The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.3  (23)
Characters 
 
4.3  (23)
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holy smokes
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Holy smokes!!

There are literally no words for my reaction to how this book ended this book was … it messed up with my head!

I was all like “whatttt is going on here?” , "Did this just happennn?” , “ Am I seeing this? Am I going crazy along with Mara?”

Alrighty here is the break down. It starts super eerie. Mara is with her friends Racheal (her bff) and Claire (Racheal’s friend not really hers) are celebrating Racheal’s birthday. Racheal wants to play the Ouija board and so they do.
They decide to ask, “How am I going to die?”

I’ll leave at that. Later on in the book, Mara ends up in an accident and has no recollection what’s so ever of the incident.

She convinces her family to move away from the painful memories. She has no idea what is going on with her. She’s so confused and it doesn’t help that she’s been diagnosed with PTSD. She’s enrolled into a private school and meets Noah Shaw (... dayuuumm...)
I honestly didn’t know what was unfolding here! I was lost along with Mara! I was getting paranoid! I think I may have started to see things! I need to get my hands on book two !!






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Wow
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I thought this book was very different than any other book out there. It really kept you guessing until the very end and even the last page was shocking. It was very creepy and a fresh take on the girl losing her memory story.
I found the characters to be ok, I didn't love any of them but they were all very interesting to read about. I surprisingly grew less and less fond of Noah as the book progressed. He just seemed to get very controlling. I liked Mara, she had a lot of struggles and did a lot of bad things but you could tell that she never meant for anything bad to happen. At times though it kind of felt like she depended on Noah for everything, which I didn't like.
The whole idea of the story was clever and well written. Although at times there were long stretches were not a lot happened, I was still very into the book and the style of writing. It did have some creepy parts but the book itself was not totally scary.
It was really interesting seeing how Mara deals with her struggles and for a lot of the book she thinks that she is crazy. There were parts that I started to believe she was crazy. You really don't know her whole story until the end of the book and even then you're still left with questions.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a chilling but fun read. Good book when you want a refreshing new story.
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Fast paced and couldn't look way even though I was confused. A lot.
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
I went into book knowing not a whole lot except Mara was a good character and this book was highly recommended and well reviewed.
I came away from this book knowing being in Mara's head is an adventure I will not soon forget.
Michelle writing was great and I was constantly guessing what was going on. I didn't know if Mara was crazy if there was some paranormal aspect that I didn't know about or some other explanation. (Again, didn't look at genre and that just made it even more of an adventure.) I was confused at times, shocked at others, creeped out at spots and wondering about Mara but one thing I knew is: I didn't want to put down the book. I had to get to the bottom of what happened and what was going on.
I also couldn't get enough of the enigma that was Noah. Every time I thought I had figured him out, he would do something else that had me questioning again. But like Mara, I had to have more. Even knowing his bad boy personality and reputation, I couldn't look away. There were some breathtaking and hot scenes and I loved watching their banter and the chemistry.
I guess that I didn't rate this book higher since I was glued to the pages is because I am still confused. I will continue with the series at some point I am sure, but I still don't really understand exactly what was what, and what happened in this one.

Bottom Line: Fast paced and couldn't look way even though I was confused. A lot.
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Well done book.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own. But Mara's new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people's deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she's going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn't enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can't seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can't help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

What I expected: A very haunting book with lots of accidental deaths, and purposeful death as well. A book that related to the title, as Mara becomes a different person via Noah.

What I got: A book with characters that are kinda soft, and the plot not entirely chilling. The hallucinating with Mara was very well done, but was really obvious what was happening. The beginning was really great, but she didn't really lose much memories, not as much as I would of like, it would of made the mystery deeper. The ending kinda dropped off, making the book lose its great plot. There were some confusing parts, like drinking the blood, and waking up afterwards.

I thought that it was great to have Mara hallucinating. It brings a whole new level onto her character, as well as the plot. I thought that it was great to have a damaged character playing the lead, as it lets the character and the reader fight through. Even though Mara is damaged, she still comes out with great lines, especially that one about the hierarchy of asses.

I didn't really like Noah. It's not just because of his reputation, but that does play a part, but it's mainly because I see nothing that really deserves Mara's love. He just sees she's different than everyone else, then wham, he's stalking her, and she's just falls in love. He also doesn't seem that nice of a person, as he acts like an 'asscrown'.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has a great start, middle, but a not so great ending, as the plot slowly drops off. There are some great lines, and great scenes, some creepy, some funny, some adventurous. This book is not my type, but if you look at the other reviews, you can see it might appeal to you.
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A great start
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
When Mara Dyer wakes up in the hospital she has trouble remembering how she got there. Slowly details are filled in though. She was with her friends and boyfriend in an abandoned asylum when it collapsed. She's the only one who survived. Mara has a hard time dealing with this and is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so her family decide it's time for a fresh start and they move to Florida. Things in Florida are okay. Mara makes a friend, Jaime so school isn't so terrible...then there is that cute boy, Noah. English accent, disheveled clothes and tousled hair make him hard to resist. The only problem Mara has, are her hallucinations. She's trying to play it cool so her family doesn't have to worry, but Mara is having a hard time telling between what's real and what's not. When a few people start dropping dead, Mara knows that something has to be going on. She can't figure everything out on her own though.

