Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Published: Simon & Schuster (September 27, 2011)
Pages: 450
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 1
Source: Jamie sent me an ARC (thanks, J!)
GoodReads Summary: 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 Thoughts: There was so much of a buildup for me with Mara Dyer. The general consensus was that it was chock full of WTF. I went in completely blind to the premise and I am so thankful that I did. I was just as clueless as Mara the entire time.

And please prepare yourself for this review. It's going to be pretty... SEVERE in enthusiasm.

I don't know where Michelle Hodkin came from with this amazing ballbuster of a novel, but OH MY GOD does she make her presence known in a big way. She has mentally steamrolled me. I'm writing this review about 9 hours after finishing the book and I can't even think of anything else. This is one of those books that has consumed every facet of my life and I couldn't do anything else until I finished, except sleep. It STILL consumed me as I wrote this review, 9 hours after finishing.

Mara Dyer is up there as one of my favorite protagonists of 2011. I mean seriously, this girl has a razorblade tongue and witty as heck to boot. I wish this book was 600 pages longer so I could prolong my stay in Mara's head. Not only was she entertaining, but she was SMART. And hilarious. I may or may not have a complete girl crush on her.

You guys, there is some seriously creepy shizz going on in this novel. PTSD in itself is a frightening subject, but to see its manifestations through the eyes of the victim? I'm talking disturbing on the level of that scary 7 Days video in The Ring. If you're easily spooked, DON'T read this in the dark and DON'T read it home alone. I'm weird, though, and loved every moment of being disturbed.

And every messed up girl must have a boy in her life to help fix her. That boy, in Mara's case, is Noah Shaw. He is the newest inductee into my literary crush Hall of Fame and shoots way up to my top three. There's just something about a British accent and chaos hair and sharp wit and he loves animals and plays the guitar and and and OMG THE SEXUAL TENSION. During two different scenes, I actually felt my face flush. IT WAS STEAMY, YOU GUYS. And I love everything about Noah and Mara. They are delightfully effed up.

After finishing, I was completely floored. There are so many different interlaced plot points that I had to take a moment and write them all down to try and make sense of them. I loved forming theories and discussing with other readers what they thought about WHY this person showed up here or WHEN could that have happened and WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? Because y'all, there is a gigantic cliffhanger that will leave you flaily and squirmy. Have you ever seen Inception? And you know how you had to watch it a couple times and discuss it with other viewers following the movie in order for it to make 100% sense (and even still...)? The completely mindeffery of this book was reminiscient of my frame of mind post-Inception.

I cannot even justify my absolute love for this book in words. This review, as a whole, is inadequate. This book is terminally good.


  1. Your review is way more eloquent than mine and I am SO HAPPY YOU LOVED THIS BOOK TOO! That ending was OHMYGOD. And okay, I suck - I am not head over heels with Noah but I certainly appreciate his awesomeness. Something about living in London ruined British guys for me.

    Anyway book 2 needs to happen asap.

  2. GAH!! I can't wait to read it! I preordered it, and it BETTER get here on release day. I will CUT Amazon if it doesn't. haha Fantastic review, Jen! <3

  3. Oh great. How am I supposed to resist this book after such an enthusiastic review! Off to add it to my wish list!

  4. I want to go into it knowing little, so I just skimmed your review. I've heard great things and can't wait to read it!

  5. I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I am always wary of the ones that are hyped and even those I am looking forward too. I didn't know much about it, but that made the book even better. I can't wait for more! (and I am always so stupidly happy when I see other people love a book that I loved, too!)

  6. I love this book and Michelle is one of the sweetest authors I have ever met. I am going to her book launch next week, you should enter the contest on my blog for a personalized copy :)

  7. Okay, this book sounds extremely good! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy myself. I absolutely love your review as well; if I wasn't super curious before, I sure am now! A great, great review.

    Rebecca @ Kindle Fever

  8. This is another book that you have made want THAT much more!

  9. i heard so much mystery around this book, and i was SO impressed and SO surprised and SO pleased by where it went.

    i love love looooove unreliable narrators, and Mara is certainly that.

    it left me with so many questions, and like you, plenty of girl-crushing on Mara. she's totes badass.

  10. Yes, yes, yes to everything in this review. Love that you loved it as much as me! :D Such an AWESOME read!

  11. Ahh loved your enthusiasm in this one! I wouldn't gravitate toward this book, but because of your thoughts... I'm so much more likely to pick it up. :)

  12. I'm absolutely DYING to read this one now. I love gushy reviews like this one :)