is) and still letting you still do your own thing without judging you.

So, why in the hell are you whining about how perfect he is and wishing he do something bad in his life to lower himself to your sorry level? Without him, you'd have probably killed yourself by now. You wouldn't have been able to do half of the things that you did without him! Just for once, be grateful for the amazing gift your brother has given you by staying with you through thick, thin, and always has you covered. I just......I just.....*snaps*


I would rather have read a book just about Daniel and his girlfriend than read about you.

Also, whenever Mara's with her family, she's on this constant, never-ending loop with them. Their dynamic never changes even after several tragedies, and it's just so.......stagnant. It goes something like this:
Mara's mom freaks out. Mara gets mad at her mom for freaking out for perfectly good reasons . Daniel walks in. Daniel tells Mara something important about life and helps her. Mara makes a snide comment about him being "perfect". Mara feels oh-so-sorry about Mara and Daniel and mom. Mara sleeps. Aaaaannnnd repeat.

In short: Mara is annoying, selfish, self-centered, and insane. I'm not one of those kind of people that tends to enjoy that kind of writing, characterization, and repetitiveness. If you truly do and are the .0000000000000000000001 percent that enjoy that then, by all means, go for it.

And now, we have our illustriously lame, ineffable man-whore, Noah!

But you've had sex with people before!" (Mara)
"That was just for fun" ( you fucking little man-whoreish bastard Noah)

Nothing more needs to be said about.....about that. I have thoroughly insulted you with French insults, now.

Okay, just one more thing. By saying that comment am I not in any way against sex. If you want to do that with a person and you're just doing for "fun" then by all means. If you are, however, with a girl and tricking them into believing that you are some chaste saint, even though you've had sex with the entire female student body; going through them like used condoms, no less, then you can still say stuff like....like that and have them still like you; then that's just messed up. Again, I'm not going to stand by your relationship, or with you as a person if you go around saying shit like that to a girl. Especially if all you want to do is "fix" said girl; take her on as your little project to make into the person you want her to be. Saying you want to help and fix someone is fine and cute if used sparingly, but when the person messes up that you're trying to help and you take is as your own failure because your obviously didn't "fix them enough" that's when it becomes a problem. Mara is her own person and should be treated as such no matter how much I may dislike her. She needs to be able to change herself, not you change her for her. That's not how it works or should work. This quote, actually, is the only time I ever agree with Mara about Noah.

" Is that how you see this working? I'll screw up and you'll take care of it, right?" I was just another problem that could be solved if only we threw enough time or practice or money at it. At me. And when I failed, he would just blame himself.

Otherwise, though, Mara was about as dull as a fruit fly when it came to their relationship.

I already talked about Mara, though, so back to Noah!

I guess the one thing left that I would like to delve into about Noah was how Hodkin changed the normal dynamic Now in this book that's the opposite; I can imagine Hodkin sitting in a chair if I interviewed her going
Me: So, Hodkin I would like to talk to you about Mara.
Hodkin: Yes, yes, sure! About how much you loved her?
Me: Uhhhhhhh we'll......no. I actually had some problems with-
Hodkin: Sure, yeah, right. Did you notice how I made Noah the one with the healer powers?
Me: That wasn't my question but, yeah, sure, if you want to talk about that I-
Hodkin: Wasn't it awesome! It's so different and cool!
Me: Well, actually, I do agree with the fact that it is different if you do it correctly, but I felt like there wasn't enough of a backbone to it, and the only time he used it was on Mara, (many times just to find out if she was lying when he asked inmate questions) and he really didn't seem to focus on helping people. Or anyone but himself, really. He didn't even notice Mara sometimes. He just wasn't much of a healer, so it didn't really work for me.
Hodkin: .......
Me: ..........
Hodkin: ...........
Me: .........
Hodkin: ........
Me: You still alive in there, Hodkin?
Hodkin: .......
Hodkin: ........
Me: ......
Hodkin: ..........
Me: *blinks*
Hodkin: But....but he's sooooo hawt! The rest doesn't matter!
Me: Uhhhhhh......
Hodkin: He's such an awesome healer! It's soooooooo different!
Me: Goodbye, Michelle Hodkin.

And last, but certainly not least, the poorly-written, non-preferable, plot!

Although I said this book was a quick read, it wasn't a fun read. There were so many in-between points where it was just an endless repetition of the same exact scene, but just slightly different. She probably could have cut a solid quarter of the book if she or her editor had noticed. I understand that there has to be a certain word count to publish a work for certain publishers, but if you can't get enough words in then you probably shouldn't submit it, or, if it's just that good, you'll submit it below the word count and they'll just like it that much. I would really rather not have to re-read the same lines or plot threads about ten times in one book. It's just not.......not what I want to do when I spend ten dollars on a book, obviously.

