Published September 27, 2011 by Simon and Schuster
ARC Borrowed from Heidi @ YA Bibliophile
Purchased a Copy
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.
She's wrong. - Goodreads
Michelle Hodkin's debut novel is a dark tale filled with mystery, death, and romance that will have the reader turning the pages faster than they can read them. From the very beginning of the story the reader is sucked into the story and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Mara. I think the tshirts say it perfectly - "Who is Mara Dyer?" What is going on with this mysterious girl? Just the outside of the book is enough to grab your attention - the synopsis is intriguing and the cover is beautiful.
One of my favorite thing about this book is the characters. Hodkin does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life and making them real. Mara is a girl with some serious issues but who can blame her when she has been through such a traumatic accident and lived when others died. Mara's story is dark and not for the faint of heart - there are some spine tingling scenes in this book, for sure. She is one messed up chick but still manages to have a quick wit about her. I love how she gives it back to Noah. Speaking of Noah - can we say SA-WOON! I know a lot of people were kind of disgusted with his attitude but I loved it. Then again, I always liked the bad boy when I was younger. I love the relationship between Mara and Noah too. There is no insta-love happening here and thank GOD there is no love triangles. The relationship between Noah and Mara develops at a reasonable pace - at least for high school kids.
The story is written brilliantly. There are so many twists and turns and crazyness going on that it keeps you wondering what the crap is really going on. I know a lot of people got to the last 100 pages and the thing with the alligators and just didn't like it - but I kinda did. I know it was crazy but, really, the whole book is crazy! There is definitely a different paranormal twist going on and I think Hodkin knows where she is taking it. There is something going on with Mara and the alligators just show how crazy it is. I will say that it was confusing and maybe not explained clearly - but there is a lot of stuff that still needs explained. I have faith that Hodkin has a reason for how things happened and they will be explained in later books.
Overall, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a fantastic read. It is a very intriguing and so different from anything I've read - and, regardless of the crazyness, I love it for it. I highly recommend this book and wish I could buy it for my library but I have middle grade kids and it's definitely not age appropriate. If you are looking for something that you haven't read before with a swoon-worthy romance, paranormal elements, and spine-tingling mystery, this is the book for you.