After almost a one year reading slump, I have finally returned to the book corner I abandoned. I managed to pick up a book and complete it and now I’m already reading the second one in the series! Unfortunately for me this book did have a few flaws but it was definitely the one that made me get reading again. Plus the cover is absolutely stunning, you have to appreciate the design of that! The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer fits into the genre of Paranormal YA, a genre I have barely touched so this was a new to me. So without further ado here is my review after a year and a half of this section of my blog being utterly empty!
The plot makes the baseline of the book so let’s begin with that. The opening was quite gripping really drew me in as we start with ‘Before’ and then shuffle to ‘After’ where we are introduced to Mara. There was a terrible accident causing her friends and her boyfriend to die but she remembers nothing. So as you work your way through the book you see Mara remembering little pieces of that night but she also suffers PTSD giving you a real insight into how the accident as effected her. She has hallucinations, nightmares, and Hodkin’s really had a knack for making me feel creeped out when I read this at night – particularly that one scene where Mara was home alone.
There are moments of suspense where your left thinking is Mara crazy or is she not. When the storyline starts moving it the supernatural elements that where I felt things were getting messy. I just didn’t find it believable at all. The development happens very late on in the book despite the fact we do get little hints that Mara isn’t all that normal but the use of her PTSD and hallucinations leaves the readers with a bit of doubt.
The romance plays far too large a part in this book that the entire plot just gets lost. Don’t get me wrong I do love romance but this book had pages and pages of it. When Mara starts school she instantly forms some form of communication with Noah Shaw. He just happens to be the hottest guy at school that every girl wants and has a British accent (like me!) But from the very moment she met him she already decided that she didn’t like him at all (at least that was what she told herself).
Noah has a reputation for sleeping around until he meets Mara who just so happens to be different. But what ticked me off was the fact that the girls that ‘supposedly’ slept with Noah get labelled as sluts – not Noah of course. But that issue is never properly addressed, as a reader I’m just left to assume if it did happen or didn’t. Back to Mara, I was utterly baffled how she went on being insistent that she hated the guy and then all of a sudden was his? I really felt there was no sense of development with there relationship one minute she was calling him out for his douchebaggery but she then completely caves in so fast.
Yes, there were a few cheesy moments like when Noah ordered Mara some food – I mean come on how did you not know she had an allergy or something it’s not attractive when a guy orders your meal without asking at all. However, I do have to say that Noah and Mara do have a good character dynamic between them, despite there somewhat annoying traits. There some really great moments of romance, some line I particularly liked but the overwhelming amount of it just really took away its effect. I have to say it was probably the air of mystery that this book gave off and wanting to discover what happened that night that made me read on not the romance.
“And just like that, I was completely, utterly, and entirely,
― Michelle Hodkin, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Mara also happens to suck at making friends because all the girls are utter bitches in this school which is a terrible trait. I would have really liked to have some girl power in this book, but it just wasn’t there at all. Instead, we get Jaime who Mara befriends but he really had such little development. Okay, so maybe he was a side character but once he served his purpose he disappeared off the face of the book? The relationship that Mara has with her brother Daniel enjoyed especially the banter between them. Also, the strained relationship that Mara had with her mother was another aspect that shined in this book. Hodkin’s writing was also fairly easy to read and easy to follow. She explained the concepts of her book particularly well and like I said above the creepy scenes she wrote are ones I will remember.
I have started reading the second book because I do believe there is a hell of a lot more to this story that does have potential to go places. Book one ends on a cliff-hanger as well and from what I’ve heard Book 2 is really well developed. Plus we get a hell of a lot more creepy scenes so here’s to me reading it at 2 am and then being unable to sleep.
What were your thoughts on The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer? Really interested to hear if your opinion completely differs from mine!