Oh, and there's a quote on the back of this book where an author who is supporting this book said at points you need to "hide under your bed covers" so, I tend to assume that that means there will be some scary/gruesome parts in this book. Was there? NO. There was never a single point in this whole novel that made me feel like I needed to hide or was going to pee my pants. The three times when people do die are not in any way terrifying; one is just a normal news report and we are only given details that her body is "horribly mutilated" and hear about a picture that was leaked on the internet. That's all. The two deaths we do actually see first hand are not overly graphic, and any other scenes that I would have expected to be scary weren't. It was almost over-dramatized, in way. Mara freaks out and becomes absorbed with soooo many small, insignificant things, that any horror or scariness disappears. When you read this book, expect a slightly darker theme, harsher language (there were actually a couple of fucks in there!) but that's it. Don't go into this having your breath catch in suspense or fear. Not gonna happen.

Like I said earlier, I really can understand why people would like this book. The common tropes like sleep-in-bed-with-your-love-interest-without-the-parents-knowing, and everything else that I listed is a lot more subtle than other novels like Halo, Hush, Hush, or Fallen, but my main point? It's. Still. There. Having said that, the masochist in me will read the next book; hopefully there will be more character development and the plot will get going. I beg on my knees crying I hope that it will get better, but doubt it. If there's a main thing I would say to this book it would be this, in the end:

Now here's a non-boring picture of the Doctor!

In the end, go ahead and read this book, but do so cautiously. You may be like me and hate it, you may be like some of my other friends and enjoy it. This review is just going out as a general warning to be careful.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Madita.
523 reviews19.2k followers
June 7, 2022
4.2 stars
Hello? New obsession coming in.

The mystery in this book is superior and I just want to know what the hell happened that night and what the hell Mara can do.
There are so many interesting characters in this series:
Noah (who’s also a great love interest btw)
Daniel (now I wonder what will happen with you)
Joseph (see smth is up with this kid)
And obviously Mara.

Plot wise I was on my toes the entire time and couldn’t put it down especially after the dog scene (iykyk) and I just have wayyyyy too many theories on what’s actually happening.
This book does have romance but it is on the slower side which I adore and the twist in the end, I love it. The chemistry was there and the way they talked to each other ugh I need it.
It definitely reminds me of Aaron.

The writing was right up my alley and Mara was not only like “depressed” but also funny and loving which I really appreciated in this book.
The before and after scenes were really interesting and I hope that book two will give us all the info on that before moment because I need it ESPECIALLY WITH THAT ENDING.

The only thing is I have zero Idea what��s going on and Idk if it’s on purpose or not but I am vibing with it. There were many different plot lines as in mysteries going on at the same time but they are all somehow connected with each other. How? Idk
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
June 23, 2016

I’m definitely with Aunt Cassie (Clare) on this book. It’s completely romantic and intriguing, I was definitely drawn in from beginning till end and I did not expect that I’d like this book that much. It probably has a lot to do with Noah who had me swooning from scalp to toenails. I think I have a new book boyfriend!

I’m sure the plot wasn’t perfectly played and I definitely spotted loopholes in the storyline but you don’t get to read a lot of good paranormal stories these days. The school setting and bullies were stereoptypical and the romance wasn’t something I haven’t read before but I don’t know, I felt hypnotized.

It probably has to do with the writing through the unreliable narrative voice of Mara which is funny, thoughtful, a bit creepy and mysterious but definitely gripping. When a girl tells a story about how she could be the suspect for the murder of her friends, you definitely WILL listen. ;) You’ll listen more when she tells you about this perfectly beautiful guy (despite his always tousled look) who smells of ocean and sandalwood. (Why do hawt guys in books usually smell like sandalwood?)

One of my favorite things about a book is when it reaches the part where I get an explanation of the title or of the cover of the book. Some books sadly don’t get to that part at all. This book definitely did earning my well-deserved “ooohs” and “aaaahs.”

Of course it ends with a cliffy which I don’t mind because I’ll be reading the second and third book very soon!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIYATHRI AKA THE GIRL IN BOOTS. I hope you're having the time of your life and make sure you stuff yourself with cakes and books! <3
August 6, 2022

it was everything i needed & more! the plot, the mystery, the characters, the romance, the paranormal. i’m INVESTED.

will be picking up book two immediately.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
532 reviews34.5k followers
October 5, 2021
I’m on BookTube now! =)

”I wanted to scream, but I closed my eyes and forced myself to breathe. Claire was dead. She was not in my bathroom, and there was nothing to be scared of. My mind was playing tricks on me. I was going to go to a party tonight, and I needed to get dressed. One thing at a time.”

