Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Published by: Simon and Schuster's Children Publishing
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.
One of the things I liked about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was that I had no idea what to expect from the book. I only knew that this book was extremely hyped up last year, and the reason I picked up a copy was because the sequel was just as hyped. Other than that, I was completely in the dark. The blurb revealed essentially nothing (other than the fact that the book most probably was a thriller), and I'm not going to lie - that brief blurb made me want to read the book more. I was hooked from the first sentence alone! There's nothing more invigorating than the feeling of opening a book wherein you have absolutely no idea what's going to happen, and you just allow the world to sweep you in.
I did expect something from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer though - I expected this hyped up and often raved about book to be a good read. And you know what? My expectations were indeed fulfilled. Big time.
Long after finishing The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I laid in my bed, eyes wide open, and just stared into space. To say that the book is EXTREMELY creepy would be putting things lightly. (Yes, even with that 'extremely' in all caps!) Hodkin had no problem drawing me with her writing - her words created such vivid and detailed pictures of the peculiar events of Mara Dyer's life - that I was even induced to getting goosebumps several times while reading! Goodness, that has never happened to me before! The fact that I started reading this book at around midnight didn't help things either...
As I've previously mentioned, Hodkin's writing is sublime. She was able to portray every aspect of Mara's emotions throughout the book phenomenally. Whether it be confusion, fear, loneliness or guilt she felt, I had absolutely no problem in connecting with Mara. She was a fully-developed character - a character dripping with depth; a character worth reading about. As a matter of fact, more often than not, I actually felt the same things Mara was feeling - most especially when her paranoia got the best of her, and when she was drowning in fear and foreboding. Those moments were chill-inducing, to say the least. If that's not a testament to Hodkin's way with words, I have no idea what else can convince you.
The romance between Mara and Noah Shaw made for a sweet read as well. The beginning was little too instalove-ish for me, but subsequent interactions between the two did make my heart melt, and next thing I knew, I found myself smiling stupidly at some of Noah's antics. Noah is an interesting character, to say the least. He's witty, positively dripping with charm, and yet his gentleness when it comes to Mara makes for an welcome change of pace. I just love the way he is around her!
While the romance of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was an integral part of the novel as a whole, I'm sure I won't be alone in saying that it wasn't my favorite aspect. I'm not saying that the romance wasn't great, because it was, but the mystery of Mara proved to be the bigger draw of the book, at least for me. I couldn't wrap my head around all the twists, turns, and revelations Hodkin had up her sleeve, and my heart was beating like crazy as I got closer to finding out just what on earth was happening to Mara.
All in all, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a chilling read you don't want to miss out on. As you can probably tell by now, I tried my hardest to not include even the slightest spoiler so that your reading experience won't be ruined. Go grab a copy if you haven't, and I'll go purchase a copy of the sequel myself!
Rating: 4 Stars