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{Review} The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

By 9:44 pm , ,

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1 
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publishers: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 456
Genre: Paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website Book Depository Amazon |

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.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has always been a trilogy I've seen around but never have heard much about it. It was not until Sunny recommended it did I give it a chance and I'm so glad I did!  This novel took me on a whirlwind of emotions as I had to second guess every twist and turn the plot took.

Mara was the only survivor in a tragic accident with her friends. It was a miracle she survived but she didn't come out completely unscathed. She now suffers from severe PTSD from the traumatic experience of losing her friends and boyfriend in the accident. Mara doesn't remember anything from the accident, except from what her parents told her. She and her friends were in an abandoned asylum late at night and it collapsed. That's all that's to it right? Because she has PTSD she sometimes hallucinates and it's a battle to figure out what are hallucinations and what aren't.  

Mara and her family move towns in an attempt to start life anew in a new house and a new school. She thought that after losing her boyfriend that she could never love again, that was until she met a boy who was more alike her than she first thought. 

If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be creepy. Michelle Hodkin doesn't hold back when it comes to describing in detail. She succeeds in creating such vivid imagery and exploring some dark themes that authors tend to avoid. Since it's been ages since I've last read, it's been interesting reading in Hodkin's writing style. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a perfect read for getting back into the swing of things because it jumps straight into the storyline. 

This book is not predictable. It was exactly what I needed to keep me engaged in the storyline. The whole time I was thinking, "What's going to happen next?" and I could not stop turning the pages. Throughout the novel it's like you're seeing everything as Mara and you never know what's a hallucination and what's reality. It's extremely confusing but in the good kind of way. By the end of the novel there's a bit of a cliffhanger that makes you second guess a lot that happened in the novel and you can't help but start the next novel immediately. So my advice, is to have the whole trilogy when you start this. 

The one thing that I praise this book for, is not having the "No-Parent Syndrome!" You know what I mean right? YA literature is notorious for having it and so many authors fall under the trap. The "No-Parent syndrome" is when the parents are at the beginning of the novel and then suddenly they just disappear and are absent from the whole plot. 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was centred around Mara's recovery from the accident. Her mum and her elder brother are always there for her if not overbearingly. This made the novel so much more realistic and I love how the book wasn't solely about the romance but also about family. It was just small things like this that made it just the perfect balance.
Now I'm sure you've been waiting on my thoughts of the romance! Am I right? Noah Shaw is the love interest in this book and can I just say that he is now my #1 book boyfriend! Let's just take a little look at his description:

“These were the things that added up to Noah that morning, from bottom to top:
Shoes: gray Chucks.
Pants: charcoal tweed.
Shirt: slim cut, untucked, thin and pinstriped dress shirt. Super skinny tie, knotted loose around his open collar, exposing the shadow of a screen-printed t-shirt beneath it.
Days unshaven: somewhere between three and five.
Half-smile: treacherous.
Eyes: blue and infinite.
Hair: a beautiful, beautiful mess.

- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer eBook

Has that got you interested yet? Not to mention he has a British accent!!! Noah Shaw is sooooo totally swoon worthy! He is the epitome of 'tall, dark and handsome' which is exactly my type. 

Mara and Noah's relationship was all about the banter. Witty and sarcastic comments thrown back and forth. It was a love/hate relationship at it's best. I'm not going to tell you much more, you're just going to have to read it ;)

In the end The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was a highly enjoyable read. There were a couple plot holes and unanswered questions but I feel like they'll be solved in the next books. It's one of those books that you can't help but love and fall in love with the characters. I definitely recommend it and please comment if you've read it. I need someone to fangirl with!

Do you like paranormal fiction?

Have you read this yet?


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Francoise! I thought Sunny might have had some influence when I saw what you were reviewing. ;) I've never actually thought to pick this up (mostly because of just how many people used to talk about it and the hype) but your review is intriguing me. I might give it a chance if I find it in the library. Noah does seem to have a reputation for being on a lot of book boyfriends lists... Maybe I should give him a chance. ;)
    I used to really like paranormal fiction but I thought I came out of that kick a couple years back, but over the past week or so, I've read four vampire books so... I guess you could say I was in a parnormal kick. ;p
    Great review!

  2. I usually like paranormal fiction but it really depends on the book. This one actually sounds like one that I'd really enjoy so I have to get a move on. My friends have been bugging me about this one for literally years!

  3. I just finished the final book in the serious and it's one of the best paranormal YA series I've come across. Book one was fun wasn't it. I loved how it established relationships and friendships first, rather than waiting until the second book, it gives you a greater feel for the characters and more incentive to invest in them too. And with this series, it just gets better and better! I can't wait to see what you think of the next one. Brilliant review Francoise <3 and lovely to see you back blogging and reviewing again :)

  4. Sunny always has an influence on my reading! Because all she ever talks about is the latest book she read and I HAVE to be able to fangirl too. Don't worry I never really took much notice to it but it has been on my TBR for ages.


  6. I'm not a huge paranormal fan these days, but I've seen this series floating around and I must say I'm very intrigued! I hear there's lots of twists and turns and I'm so excited to be surprised! And this Noah Shaw...I want to meet him! No 1 book boyfriend eh? That's a pretty high approval rate :P

  7. I feel like the quality of paranormal is going down hill and it's the occasional books like these that just blow your mind. Words cannot describe Noah Shaw...just wait till you meet him.

  8. Michelle Hodkin is so good at writing about the different relationships. There's such depth to the characters and somehow she does this all in one book. Absolute genius

  9. I read the first two books in this series and they were really good! They're different from anything else I've read and Noah is definitelly swoon worthy! However now I'm hesitant, cause friends of mine told me the third one is not as good as the others and I don't know what to do :(
    But the second one is even crazier than this, you'll like it!!
    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I'd appreciate it so much! It's both in Italian and in English :3 ->