So while I was not like OH MY GOD THIS BOOK! I do see what people reacted that way. This was a pretty awesome start to a trilogy. Mara is a very fascinating narrator, since her brain isn't completely 100%. She has hallucinations and delusions and it makes it interesting trying to figure out what is really going on.

I wish there was more Jaime in this book. I think it just adds in Mara's dysfunctionality though that she doesn't have a good solid friend. Jaime seemed interesting though and I really wish him and Mara hung out more.

Then there is Noah. He is a dream. I sort of picture him as Nicholas Hoult, especially as Tony in Skins. The cocky air to him as well as being English and cute. Regardless though, he was a very interesting character and he counteracted Mara perfectly.

I am deadly excited to see what happens next with Mara. This story is very ensnaring and the whole concept is just...wow. The only flaw in this novel are more of a preference flaw; the whole girl in new town dates mysterious and attractive boy who only wants her like he's never wanted anyone before. Some people find this unrealistic, I find it perfect for a novel. That's how love in a novel should often be. It's a much nicer reality than the truth. ;)

Michelle Hodkin's writing is amazing. She creates sentences that lure you in and chapters that keep you turning pages. You think you can put the book down, only to realize that you have to read one more chapter to be satisfied.

If you haven't read this novel yet, it's probably time you do. I really enjoyed it and will be biting my nails until all the secrets have been uncovered.

First Line:
"The ornate script on the board twisted in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head."

Favorite Lines:
"'I mean asscrown. The crown on the top of the asshat that covers the asshole of assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses,' I said, as though reading from a dictionary of modern profanity."

"Lightning flashed in distant purple clouds that spread over the sky like a dark quilt."

"'Because I am European, therefore more cultured than you,'..."
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The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
ISBN: 9780857073631
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 452

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

I really enjoyed reading The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer, it was a mixture of Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson, Entangled by Cat Clarke and the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong! I enjoyed reading the flashbacks, I think they were well thought out, and written in, just in the right place! One of my favourite parts of The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer was learning more about the accident with Mara, as she herself discovered it.My favourite character was Mara, as despite being told to move on and gradually let the memories come back with time, Mara can’t. She feels guilty that she was the only one to survive so, regardless of the possible consequences, she tries to unearth her memories of that night. I like the cover of The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer, however for me it’s too abstract. I feel it could have fitted in with the actual story within more than it does.
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Pleasantly Surprised
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this, as the synopsis really doesn't give you much detail. I am thrilled to report that I was very pleasantly surprised. Mara wakes in the hospital with no memory of the accident that killed her friends and left her mostly untouched. In the hopes of putting the accident behind her (and not having to be committed to a psychiatric institution, her mother's suggestion), Mara asks her family to move to a new state. The past still haunts her however, and she experiences hallucinations (Claire replacing her reflection in the mirror; Jude standing just a few feet away outside her school) that lead her to believe she's going slightly crazy. She meets Noah, an infuriatingly charming and arrogant boy at her new school, who has quite the reputation of "using girls like condoms" - trashing them once he's used them once. A romance ensues, and we learn Noah is hiding secrets of his own.

I won't go in to too much more detail, plot-wise, as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read this yet. I will say that there is a touch of the paranormal, which combined with Mara's hallucinations, leaves your hair prickling and standing on end. There were so many scenes where I found myself looking around, expecting to see someone standing over my shoulder, or staring at me from a distance; this book thoroughly creeped me out in some parts. It was awesome.

The romance was refreshing for a YA novel, as it developed throughout the entire book. There was no love-at-first sight (Mara actually calls Noah an asshole after their first encounter), and we are actually allowed to experience their initial attraction blossom into something deeper as we seem them face different situations together. Some of the more steamy moments left me breathless, and I admit that I really enjoyed Hodkin's writing during those parts; she gives just enough to leave you wanting more, while allowing the sexual tension to build up between Mara and Noah so that you can see the electricity that must pass between them when they do touch. The moments where Noah tells Mara that he was made for her, and that he's happy as long as he can that say she belongs to him, were a little uncomfortable for me as I don't like that possessiveness quality, but those moments weren't overwhelmingly present, so I was able to (mostly) ignore them.

