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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - Review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

I finally managed to start the Mara Dyer-series and I flew through it. This book is suspenseful, mysterious, and well-written. Is it scary? No. Is it the most amazing book in the world? No. But it is easy to read, has likable characters, and an interesting storyline. What made me give the 5th star was that I really enjoyed reading it, could not find any major flaws, and it is something else for a change.


The book centers on “Mara Dyer [who] 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. “ (Goodreads)

I expected a kind of mysterious thriller with the typical young adult romance. That was exactly what I got. It is a YA-book, so of course one has to expect all the typical YA characteristics. What makes this book different is the starting point. Hodkin uses a traumatic event with the accompanying post-traumatic-stress-disorder as the intriguing and mysterious focus of the book and builds everything around it. The reader learns about what happened at said traumatic event at the same time as the main character Mara does when she starts to remember it. It is suspenseful to find out what happened back then but at the same time weird things are happening in the present, as well.


This book was hard to put down. The writing style is fast paced and easy to read. It was difficult for me to stop reading at night since almost every chapter ends with a tiny cliffhanger. At times I had to stop in the middle of the chapter because it was the only time I got a breather.


I did not mind the romance at all. The romance was not rushed but straight forward. I like the main characters. They are all interesting in different ways. I admit Mara only becomes interesting through her PTSD but I guess I would not make an interesting main character either. We cannot all be outstanding or weird. So I liked how Mara turned from normal to kind of weird. Noah is a very interesting male protagonist. At first I felt like I had figured him out from the very beginning but then I had to learn that there was more to him than I thought. I am looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops.


It is difficult to write about this book without giving away any spoilers. I think, one should just read it and not know much about it beforehand. Do not expect an adult thriller. That is not what it is. It is a paranormal YA book and while I did not mind the YA aspect and usually love paranormal books, I almost wish it was not a paranormal book but more of a psychological thriller. That was kind of what I had hoped for towards the end.


I already bought the second and the third book and will continue the series soon. The covers of this series are beautiful. The girl and boy under water with the darker colors fit the mood of the books perfectly. I bought all books as paperbacks and was little frustrated when I opened my Amazon box and had three different sized books in it. Three!


Again I can highly recommend this book. Do not have extremely high expectations (because hardly any book can hold such high expectations) and do not read about the book too much beforehand and it will be a great reading experience.