The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is a wonderfully written thriller that will grab and hold your attention. It’s not all fast paced action but even the slower points will keep you engrossed in this book. I love Hodkin’s writing style, it’s so detailed that I really felt I was there with the characters, getting to know them.
Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital after an accident that kills her friends and she can’t remember anything that happened. After her family moves to Florida to help Mara have a fresh start after the accident, weird things keep happening to her. This book was so creepy and spooky that it made me jumpy when I was reading it at night. It’s definitely a book that will have you glancing over your shoulder to see if anyone is there. Another aspect that made me really enjoy reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is that although it is a thriller there aren’t buckets of gore being splashed about- Hodkin infuses the story with creepiness with her wonderful writing and doesn’t take the easy way out.
The book flips back and forth between the time before Mara’s accident, and the present Sometime books that switch between the past and present irritate me, they can make me lose my focus and are generally less enjoyable to read. However, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer flows seamlessly between the two time periods. In the before sections Mara reminisces about her old life and remembers more and more about the night of the accident. What we learn in the before section is beautifully fitted into the present day and strengthens the plot and adds to the reader’s interest.
The biggest drawback to this book is Noah’s character. Noah is a complete jerk with very few (if any) redeeming qualities. The fact that Mara spends more than a minute with him doesn’t seem to agree with her character- although she is troubled and is having a very difficult time it seems like her character would never pay attention to someone like Noah. The relationship between the two of them kept jerking me out of the trance that this book had me in because it just doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s not just the fact that Noah is a jerk that bothers me- it’s how the character is written. The way he acts at the beginning and the way that he acts at the end of the novel are very different, but it doesn’t feel like there’s any change to his personality or character- at one point in the book he starts acting differently and that is that. His personality doesn’t seem to mesh with his words and actions. Noah’s character and how he is written is the only reason that I would not give this book a 5/5.
I really liked Mara- although she is devastated by the accident and the loss of her best friend she works hard at picking herself back up. She’s tough, even when bad things are happening and she’s pretty funny. She also has this sarcastic confidence to her that I loved. I also really liked Jamie and I hope he appears more in the next book- he leaves the book pretty quickly and I’m hoping that his story is not finished.
Without spoiling the book I have to say that I was NOT expecting that ending and it made me really excited for the next book. I can really see this book getting turned into a movie, it seems like there are a ton of movies being made out of books and I can really see this book working as a movie. If you’re looking for a spooky book that has lots of twists I would definitely recommend picking up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- 4.5/5