Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Book Review

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date of Release: October 23, 2012
Pages: 480
Received From: Purchased

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong. After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous. This fast-paced psychological—or is it paranormal?—thriller will leave you breathless for its sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer.

My Review

I have heard so much about this book, and when I hear SO many positive things it makes me nervous - what if I don't like it? That has happened quite a few times for me. Thankfully, that isn't the case this time.

Mara has experienced loss. After going into an old asylum (and not remembering why she went), she wakes up in a hospital to find out that she has lost the most important person in her life, her best friend Rachel, her boyfriend Jude, and her boyfriends sister, Claire. The asylum had collapsed and the were killed, but somehow Mara survived. She isn't well mentally, experiencing hallucinations, and with her mom being a psychologist, she feels she should be medicated and hospitalized until they can get her on the right track. But, after some convincing, they decide to uproot the family and move, a fresh start for everyone.

Not thrilled about starting a new school, Mara gives in and hopes that things will start to get better. But on her first day she has a hallucination that makes her later for her first class and has an embarrassing moment in front of her first class...not a great start for sure. But she does make an impression on Noah, the boy who every girl has a crush on.

She has no interest in starting anything at this point, not with everything else that is going on in her life. But they continue to be drawn to each other, and she finds that she enjoys spending time with him...a lot! But how can she possibly think about having a relationship, especially when she has had a few hallucinations that seem to have come true, and involve people dying?

Finding out what Noah and Mara mean to each other was interesting - not just an average high school love interest it seems as if they are truly made for each other and meant to be. I did enjoy this book, although I felt that there were moments that didn't feel like they were as well written as the rest of the book and felt a little muddled. I will read the next in the series, as I do want to find out what happens.

Was this the best YA book I have read? No, it isn't. But it is an interesting concept that is different than many, which makes it stand out a little more. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

3 1/2 Stars

Michelle Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan before writing the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer Trilogy. Her first novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, was published in 2011 and was a YALSA Reader's Choice selection. The sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, was published in October 2012, and the third book, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, is due out in 2013. Rights to the series have sold in fifteen countries, and the books are being translated into several languages, including Portuguese, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Russian, Czech, and Chinese. When Michelle isn't writing, she can usually be found prying strange objects from the jaws of one of her three rescued pets. You can visit her online at

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