Monday, December 23, 2013 01:56

Review 223. Michelle Hodkin - The unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Title: The unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Author: Michelle Hodkin.
Pages: 452.
Published: March 1st 2012 by Simon Pulse UK
Sort: Part one of ‘Mara Dyer’
Source: I won a copy from Judith @ Paperiot.

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.
Rating:

This book was my Epic Rec recommendation from Juhina @ Maji bookshelf. I’m so happy I finally took the time to read this book, because it was good! I’m not completely in love, but definitely interested enough for the next book.

“I’ve already learned Parseltongue. What else is there?”


The story is pretty interesting. Mara just woke up in the hospital. She was in an accident and three of her friends are now death. Mara has no memories about what happened and things are about to get weird. Her family moves to another town and Mara keeps seeing things that aren’t there. Her hallucinations are taking over and she even gets nightmares of moments before the accident. In the mean time, she befriends the popular hot guy Noah Shaw - and therefor makes some enemies. Noah has a strange interest for her and she can’t shake of the feeling that something is wrong with her.

The first thing I noticed is the engaging writing-style. There is no doubt about it: Michelle is a gifted author. This book hooked me from the start and wouldn’t let me go, even when something happened I normally don’t like.

"No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.

In the beginning, it’s all about Mara and her strange hallucinations. I loved how creepy they were and what influence they had on her. I was just as confused as she was - I couldn’t wait to find out what was going on. I also liked her. She felt realistic, feeling smothered by her protective mother and worried by her dreams. When she meets Noah, the story gets a romance focus. In most books, that would turn me off. I wasn’t a fan of it here either, but there was something intriguing about Noah.

He sometimes bordered on the line of becoming an asscrown, but he wasn’t so bad overall. It was good that Michelle gave him more of a story, but it was also pretty cliched. Not to mention some awkward scenes, like where Noah suddenly models for her art class and takes of his shirt so everyone can gawk at him. We get it, you are gorgeous.

The thing is, Mara is warned about Noah by her first friend Jamie (who I very much liked, so I missed his presence in most parts of the books.) Her initial reactions to Noah are sarcastic replies (loved it!) but she soon turns into a sappy girl. Instead of focusing on her real problems, she is only fixated by Noah and her ‘hard to get’ game. I could use less of this romance and more focus on the mystery.

But the real point - what is going on with Mara - was definitely interesting. I can’t wait to see how this is going to play out in the other two books.

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

41 comments:

  1. The ending to this book made my jaw drop. Like you, I wasn't in love but definitely interested enough to keep reading. I can't wait for the third book but it's been so long since I read the second book I might need to do a reread! Great review!

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    1. I hope to read the second book closer to the last one!

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  2. Same with Jamie! Especially in the next book, Jamie will totally make you laugh. I thought that the story was really interesting and worthy of my attention. I had a lot of "what was that?" "whaaaaat?" and a lot of "oooooohhh" This book both confused and enthralled me to bits. Lovely review, Mel!

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  3. Yeay! So happy you enjoyed it. Definitely pick up The Evolution if you liked Jamie.. there is more of him in the next book. I personally love Noah SO MUCH but i love some romance in my books (not overwhelming though) so I get where you are coming from. The book IS creepy though right? the second is even creepier!

    great review Mel!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Ohhhh, that's a good thing! Jamie shined for me :D And more creepiness is always welcome.

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  4. I just couldn't get into this book. I read it, but when it was over I was stressed. But I know so many people that loved it, so I'm glad you did, for the most part. I think the covers are gorgeous!

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  5. My favorite part of these books is the mystery surrounding Mara. I do agree that it was a bit odd for her to be so involved in a romance when so many crazy things are happening to her. But, I do really like Noah and I think he personally grows as a character because in the beginning he was a stereotypical jerk.

    The second book really steps up the creepiness factor. I liked it just as much, if not more, than the first. Now, I just can't wait for the third installment!

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    1. He certainly has a good development. I'm really liking the sound of the next book!

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  6. I have to skim through your review since the Mara Dryer series will be included in my 2014 series challenge. It's a good thing that despite the flaws, you still enjoyed this one a lot.

    And that quote really made me laugh. Seriously, that's really an excessive abuse of the word ass. Poor poor word.

