The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

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.

Song For This Book: Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult


There has been a lot of hype around this series, and a lot of it has been really positive. So I was really curious when I came across a copy of this book in a used bookstore, and I just couldn’t resist. I wanted to see what it was all about.

In the end, I wasn’t in love with this book, but I wasn’t necessarily disappointed it either. It hit dead in the middle of the road, with some great parts and some not so great parts. I enjoyed reading it, and I got through it in about thirty hours, but I’m not sure I would ever pick it up again.

I do think that I would have enjoyed this a lot more when I was a teenager. It would have been right up my alley, with the easy romance, intriguing mystery, and interesting characters. And I definitely would have given it a higher rating if you had asked me 6-8 years ago.

The Good Points of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer:

It’s well written, but not at all hard to get into. It has that perfect style where you can get sucked into the story without having to get caught up in all the words, but not to the point where you’re also catching mistakes and awkward sentencing. Some spots could have been more concise, but those were minor.

I loved how the mystery was revealed. It was paced so well. You got it in bits and pieces, just enough to keep you hooked into the story, but not enough so that it felt rushed. Every time you start to think you’ve got it figured out, something else gets dropped on you, and you end up reading another hundred pages.

I really enjoyed the way that some different cultures were incorporated in the story, without being a big deal. Maybe this is a minor thing, but if we’re being honest, there isn’t as much diversity as we could like in young adult fiction. But Mara is part Indian, and there is mention of Cuban culture and Santeria, which was a nice change from the usual.

I adored both of Mara’s brothers. They were by far the best characters in the book, with all their quirk and personality.

The Downsides of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer:

The romantic relationship between Mara and Noah was just… boring. Their chemistry was mentioned a ton of times, but I honestly didn’t feel a bit of it. They just seemed awkward together, and there was no spark to keep me interested in them.

I kept feeling like I was missing something. I kept flipping back, trying to find what I missed, but could never come up with anything. I’m not entirely sure why, but this feeling stuck with me for most of the second half of the book.

I wish Mara had been more developed. Noah, too, for that matter, but especially Mara. At the end of the book, aside from what had happened to her at the asylum and the effects of that, all I knew about her was that she liked to draw and she presumably liked dogs. She fell kind of flat throughout the book.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t great either. I’ll probably be trading this book in for credit at the used bookstore, and I doubt that I’ll bother picking up the rest of the series. If you’re looking for a paranormal mystery and you’re actually the age this book is intended for, you’ll probably really enjoy this one.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

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