Haunting, mysterious, and the first in its thrilling series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the beautifully written book by Michelle Hodkin.
When Mara wakes up in a hospital, she has no recollection of what happened. She doesn’t know how she got there, or what happened that got her two friends and her boyfriend killed and left her miraculously uninjured. Her doctors suggest that she start over in a new city, at a new school, and just hope her memories gradually come back.
But Mara is finding her new life anything but comforting. She sees her dead friends everywhere and begins to see deaths before they happen. Everyone thinks she crazy – is she? Just when Mara feels like the world is crumbling around her, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy Mara’s ever seen just won’t leave her alone. Is Noah really the boy everyone thinks he is? Or is there something sinister hiding under his gorgeous façade?
Wow. Just wow. This book… I can’t even begin to describe how it made me feel. All I know is that I really enjoyed reading this book. And that it was creepy. Very creepy. The first chapter really set the scene and gave me a slight indication of what this book was going to be like. I knew from the moment I started reading this book was that it was going to be impossible to put down. I loved how the tension was there from the very beginning and wasn’t lost for the entire story. This is definitely one of the eeriest books I’ve ever read.
During most of this book, Mara had hallucinations. These parts were really disturbing because I didn’t know that she was hallucinating at the time. I was in Mara’s head for the entire book and I felt everything that she felt. When she was terrified, so was I. When Mara felt like she was going, crazy so did I. Her emotions felt so real to me and I found myself pulling the covers of my duvet closer to me, trying to escape the horrors of what was going on. This book was really frightening. I don’t know how Mara was so calm in some of these situations because I know I would have screamed loud enough to wake the whole city. But it was these parts I liked the most. That’s because I didn’t know whether to trust everything Mara was seeing. Towards the end of the book, I was very suspicious of everything. I loved that aspect of this book.
I really liked the characters in this book. Mara was by far my favourite character. I loved the way she spoke. She always knew what she wanted to say and I loved how forward she could be when she wanted to be. I enjoyed her conversations with Noah. Their conversations were always amusing and extremely witty. Together, Mara and Noah was what made this story really jump off the pages. Their relationship was so real and didn’t seem faked at any point. Noah was a really funny person at times, other times he was deadly serious and slightly intimidating.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was some of the words Michelle Hodkin used. For example, she used words like candor instead of just saying honesty. She said detest instead of hate. Don’t try to be clever with me, Michelle Hodkin, because it won’t work! All she was doing was trying to show off that she could use a thesaurus. Is that really necessary? She took away from the story line because I was only focussing on how smart she was trying to look. She could easily convey the same message by using more common words. She doesn’t need to feel that she needs to show off to impress people and make them love the story. People will love the story because the love the plot and the characters and because of how haunting it is. Not because of how many long words Michelle uses. In saying that, I loved every other part of the story and I loved how Michelle could convey emotion in practically every sentence. Some of my favourite paragraphs were when Mara didn’t know whether to believe her eyes or not. I really enjoyed reading those parts because then I was unsure myself. Michelle Hodkin is a very talented author and my only criticism is to use words that convey emotion in the characters, not knowledge of a dictionary.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the spine-chilling and haunting story-line and it was definitely a thrilling read. I’d give The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer a score of 8.5 out of 10. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series!