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  7. I liked this one, but it didn't blow me away. The next book is much better, I promise! :)

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  8. Love, love this book. I'm glad you gave it a try and liked it. I'm about to read the second book. Yep, agree, it's so interesting.

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  9. I wasn't quite a fan of this book (I still can't put my finger on why), but I absolutely LOVED the second one. It's so much more creepier and the cliffhanger at the end is a mean one, especially since The Retribution of Mara Dyer release date got pushed back all the way to June 2014.
    I hope you'll love the second book as much as I do Mel! :D<3

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  10. Ooh nice review! I kept hearing about this one but had yet to read reviews or pick it up myself. Now I decided it warrants looking into! And I'm glad I started with your review as many people were oh so in love with it. I am definitely curious now, so I just might have to pick this one up myself!

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    1. I hope I have given you some realistic expectations and that you'll like it once you pick it up :D

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  11. Awesome review Mel :D It's been forever since I read this. (A year since my last re-read.) But I did love it; gave it 5 stars :) Though reading your review, I do sort of agree with you about the romance. But, hih, I was too busy loving Noah to care much about it :) Anyway. Thank you for sharing. <3

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  12. I feel the same about the romance. I wanted more of the mystery because that's what I really liked when I read it. Especially because it was all so creepy so I wanted to know more about it. While I really liked Mara, unfortunately I didn't really like Noah. I'm curious what you think of the second book as I haven't read that yet and I don't know if I should. If it's more about the mystery then I think I'll enjoy it more!

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    1. I keep hearing it's creepier, so I guess it's a yes :D

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  13. I've had this series on my TBR forever! I still want to read it. Love the covers :)

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  14. I don't know - I have this one but I can't say I feel really compelled to read it anytime soon. maybe it just sounds like it doesn't have enough fantasy elements for me which is what I'm wanting more of right now that and sci fi

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  15. I'm so with you on wanting more of the mystery and less of the OMG NOAH SWOON. Balance, people!

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  16. I recently bought this from my local book store and I should get time to read it soon. The focus on Noah being hot doesn't sound very good, but I'm glad to hear he's intriguing at least.

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  17. I didn't really like this book that much when I finally picked it up. It was a shame, really, because everyone and their mother loves it. I'm glad you still liked it though :)

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    1. It's always a shame when you don't enjoy a book as much as other people.

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  18. You need more mystery, huh? You'll get it in the sequel. I think I gave this 2.5 out of 5 and the second one was either 4.5 or 5--it was THAT good. I almost had to sleep with one eye open throughout the following weeks because it was creepy and downright mind-fucking :D lols. I hope you'll like it. You said that Mara is realistic, well.. be ready to be wtf-ed because nothing she does/says will be reliable and it all gets freaky really fast. Plus, the best friend will be back soon:) yay!

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    1. Yes, gimme more :D I look forward to the next book!

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  19. I am definitely on the edge about reading this book because it sounds almost exactly like The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which just happens to be one of my all time favorites. I am glad you enjoyed it though Mel!
    Maybe... sometime.. in the near future I might get over my issues and give this a shot.
    Lovely Review, Mel! :)

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    1. I also really liked The adoration of Jenna Fox! :)

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  20. I'm definitely not a Noah/Mara shipper - I honestly find their relationship super creepy. (A lot of this may be influenced by the second book? I can't remember what you find out in the first book). Luckily the absolute madness and suspense in the book definitely makes up for my complete lack of interest in the romance. And Jamie is hilarious! Definitely my favourite character.

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    1. Hmmm, makes sense! I hope to find out more about them in that case. This book needed a Jamie :D

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  21. I loved Jamie too! I've read this one, but not the others yet. I will be, definitely, though. I just have to find out what happens! :)

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  22. I haven't read this book.In fact I read about two pages,but I think I was caught up with some other book and I didn't return to this one.Maybe I should.It sounds like a great read.

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  23. Ah, I'm so glad you liked this Mel! I honestly wasn't sure if it was your thing, but this really makes me happy. I mostly liked this book for all the WTF-ery and like you said, I thought the writing was great. I don't think I would love Noah and Mara as much if I'd read it now, because they're not really "my type of couple", if you will, but I still like how this book is insane. Ha!

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