Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published: September 27th 2011
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD
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.

“How awesome is that cover? How great sounds that description? How many great reviews are there in total? O_O” – these were the thoughts that went through my head when I first heard about this book. I knew I wanted to read it, but somehow I didn’t pick it up. I’ve been reading these extremely emotional books lately and I needed something dark, thrilling and mysterious. This is not a story you should read in silence, alone and in a dark room with only a reading light on. I did and it was pretty spooky at times. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it!

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.” 

The first few chapters were okay – intriguing, completely compelling and mysterious. Then.. I just couldn’t get into it. The chemistry between Noah and Mara felt random and off, the things happening were like out of a low-budget horror movie (which I loathe, by the way.. Okay, I don’t watch that many horror movies. More like none since I have a very livid imagination and hate having nightmares or jumping up every time I see a creepy shadow somewhere. But I used to.. And these things were what you call a classic horror movie layout.). Suddenly, out of nowhere, it got interesting and I grew extremely anxious to know what happens next. After devouring page after page I found myself reading the very last one and thinking "what the effing eff just happened???"

If you’ve read any of my reviews, then you know that I tend to dislike it when books are predictable. I guess it’s kind of a curse of reading so much: you tend to know things beforehand. What I loved about this particular book is that that I couldn’t figure out most of the plot twists until right before they took place if even that. Also, I doubted if they were really true, because Mara isn't that reliable source of information. Some of the scenes were pretty gruesome, but then there were parts where my heart rate picked up (all credit goes to Noah). Umm.. Maybe that romance part took over a bit too much. At some point I almost forgot that there was that asylum mystery to solve and these freakish accidents and deaths etc, but in the end it all worked out great (in the sense that it got pretty creepy again).

As for the characters, I’m intrigued by Jude. I may be weird for it, but I want to know more about him and why he did what he did in that asylum. Moreover, I’m a fan of Daniel. He makes me want to have a big brother! Oh, and Joseph – gosh, that boy is so freaking adorable! Noah and Mara were also great and I enjoyed that Mara didn’t give into him that soon. She stood on her ground and I give her props for that! Oh, and that twist with Noah? Yeah, that was pretty awesome. Moreover, how could I not mention Jamie – the perfect friend to spice up this dark story of Mara's.

“Asscrown," I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn't proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.
Noah matched my pace. "Don't you mean 'assclown'?" He looked amused.
"No," I said, louder this time. "I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses," I said, as though I was reading from a dictionary of modern profanity.
"I guess you nailed me then.”

In the end, it was a decent piece of work and I’m excited to explore what Ms. Hodkin has created for the sequel. I’m kind of mad at myself for not having read this book any sooner. Yeah, I can easily see why some people hate some of the cheesy horror movie elements, some can’t stand the romance part etc, but I found that everything that took place in this novel neutralized the whole outcome and I’d recommend to at least check this series out. You may end up surprisingly liking it. I did.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  1. Sorry this one was a little hard for you to get into Siiri, but I'm glad overall you enjoyed it! I thought it was just a really strange and twisted read, and I loved that about it. There are so many questions I have, and I can't wait to see how she's going to tie everything together in the last book. I'll be looking for your review of book 2!!

    1. Hmh, yeah, it was a bit difficult at first, but then it got really, really good. If it wasn't for that "hard to get into" part, I would have easily given it a four, but I just couldn't bring myself to cheat and give it such a high rating. I'm so excited to read the second one, though. People are loving it so much more than the first one and the third one isn't that far away either :)

  2. I've been meaning to read my copy for ages. I had no idea the story was so creepy. Glad you liked it, Sirtsu!

    1. You should give it a try at least, it was pretty creepy at times, especially when I didn't know if it was real or not. And it was definitely weird. In a good way, I guess, heh. I'm glad, too:)