Author: Michelle Hodkin (Twitter)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 27, 2011
Genre: YA, Psychological Thriller
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.
Mara's life is nothing like it used to be. The biggest problem before the accident was the fact that Claire might be usurping her place as her best friend's new best friend. Mara's family moves to Miami for a fresh start, but Mara's troubles follow her, and her troubles begin to go from bad to worse. She's seeing things, hearing voices and she's pretty sure she's dangerously unstable. The one person that could center her is as mysterious as her condition, but as dangerously handsome and charming as they get. Can Mara reach the bottom of her troubled past before her world crumbles around her?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a thrill ride; plain and simple. However, while that surmises what many of you might have already guessed, it doesn't even begin to come close to adequately portraying what a masterpiece Michelle Hodkin has created in her debut novel. Rich and engrossing, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is rife with dark humour, snarky characters and white-knuckle suspense from start to finish. Michelle Hodkin is a genius when it comes to setting a scene. Balancing a perfect description of each setting while allowing the characters to sing through so they never become overpowered by mundane details, the world of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer comes alive. Brimming with tension and suspense, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is sure to find a place on every book-lover's shelf.
First and foremost, I have to say that Mara was very much a mystery to me throughout much of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but that's not to say that I didn't get to know her. It's the not-knowing that made her that much more intriguing, if that makes sense. Every time I think I had a grasp on what was going on with her, she threw me for a loop and had me grasping at straws, yet again. Jamie, Mara's new best friend was a hilarious oddity, as well. He added a layer of intrigue to the host of secondary characters, each of whom had their own distinct personality. In the same breath, I'd like to say that Daniel, Mara's older brother, was a perfect counterpart to Mara, herself. His steady demeanor was the very opposite of Mara's tumultuous self, but their interaction was genuine and honest - very much that of a brother and sister. Then there's Noah Shaw. Good Lord. Noah Shaw. He will forever be the boy that I compare all YA boys to from now on...perhaps real boys, as well. On the surface, his surly player facade had me screaming for mercy, but when you added the layer of hidden, genuine charm and concern, he epitomizes perfection. Through it all, however, I must not forget that while the characters were phenomenal, the plot was equally so. I never once knew where The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was heading, but it was visual, and it was tense, and I was enthralled and breathless long after the very last page.
I cannot sing the praises of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer enough. This book, in my humble opinion, is what makes the genre so great. Merging a powerful premise with an equally stunning and original plot, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer gets a 6 out of 5 from me (as well as edges into my top ten), and the ending left me absolutely desperate for book two like...yesterday. I highly recommend this book to all fans of YA, as well as fans of adult books, especially those who enjoy psychological thrillers and dark tones. There is some mature language and insinuations, so do keep that under consideration.
I received this ARC free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.