REVIEW: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

My rating: 

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.

My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something. a pseudonym. a nom de plume, for all of us studying SATs. I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me - it's the most normal thing about my life right now.


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Well okay. Not that perfect. Second read showed me that, this book was not at all perfect as I thought it was, the first time I read it. But still, the 5 stars remain. Smiley

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I've read this book back in 2012 I think. I loved it then, I still love it now. Although, I'd have to be honest, I did notice a few of my bookish pet peeves on this book, that I wasn't very particular before. I think it's because I've read a lot of book since then, so my taste in books sort of changed. I know the things I like better now than before. And there were stuff in this book, that I actually hated, but still loved at the same time. Sounds confusing huh?

Anyways, I'll explain more later.


The ornate script of the board twistd in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head.


I opened my eyes. A persistent machine beeped rhythmically to my left.

Mara woked up in a hospital bed, without any memory of what happened the night before. At first, she thought she passed out only by a day. But no. She was passed out for four days. She was trying to remember what happened and why she couldn't remember.

"You were at the Temerlane -" she started.

PS: The Tamerlane is an old, abandoned asylum that was said to be haunted.

Her mother continued on to explain to her, that the building collapsed over them. They were trapped. When the police came, they heard her screaming. She was lucky that the accident only left her a few bruises. The others with her weren't so lucky. Her best friend, Rachel. Her boyfriend, Jude. And Jude's sister, who I can't seem to remember the nameClaire. Were all dead.

What I got was a diagnosis. Post traumatic stress disorder, the psychologist said. Nightmares and visual hallucinations were my new normal, apparently, and something about my behavior in the psychologist's office made him recommend a long-term care facility.

Yep. Mara has lost her screws. I actually thought at first, it was probably Survivor's guilt she was experiencing. But no. What was happening to her was more than that.

Mara suggested that they move. She felt that it would be better for her not to be in places where she would remember Rachel, and Jude, I guess, but more of Rachel. Her parents, wanting what's best for her, decided to move.

So moving meant, starting over at a new school. Mara was not too excited about that either. On her first day at Croyden, she already managed to get on the bad side of the Queen bee, embarass herself in front of the class, and meet a guy.

He was beautiful. And he was smiling at me. 

Smiling at me like he knew me.


I turned my head, wondering if there was anyone behind me. Nope. No one there. When I glanced back in the boy's direction, he was gone.

Was he another one of her hallucinations? Why was she having them? Will she ever get better?


Mara Dyer

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“Fix me," I commanded him. "This thing, what I've done - there's something wrong with me, Noah. Fix it."

Who we already know is not her real name. I have lots of love for this lady. What she was going through, was not at all easy. I get that she's getting freaked out about the things happening around her. Because really, how would you feel if you are intentionally wanting people to die, but then you don't really mean it, but they die anyway. Does that make sense?

The first time I read about her, I thought she was fantastic. A little crazy. Okay not a little, loads crazy. But I liked her. The second time I read this book, which was very recent, I felt a bit disconnected with her because I realised, she had one of my least favorite quality in a female character. She was so fucking insecure about herself, to the point that sometimes, it was so annoying. That party incident, I was shaking my head the entire time.

Unfortunately, I lost all my bookmarkings for this book because I changed phones.. sorry guys.. I can't quote them all right now.

But other than that, Mara's a normal girl who's also a killing machine. She has hormones. She's attracted to a guy who unfortunately for her, is mine. She's crazy. See. Told you. Perfectly normal.

Oh and might I add, that I really love how she talks back to Noah. She's not head over heels in love with him immediately, which was good. She was attracted, yes, but not crazy in love like most YA girls are in books. I don't like book characters who immediately throw themselves on the feet of the lead male, just because they showed a little interest. Okay, throwing themselves at their feet is a bit exaggerated, but you get where I'm coming from right?

Noah Shaw

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“I'm not making you hate me. I'm making you love me.”

Seriously? How could anyone hate this guy? Noah Shaw is perfection. Oh my god. I could not even begin to tell you guys how much this dude made me feel.


See. How could anyone not love Noah Shaw? Okay enough of that. Joking aside, Noah Shaw is just one of the best male book character ever created in the YA universe. I couldn't even explain why, but his character just have that appeal. He has that magnet that just draws people in to him, without him meaning to.

He was good for Mara. He did nothing, but help her get over whatever it was she was going through. Not enough though. But there are two more books, so we'll just have to find out what other stuff, Noah has up his sleeve to make Mara less crazy.

Minor Characters

Firstly, I would have to say that Daniel is the best brother ever. Jamie is a good friend to Mara. Mara's mom is as crazy as her, in taking care of her. Ana is a stupid cliche that shouldn't have been in this book.


“You like me,” he finally said. “You like me, like me.” He was trying not to smile.
“No. I hate you,” I said, hoping that saying it would make it so.
“And yet, you draw me.” Noah was still smug, completely undeterred by my declaration.
This was torture; worse somehow than what just happened, even though it was only the two of us. Or because it was only the two of us.
“Why?” he asked.
“Why what?” What could I say? Noah, despite you being an asshole, or maybe because of it, I’d like to rip off your clothes and have your babies. Don’t tell.”

I ship these two. Honestly, they were so cute together, even when they were sort of arguing, but not really. There were a lot of times, that Mara was trying so hard not to like Noah. Come on Mara. There is no use denying. There's no use in forcing yourself not to like Noah, she's already under his spell.

Mara and Noah are a match made in heaven. Oh sorry, let me correct that. NOAH AND I BELONG TOGETHER.


I made notes on what I need to put on my final ramblings, but unfortunately, I lost all of it on my phone. WWAAAAHHH!. Right now, I am at a blank. Anyways, here are some of the things I liked and didn't like.


- very original plot line
- interesting characters
- the creepiness, eerieness of the book stayed althroughout
- consistent
- Noah Shaw


- Mara (sometimes when she's being unreasonable and stubborn, especially towards the last part of the book)
- cliffhanger (who the-fuck likes cliffhangers?)

When I remember some of the points I failed to say on this review, I would be updating this, but for now... This is my review for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

I highly recommend this series for people who are into YA paranormal romance. Let me know if you've read this book and would like to discuss it.


  1. I'm yet to start this series but have heard so many amazing things that I can't wait to! Great review, I'm even more excited now!

  2. Loved the review more than I loved the book :P

    I agree with ur description on Noah Shaw lol. British <3

    But he's actually come to be my second best book boyfriend. Chaol Westfall from Throne of Glass has made my first on the list! OMG I LOVE HIM!!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. I didn't really like Chaol. :D I'd have to give that one a chance. Hehe.

      Yep. Noah. Is. Perfect. :)

  3. Cliffhangers are tough but I'm one of the few people who love cliffhangers. I like the idea of the wait.

    The Mara Dyer series is my all time favorite. Love, love, love this book!

    1. Have you finished the last one? Oh boy I'm so excited!! :)


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