Review of “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer 1Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer Book One
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 456
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance


BLURB:

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

Chronicle Review by Audrey:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a story told considering multiple aspects and different points of view.  A tale primarily of love, but with the complexity of hidden pasts, forgotten memories and familial ties, this book is elaborate and unforgettable.  A friend of mine first recommended this book to me.  Before I even started reading, I was already excited because I saw the enthusiasm she had while reading it and I wanted to experience it for myself.  I read this book a while back and although it took me a few moments to recall each scene,  the details all came flooding back to me.

This book immediately plunges the strong female lead, Mara, into the waters of experiencing a new school and dealing with traumatic events in her past. The development of this protagonist begins the moment you meet her.  Although I didn’t always agree with her choices, I still understood them and felt connected to her. You cannot talk about the characters without bring up Noah Shaw as he is the leading male role. From the onset, his personality and quick witted banter, especially with Mara, make him (subjectively) lovable. The dynamics these two provide throughout the book make it enjoyable. I find I am not envious of their rapport, but while reading, it is apparent the author carefully constructed their entire relationship. Of course, when discussing notable characters in this book, I couldn’t dare leave out the highly lovable and most entertaining character, Jamie.  With his own baggage and highly sarcastic and humorous personality, he provides comic relief throughout The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Honestly, there are so many characters that have close ties with Mara that I could continue gushing about them, but I guess I will cut short and just hope that you take it upon yourself to discover them personally.

The plot holds many different avenues that could make the book too hectic and disorganized, but with well thought-out plans and clearly an endgame, Michelle Hodkin didn’t lose any aspect of the story to chaos. I found this story enjoyable and the complex details brought life to each of the characters. Without the author’s plans, the crucial backstory would be weakened, inevitably making it a sub-pair read. Every detail in this book mattered, and all of the subtle particulars added to the overall experience. Some books are so focused on making everything a big significance, to the point where it doesn’t feel as relate-able to our everyday lives as it should. In The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the small aspects are what we can connect to and use to build a love or hatred towards each character. 

This book, if you haven’t noticed already, kind of makes me rant. Even while I am writing this, I find myself eager to reread it. The execution of the story overall makes it one of my favorites and makes me teeter-totter between the rating below and one higher.

Audrey’s Rating: 5/6
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