Book Review | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I like a lot of books that fall into a series. I think I’ve been pretty open about that. Anyway, the Mara Dyer trilogy has been sitting on my TBR for well over a year and I decided I wanted to read something… paranormal – which is the category this trio is most often sorted into on Goodreads.

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why. Sure I understood that Mara sudden developed powers over the course of the first book, but still… She just seemed so… normal, I guess. Or rather, as normal as a sufferer of PTSD can be.

Spoiler alert: I actually really liked this book, so let’s talk about it!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

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.

Let’s talk about Mara

I went through a kind of tumultous relationship with Mara in this book – first I liked her, then I didn’t, then I did again. She annoyed me a lot – which isn’t unusual for a YA heroine, but at certain points I couldn’t bear how annoyed I felt with her. Honestly, I think one of the few redeeming qualities of Mara is that her family seems to keep her grounded.

Otherwise, she seemed like an average girl. There was nothing spectacular about her – other than the fact that she, you know, might have accidentally murdered some people.

Also, one thing I really didn’t like was the immediate hatred toward Mara simply because the “HoTtEsT bOy In ScHoOl” was instantly attracted to her. Jealousy isn’t cute – in real life or in fiction – so I could totally do without that. I get it. They’re teens, but I feel like the “I can only be friends with boys because there’s less drama” is so overdone and cliched. Give us some powerful girl on girl friendships, please.

Noah Shaw – The Bad Boy

Ask me if I know what Noah looks like – the answer is only kinda. He didn’t exactly leap off the page for me. Sure, I understand that he’s typical wonder bread and I guess that’s fine. I just can’t picture him in my head, but I sure can hear him.

Nearly every review I’ve read describes Noah as a jerk. It’s true. He is. But when it comes to Mara, it becomes very clear that he cares about her. A lot of reviews I read indicate a point in a restaurant where Noah orders for Mara. She seems annoyed then, but quickly changes her attitude when the food arrives and it’s actually delicious. It might be rude. It might be inconsiderate. All I’m saying is – I wouldn’t mind so long as the food was good.

I didn’t hate Noah and I actually refuse to hate Noah because he seems like a typical teenage boy. He’s an exciting love interest for a somewhat boring heroine. Nothing really stands out to me about Mara other than she may have a mind ability so it was at least nice to have someone interesting around.

General Thoughts

Overall, I thought Michelle Hodkin’s writing was addictive. Maybe a few mediocre points, but we all have those, right? The book had decent pacing and I was invested from the start. Like I said, I didn’t necessarily hate anyone in the book – except maybe Jude which is too bad because I like his name and Anna because I have no room for mean girls – and overall thought the concept of the story was interesting.

As I write this, I’m preparing to read the next book and if that’s as captivating I’ll continue binge reading the trilogy (and maybe even jump into the Shaw confessions!).

Rating: 4

It fit everything I was looking for when I decided to read it.

Let’s chat!

I know people either love these books or they hate them so I’d like to know your thoughts. Do you have a review that goes in either direction? Leave me a comment (and link your review if you have one!) so I can hear more from you!

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