Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin

Grade: C


Synopsis from goodreads.com:
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 on the book:
I had heard a lot of terrific things about this novel, so I thought I'd give it a try. The book itself isn't bad. The writing is fantastic, it's a page turner, and it's super suspenseful. Mara and Noah are extremely likable and everything moves in a logical order. However, the ending really pissed me off. Let me explain. I spent around 450 pages wondering what was going on with Mara. Was she crazy, or was it a supernatural thing? Would she and Noah get together or would they go their separate ways? Why does everything die around Mara? Is she as innocent in all of this as she seems to be? Can we even trust her? Are these hallucinations or hauntings? Is Mara safe? Is there someone after her? That's a lot of questions, right? Well a good book is supposed to raise a lot of questions, but, that book is also supposed to answer at least one of those questions. Did Hodkin answer any of the above questions at the end of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer? No, she did not. I got half a question answered. HALF. Not even a full question. She dragged on the freaking suspense for 450 pages, and not one full question was answered. And that, my friends, is why this book has such a low rating from me. Yes, she set up a sequel, but it was such a cop-out ending that I'm not even sure I'll read it. I know cliffhangers are typical in YA literature, but this was just obscene. If she had answered a few questions, or hell, even ONE question, then I would definitely by the sequel. Now, I'm just not so sure. 
Onto the things I liked. Mara was funny, sarcastic, and maybe crazy/maybe supernatural. She was a great character, and you couldn't help but like her. She made some stupid decisions, but you know she was delusional... maybe... I'm not sure because the question wasn't actually answered. Anyway, I could see why she made those stupid decisions. Other than the maybe/maybe not insanity, Mara was also a mature character. I enjoyed reading about things from her POV, and let me tell you, I was terrified for her throughout most of this book. There is a definite underlying suspense/horror type theme going on here, and I liked it because it was different.
Noah was fantastic. He was a bit of a cliche in some ways, but in others, he was unique. I really enjoyed how he and Mara interacted, and I had to laugh at how bitchy she was with him. He was unable to be deterred, though. If I do read the sequel, I hope to see A LOT more of him in it. He's just a fantastic character. 
Mara's family was also terrific. No absentee family here. I loved how everyone had their own quirks. It made them seem more realistic. My favorite was Joseph, her twelve year old brother who was obsessed with the stock market. He was great and one of my favorite characters. 
The pacing of this book was slow-as-molasses. I feel like it could have been cut by about 100-150 pages and still been just as effective. The ending was rushed, though, and as I mentioned, no questions were actually answered. The entire book dragged until about the 95% mark, and then it rushed through to the worst ending of all time. So the pacing just flat out sucked. 
Pacing aside, I loved how Hodkin blended past and present together, and I really enjoyed Mara's flashbacks. Hodkin has a writing style that will draw you in, and before you know it, you'll start seeing things through Mara's eyes. It's terrifying and captivating. Because of that, I may just read the sequel. 
Overall, I'd say steer clear of this book until the sequel comes out. My consensus after writing this review is that I will check the sequel out from the library, and if I get no answers AGAIN, then I'm done with the series. Right now, I'm trying to give Hodkin the benefit of a doubt that she didn't really mean to create such a jerky ending. The author is obviously talented, and because talent is hard to come by, I'm afraid I won't be able to pass up the sequel. If you haven't read this book yet, you have been warned... Wait until the sequel is out to pick it up. Otherwise, you'll be all irritated about it like I am. 
Want to buy The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer?

5 comments:

  1. Hi! You have been awarded the One Lovely blog award. I enjoyed your blog so thought I would share it. Hope you don't mind! Here is the link to my blog to check it out.

    http://thinksbooks.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-two-awards.html?showComment=1329183063675#c6782614640927184478

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  2. Hi Amber,
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  3. I really want to read this book! It seems amazing!
    @CamilaCandomil

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  4. I think the cover of this book is fantastic and I am glad to hear that it is a page turner. Sorry to hear that you didn't like the ending- that stinks. I have it on my list and will probably be giving it a try. It sounds like it has a lot to offer.

    ~Jess

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  5. I actually think that this book is really good. I'm so confused on many things after the book finished (like, for example, the cover?!), but I feel like readers are supposed to be a little confused, and that things will be cleared up in the next books. I can believe it's a trilogy! I know Michelle Hodkin knows what she is doing, but I don't really see how this is going to go on for two more books. NOT that it's a bad idea/series, but the first book and the addition of a second book might've been enough? I don't know. All I DO know is that I can't wait for The Evolution of Mara Dyer!!!!!

    Alyssa Susanna <3

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