Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer 1) by Michelle Hodkin
Original Release Date: September 27th 2011
Reading Format: Paperback
Edition: Dutch edition by Maneau, released in 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book I’ve seen around the book community for a while now. It was a book that I wasn’t sure I wanted to pick up after seeing the love angle in the synopsis. However now that I did I do not regret it at all.
The mystery surrounding what happened to Mara and how she is dealing with this hooked me from the start. It was great discovering what happened throughout the book with Mara and her realizing that maybe she isn’t crazy. The twist at the end is interesting. I’m not surprised as I was expecting a twist, but not necessarily this specific one. The writing overall was also solid.
Mara is a great character to follow. She has made me laugh at moments with the witty retorts in her head, and I could connect with her easily. But what truly drew me into this book was her family. Her relationship with her older brother Daniel I loved. Their interactions are typical siblings, but you can feel how they care for each other. Her relationship with her mother is strained because of the events and her mother keeping a tight hold on Mara, but regardless I loved that relationship as well. Mara knows her mother does it out of love. Her younger brother was also cute. I only regret we didn’t see as much of her father and their relationship. These relationships with Mara are what stood out for me in this book and why I took to it as I did.
This book could have been a 5 star read for me if it hadn’t been for a few things. Noah’s background as being a player but changing for Mara was a bit too stereotypical for me. I don’t think it was needed. As for their romance, I do support them. There is a clear spark on the paper, but I don’t support how everything between them has happened.
Another thing is that Mara’s first friend made at high school, Jamie, was out of sight for big chunks of the time unless he had a specific role to play. Seeing as Mara had only one friend that doesn’t seem logical that he wouldn’t be there for portions as he didn’t have so many friends either. I would have enjoyed seeing their friendship deepened out.
Another point is that I was less interested in the last 25% of the book than I was with the rest which I found odd as this was when the plot jolted forward. The pacing just felt off for me I think and I would have preferred some things more in the middle. I also lost the connection with Mara in bits. The middle was somewhat romance heavy. There could have been a better balance there. Having said that, I wasn’t annoyed with the romance in this book as I have been with other books.