I heard so much about the “Mara Dyer” series before I picked it up and because I’m always curious about books that seem to be so controversial I decided to satisfy my curiosity by just reading it. So what did I think about it? Well, the book was published in 2011 and obviously was on the hype train with all the other YA books that were released back then. The interesting thing about this book was that it might have been full of the typical clichés but it actually kinda made fun of them? For me this was a really refreshing approach and I found myself enjoying it even more because of that. I mean we have the “not like other girls” trope and Noah Shaw having that “bad-boy with a heart of gold” vibe going for him. *lol* Plus: Mara is the only girl he’s interested in even though he’s mysterious and drop-dead gorgeous. And of course Mara is the new girl at their school.

There was an edge to his voice that I didn't like. "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."

Still, there’s something disarming about Noah’s charm and I couldn’t help but love his character. We all know I love MCs that know their literature and it’s almost impossible to resist a character that has his own library and can quote books by heart. XD I know a lot of people think that Noah is very demanding, arrogant and full of himself. Which admittedly he is, but of course he is hiding his true self behind his attitude. ;-) So yeah, this is as stereotypical as it can get. *lol*

”Noah drove girls crazy, and I was already crazy. I needed to let it go. Let him go. As Jamie had so astutely said, I had enough problems.”

As for Mara: She’s one hell of an unreliable narrator and I really loved that! Mara has no idea what happened and why her friends died in an accident. She was the sole survivor of that night and the asylum they visited turned into dust while it took the lives of her friends. At first it seems like Mara lost her best friend, boyfriend and his sister, but the more she remembers and the more memories come to the surface, the more we realize that things weren’t as amicable and easy between them as we might have thought. So Mara Dyer isn’t only suffering from a severe memory loss and PTSD but also has flashbacks and sees her dead friends and things that aren’t real. Add a lot of strange happenings and sudden deaths into the mix and you get the basic idea of the plot. XD

”Dark thoughts swirled in my mind and time slowed to a crawl. I stood up from the chair, knocking it over, but my hands trembled too much to pick it up. This was – this whole thing was beyond unfair. And I was becoming unhinged.”

The mystery element in “Mara Dyer” is strong and I’m very curious what is going to happen next. The ending of the book kind of left me in shocked surprise because I certainly didn’t expect it to end like that. I have no idea how Noah fits into all of this and what is happening exactly but I’m definitely ready to find out by reading the next book.

”If you do this,” he said slowly, “you’ll become someone else.”
I looked up at Noah. “I already am someone else.”

All told “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” was an interesting start to a new series and I’m intrigued enough to continue with it. There might be a lot of stereotypes and inconsistencies at the moment but I hope that as the series proceeds some of them will be addressed and challenged. Plus I want to know how Mara’s character arc is going to play out. The same goes for Noah of course! I have so many questions, let’s hope book two will be able to answer them. ;-)


I really enjoyed this and even though it was very tropey it also kinda made fun of the tropes? *lol*
But seriously: Noah Shaw is quite something and definitely book bf material.
Mara is super intriguing too. I can’t wait to read the next book because ... THE ENDING!

Full RTC soon! Stay tuned! ;-)

I already spoke about it in my ”New Library Book Haul” and I’m going for it now: “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer”!

This book has been on my TBR ever since I joined goodreads so it’s finally time to tackle it! The plot sounds super mysterious so I’m very curious where this is going.
Did any of you already read this and if yes, did you enjoy it?
It sounds very thriller-like to me so I hope I’ll survive reading it. *lol*
September 19, 2014

I've had this book on my TBR before, but then I removed it because it looked too fluffy you know... But it was still on my ereader so I thought, "Why no give it a go?"

I'm so glad I did, because I could have missed out on one of the best stories I have ever read!

Mara Dyer has just survived a horrible accident, her friends weren't so lucky.To help cope with the stress, her parents move the entire family to a new town. New beginnings. But the past has a way of following you wherever you go. Mara realises this when her reality start to fracture and she starts to question her own sanity. The lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur.

Until she meets, Noah Shaw. The school heartthrob and heart breaker.

I'd like to mention that I loved, loved, loved Noah!

I find it very difficult to stick this book under one genre. It's pnr, ya, fantasy, romance and just plain brilliant! I was never bored, I didn't hate the heroine. There was no whining, no unnecessary angst and the story was engaging. I loved the writing!