The only real issue I have with the book is the ending. The surprise revelation at the end was a welcome one, but Mara's uncharacteristic shift in attitude was not. Throughout the entire book Mara was able to recognize that her hallucinations were a result of her PTSD and she fought to control her mind, so they couldn't overwhelm her; she was strong. Towards the ending, as Mara starts to piece together what actually happened to her friends, she starts to unravel, and the strength she showed early on starts to waver, and then disappear. During the last couple chapters, I really didn't like Mara, her selfishness, or her complete lack of faith in Noah, but most importantly, in herself. I didn't feel like she gave trying to find a solution (or purpose for her...power? for lack of better word) an honest chance, and instead took the easy way out - running away. I'm also not a fan of books that purposely set themselves up for sequels, but I will be reading the next one in this series that Hodkin releases.
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An intriguing novel.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer online through Simon and Schuster's PulseIt program. And yes, IT WAS FREE. AND LEGAL.

Mara Dyer and her family move to Florida after an accident that kills her best friend and two others. Sure, there's nothing new there, but somehow, Hodkin made it work. Although Mara is broken on the inside, she still manages to have fun with her family sometimes.

I liked Mara, both as a character and a narrator, right up until the end. I didn't understand her motives about the thing involving Lassiter. (Yes, I'm sure I spelled that wrong.) Nightmares have been haunting her since that night when Rachel, Claire, and Jude died. She's been put on anti-psychotics. I understand that she's angry, but why does she not even consider the consequences of taking a man's life when it's made her feel so horrible all the other times?

Most of the time, Mara's emotions really got to me. She felt real, and even if she irritated me with her repetitiveness, I still felt for her.

Noah Shaw, on the other hand, never irritated me. Not once. He was awesome *-* He wasn't cheesy, but he wasn't an asshole, either. Most of the time.

I only have one question involving his personality: WHERE ARE ALL THE SWEET AND INNOCENT VIRGIN BOYS IN YA? Not every boy has to have had sex with the entire female population of the school. Really. Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have liked Noah as much if he was all sweet and innocent, but it's a valid question.

Another thing I really loved about this book was how when Mara thought she was crazy, I was asking that question right along with her. Were there paranormal events involved, or was Mara just hallucinating and dreaming?

My biggest issue with this book: The pacing was way too slow for me. While the pacing of Mara and Noah's relationship was fine, the pacing of the actual plot was a bit of a problem. Most of the book is just full of Mara's "hallucinations," and you don't get any real answers until the last 70 or so pages of the book. Even then, there are too many unanswered questions for me to be happy with. I know The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is only the first book, considering it says "End of volume one" on the last page, but I think a few more questions should have been answered, or the book almost has no point.

Overall: Although I think large parts could have been cut out and questions really should have been answered, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was an interesting novel full of real emotions and just a hint of paranormal. The characters were addicting, the writing style was perfect, and I can't wait for the next book. 4 stars.
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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
My feelings for this book are very confused! But look at that cover. It's actually my favourite cover of the year. Beeeeautiful! But to start this review I'm going to be honest and throw the bad out in the open.

WHAT REALLY BOTHERED ME
The ending. After 452 pages there was no real conclusion...basically nothing substantial about Mara was discovered. Other than something that was blatantly obvious throughout the book, but no hows, whys or whats. It was disappointing. I'm sure all with be revealed in the next book, but I really felt a little more should have been covered in this one. All series books have cliffhangers, but this wasn't even really used as the cliffhanger - something else that was interesting and completely unexpected was, but that's beside the point. I would have liked a little more clarity.

Now despite that big issue, I did enjoy the book. I absolutely loved the quick witted and often humorous banter between Mara and Noah. This book was full of really funny quotes:

“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.”

“You're distracting,' I said truthfully. 'I won't be. I promise,' Noah said. 'I'll get some crayons and draw quitely. Alone. In a corner.”

And there were tons more, but I don't want to spam this review with quotes I loved from this book, because that would probably get a little too excessive. Noah wasn't exactly a stud for me at "first sight", but he definitely grew on me. Some girls may call him a little inappropriate at times, but I'm horribly inappropriate myself about 98% of the time, so that doesn't bother me much. I thought he was funny! And I love funny!

Mara Dyer goes through some genuinely frightening situations. There were times where I felt thoroughly creeped out and was a little nervous to be alone reading by the light of my little lone lamp. Hodkin's is definitely a wonderful writer and good at setting a mood.


Overall, I liked this, but the fact that basically nothing was solved AT ALL throughout the book is going to have to downgrade my rating. I almost wanted to give it a 3, but ended up going with 4. The other parts of the story made up for it.
Good Points
I loved the characters and the banter between them.
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