Realms of an Open Mind

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Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer  - Michelle Hodkin

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.






I am in a total reading slump lately. I have about three unfinished books that I've been putting off (due to disinterest), and the ones I have been finishing are rating three stars or less... This is. Not. Good.


I had high hopes for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It began with the all the intrigue I could have ever wanted, but it all lost focus and fizzled out toward the middle, picked back up a little, and totally freaked you out in the end. There's some good stuff, it's just inconsistent.


I loved the characters in this novel. Mara is this intelligent, highly sarcastic, angsty teenager who will never fail to have you cracking up at her witty comebacks. She's brave, if a little nutty, as unexplainable events begin to happen to her. Or perhaps because of her? 


Noah, the bad-boy-love-interest, is pretty intriguing himself, even if he is a bit stereotypical of YA novels these days. He's hot. He's rich. He's mysterious. And this time he comes with an accent. But he's also hilarious and sweet in his own unique Noah-way. He and Mara come together, and with the circumstances, you can't help but wonder if there are greater forces at work than the simple "boy meets girl" scenario. 


Other characters, like Jamie, the black bi Jewish friend, or something along those lines, definitely spiced things up, but I couldn't understand their role in the story. Queen-bitch Anna and her minion, Aiden, also made their appearance, but as with Jamie, disappeared toward the middle of the story. The potential of these characters went severely unfulfilled. It was weird.


The plot was... I don't even know. It's really difficult to pinpoint what this book was actually about. Mara thinks she's losing her mind, but in reality, there's something bigger going on. Something paranormal, which rocks in my book, but we never find out what this  major something is. We are left hanging on the most important piece of the puzzle, and it's, to put it mildly, annoying. 


The romance is sweet, beautiful, and semi-heartbreaking. I love Noah and Mara together, but with these strange things happening to both of them, I want to know less about the way Mara's heart pounds in response to Noah's touch and more about what the heck is going on around them! 


It was almost like there was too much going on. We'd jump from trying to find answers to Mara and Noah's little gifted problems to a murder case Mara's dad, a lawyer, is working on and the repercussions that that is bringing to her family. Or is she wrong about that? I wasn't sure which problem to focus on. 


Where does this all lead? To some big, weird revelation that knocks Mara to her knees and guess what? Has me wanting to read the next novel to find out what happens. Well played, Hodkin, well played.


So, even though I feel like this book is a little all over the place, the writing is amazing, the description is incredible, and yes, the characters were well developed (the ones who made it through the whole story, anyway). There's a lot of potential here for this series, and I hope the storyline smooths out in the future. 


If anything, I came to care about Mara, and I'll be reading the next in the series to see if she ever finds out and comes to real terms with who she is.