I'll keep this short, I can't write a review on this book without giving away the plot. I went in blind, you should too!

Why are you reading this review?


Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
Want to read
November 4, 2018

I keep hearing mixed things about this series.I am intrigued to read it because of the mind thing and it really sounds interesting.Any feedback?

Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews864 followers
October 26, 2017
This beauty is currently on sale for 1.99 (it's usually I think 10.99?!?) http://amzn.to/2xiinVD


“I didn’t know what was real, what was a nightmare, what was a memory.” – Mara Dyer

Well Mizz Mara Dyer, you and I have that in common. I spent the majority of this book in a state of utter confusion with the question “WTF is happening?” on repeat in my brain.

Let’s break it down quickly, shall we? Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital having been involved in an accident she has no recollection of. Because of this accident, Mara is left in a state of confusion, suffering from hallucinations, hearing voices, having vivid nightmares…or are they memories? And because of the nature of the accident, which I shall not divulge because that would be a spoiler (!), Mara and her family move to Florida to start over in hopes of Mara’s odd behavior stopping. Does it work? Yeaaaa ..not so much.

Mara tries to adjust to this new life while dealing with her shotty recollection of the accident when creepy ..I repeat CREEPY ASS THINGS begin to happen. People dying, kidnappings, and freak accidents, just to name a few. As the story progresses, Mara begins to question her sanity (along with myself) as the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur.

Among all the creepiness, Mara meets Noah …sweet, sweet, weird, teenage man-whore Noah, who- I would like to point out even though I adored him and the way he helped Mara- I was so suspicious of. I had this weird spidey sense there was more to him and more to what he actually knew about Mara than what was being lead on. Was I right? Well, I can't actually say because that would be another spoiler!

In my rush, I hadn’t tied my shoelaces. Noah was now tying them for me. He looked up at me through his dark fringe of lashes and smiled. The expression on his face melted me completely. I knew I had the goofiest grin plastered on my lips, and didn’t care.
“There,” he said as he finished tying the laces on my left shoe. “Now you won’t fall.”
Too late.


"You want me as much as I want you. And all I want is you.”
My tongue warred with my mind. “Today,” I whispered.
Noah stood slowly, his body skimming mine as he rose. “Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever.” Noah’s eyes held mine. His stare was infinite. “I was made for you, Mara.”

The dialogue was incredibly witty and funny, some of the situations were SO. DAMN.WEIRD and again CREEPY, and all along I was so intrigued that I couldn’t wait to finish to get some damn answers. And did I get answers? Well not until the last 85% of the book did I begin to even remotely understand what the hell was going on.

He would kiss me, right now, after everything I’d done. I was poison, and Noah was the drug that would make me forget it.

I didn't read much on this book before I started it, and I wasn’t even sure how I wanted to rate it, but after finishing and not being able to stop thinking about the story I knew this one was a winner. I just want to point out that even though this is YA it DOES NOT read like one. Mara and Noah drew me in and THAT ENDING …HOLY MOTHER OF CHRIST THAT ENDING.!!*#&*!
**runs off to read book 2**

Currently on sale! | http://amzn.to/2rWKCeh

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Profile Image for Iqra.
370 reviews1,527 followers
March 30, 2023

Rtc butttt IM RUNNING TO START BOOK TWO 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️💨


BR with my precious bear Lulu, let’s see if this checks out our quota for unhinged behaviour <3
Profile Image for April.
146 reviews258 followers
December 19, 2016
What a mind trip this book was! Throughly enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Victoria Schwab.
Author 28 books103k followers
June 12, 2011
Total page-turner! One of those books I couldn't for the life of me put down, because I NEEDED to know what was happening. Chock full of twists and turns right up to the end, and some amazing moments (hey hey Noah), and now I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book and learn more.
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.6k followers
March 2, 2017
“And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely,

4.5/5 stars

Michelle Hodkin is such a good author. The novel just grips you and won't let you breath until you've read it all!
Most of what I have to say about the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is positive.
I've read it twice now and I have to say that I really very much enjoy reading the dialouges. I mean, I enjoyed all of it, but especially the dialouges. They're funny, sassy, sexy, always taking turns.
The plot is well worked out and the ending is not at all obvious. You cannot know what will happen on the next page. And even if you finish the novel everything keeps being a mystery. A bigger one than in the beginning actually.
I love how you never know if the main character is actually going crazy or if someone is somehow playing with her mind.
Another thing I love are the characters: Daniel, Joseph and Noah. Though I dislike this spoiled-sexy-rich-boy-with-daddy-issues-and-a-big-romantic-heart-cliché.

In a nutshell: mindblowing.

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