The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BYR
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Book – Bought, Audiobook – Bought
Find it here: Goodreads / Amazon
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can 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 mysteriously unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I purposefully waited to read this series until it was completed because I heard there were cliffhangers and plenty of WHAT IS GOING ON moments.
Yes, to both of these.
Mara wakes up in a hospital after being the only survivor in an awful accident in which her best friend, her boyfriend, and another friend were killed. Mara cannot remember the events surrounding the accident. After her discharge from the hospital, she begins experiencing some pretty crazy hallucinations and nightmares. Her anxiety and post-traumatic stress continues to increase as the book progresses and throughout the story, Mara never seems to have a grip on what is real and what is not.
There is also a romance.
I love unreliable narrators because they often keep me guessing and working hard while I’m reading. Mara is no exception. I read and re-read, and I made my guesses. This was fun, particularly since I was buddy-reading this one with a friend. In truth, I never felt like I had any idea about which direction the plot was taking; after finishing the book, I feel like I know part of what I wanted to know but I still have plenty of questions about Mara, her issues, and what the heck is going on. Reading this book was a little bit like treading water because I would make a little bit of progress with figuring something out and then NOPE! I would be wrong -or- some new plot thing would be introduced.
While I love Mara as a narrator, I’m not sure how much I love her as a character. It isn’t that I dislike her as much as I just didn’t make a solid connection. She feels tough for me to love, but I’m not giving up on her. It could be because of something that she does in the last portion of the book (no spoilers here, sorry!). But it is most likely that the audiobook turned me off to her character (which is unfortunate).
Noah is extremely stereotypical: wealthy, beautiful, well-dressed, confident, and more than a little bossy. But he also knows the right words to say and he means what he says. He wants to make Mara happy, to make her feel loved and appreciated, and he defends her honor. He looks out for her and for her family. He likes and respects her brothers. So far in this series, I like him a ton. Also: [ I love the way he was experiencing things that made him feel crazy too, and I love that he was wary about sharing these things with Mara. I love the way they complemented one another, once they found out that they were more similar than they originally thought.]
As per my usual, I really love some of the secondary characters. Even though I didn’t think I would like Mara’s older brother Daniel very much at the beginning of the story, it wasn’t very long before he and younger brother Joseph really grew on me. And I would love to know more about Mara’s friend Jamie, who was very present in the first part of the book but not-so-much in the second part of the book. What will he bring to the rest of the series?
I have more unanswered questions than answers, I think, and I’m glad that I have the next books on-hand to begin right away. Honestly, I don’t know the “why” behind SO MUCH of this story and I don’t know the reason for so many of the details, because so many of them still make no sense. Hopefully my questions will be answered as I go on.
Seriously, I still have a ton of questions.
I recommend The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin for fans of young adult supernatural with romance and for fans of unreliable narrators. Also I recommend buddy-reading this series because HELLO, there are a bazillion discussable things about it.
Audiobook Notes: The audiobook format of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is published by Audible Studios and is 9 hours and 40 minutes, Unabridged. Narrated by Christy Romano. In complete honesty, this is not one of the best audiobooks that I have heard. The author writes plenty of inner dialogue into the story + the main character expresses a wide range of emotions, and I had a hard time differentiating these things based on the narration. Add to that some production issues like a few extended pauses, inconsistent reading speed, etc. and I feel sure that I may have connected to the main character (who is already an unreliable narrator) more easily if I would have read via print alone. As it stands, I’ve purchased these audiobooks, so I will certainly be listening to them + following along with the print copies.
Romance: No triangle.
Great Sibling Relationships
The Mara Dyer Trilogy: