The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Pretty cover ❤

Overall, I feel a bit lost. I still have this “huh???” reoccuring as I process the ending. 

This is how I felt after the first chapter:

This book made me feel like I kept on skipping chapters. I was constantly questioning why to so many things. I don’t usually hate on Mary-Sue’s, because usually I DO find them enjoyable. But I’ve just finished the forth book of the Lux series, and seeing Mara call Noah an asshole, without ever even speaking to the guy, made me cringe and do an eye roll simultaneously. She’s the Mary-“I’m not like most girls”-Damn-Sue. 

Noah wasn’t as painful once the story went on. I LOVE (note the sarcasm) how Mara sort of forgets everything half way through the book.

Noah is a notorious man-slut?
No problem, that was never mentioned!
That dog you saved, minutes from dying and where you stayed hung up on for almost 3 chapters?
Who cares, right? It’s been, like, a week. I’m sure it’s fine.
Your new ~best friend~ who gets framed and expelled by your common arch-nemesis??????? 
Don’t even try to contact him after he doesn’t pick up the phone, once.

Okay. That was all the negative stuff. I should say I did enjoy the romance of this book. However I didn’t enjoy that Noah and Mara’s only date lasted 5 chapters. Cmon. Where’s the plot?? 
I found myself asking what the actual point of this book was. Creepy stuff happens at the beginning, she moves, kind of addresses mental health issues (poorly), meets The Unattainable Boy.

 Said Boy pines for her, even though she gives no reason why The Unattainable Boy would find her interesting, aside from her “emo” eeriness.

 Focus on their time spent together, with general ~meaningful~ moments. Lose track of the plot about the creepiness from the start of the book. That epic Twilight-replica scene where Bella- sorry, Mara, had Noah pick her up, and arrive to school TOGETHER (God, save us now, that’s just TOO shocking for the school population right now). Oh, and jealous pretty girl ISN’T pleased with this. At all. 

The romantic moments were thoroughly enjoyable. I felt as if I was reading more of Veronica Roth’s work in those moments. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not the most beautifully crafted relationships either. 

I’m glad I read it. I see a lot of booktubers mention this book.

I’d recommend this book to YA’s who don’t like paranormal that much, but want to read about the Bad (Rich, Smart, and also Handsome) Boy and the Girl (we barely know much about) get together, and have some pretty cute moments. I did go “awwwwww” somewhere in the middle of the book. Around the time Noah saved the day with the sketchbook. That scene was pretty good to read! 

Hodkin was really good at making me feel Mara’s anger and confusion. Not so much on the lovey-dovey stuff, but I don’t think I’ve hated a teacher more than that Spanish Lady. I soooooooo badly wanted to throw a table at her. Ugh. 

Overall, I’m left with a need for answers for all the questions we were sprung with at the beginning. If I were to submit this in as an assignment for school, 100% guarantee my teacher would return this saying the story has major plot holes and feels highly unfinished. Like I haven’t read over my draft. This book has a lot of potential, so I hope some of my answers are given to me in the next book (which I’m not that enthused to read, but I must end this state of confusion). 

I think Noah and Mara belong in a different setting. A more… contemporary plot line. Noah, at times, did remind me of St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. Maybe that’s why I don’t find this paranormal setting suited for this couple. I find it weak and poorly developed, additional to the character building and description. Even basic description. 

I could honestly not list 5 physical traits each for any of the characters.

Here’s what I know:
Noah; sandy blond, blue (almost grey) eyes. Tall??? Maybe?? Not muscular.
Mara; … brown… hair? Dark eyes (idk????). That’s it. That’s all I know. Oh, and she has a second degree burn.
Claire; redhair.
Jude; brown hair. ??????
Rachel; ???????
The Dyer family; ?????????
Her new bff; blond (?) dreadies. Shorter than Mara. I know more about him than of the main protagonist. “Token black, Jewish, bi friend”.
Bitch from school; blonde (of course). 

Mara gave us no insight on what she likes to do for fun. Besides the creepy asylum visit, which she didn’t enjoy. Sleepovers?? Honestly, I gathered as much as Bella Swan (I love that character to bits but all we know is she likes to cook for her dad, and study for Trig)- at least we knew Bella liked to read! WHAT DOES MARA LIKE TO DO?!? Oh yeah, she mentioned Death Cab twice. “Before” she moved to Miami.

Sorry, this review is a mess. I’m just a little frustrated with this book. But that weird thing is, depending on the sequel, I’d probably read this again. Or watch A Walk to Remember or Twilight, which would give a more interesting take, with similar romance, but more paranormal takes to it. I was expecting more paranormalcy (??), and I hate to say it, the cover gave me high paranormal romance hopes. 

It’s a good starter for new YA readers who aren’t sure if they’re untested in paranormal romances. I, on the other hand, am a very well experienced YA reader for P/R, and am feeling a little deflated. It could be because I’m in this book hangover from the Lux Series, which is significantly WAY more paranormal romancey, with a really strong couple to read about. 

This was an easy read, you don’t have to look that far into it. My high-expecting self has been, simply from what I’ve heard about it.

the other one

Author: Cal's Reading Corner

HSIE teacher from Sydney, Australia.

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