The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: A Review
Cassandra Clare’s review ‘haunting and dreamlike’ should perhaps read instead ‘slightly confusing but still a page turner.’
Mara Dyer awakes in hospital, not sure how or why she is there. She then learns that her best friend Rachel, their friend Claire and her boyfriend Jude are all dead after the building they had all broken into collapsed – only she survived.
Mara convinces her family the best way to move forward is to move to a new town and start all over again. Mara and her two brothers start at a private school where Mara meets Noah, the dreamiest boy in school, who, inexplicably, seems to become attracted to Mara.
But is it coincidence? Mara is now seeing lots of strange things. The images of her dead friends as well as visions of other deaths. Could Noah’s fascination be connected to Mara’s visions? And what is wrong with her? Is she simply mad or does it go deeper than that?
What I Thought
I started off reading Mara Dyer super quick, fascinated by the premise: a troubled girl trying to make sense of her life after a mysterious tragedy. But I have to say, I slowed down when her relationship with Noah started to form. Noah is a great character: handsome, intelligent and misunderstood, but the element of ‘high school rom com’ that is sprinkled through the middle section, took away from the ‘haunting’ feeling of the rest of the book.
I loved the voice of Mara, it is unique and realistic, no holding back or sugar coating. Hodkin also manages to create such a realistic family dynamic that Mara’s relationship with her brothers and parents is powerful.
The plot was slightly confusing in places, especially the pre-climax chapters. Keeping fantasy also realistic is a terribly difficult feat and even though Hodkin manages this for the most part, at times it slips.
The opening and climax made this book for me, and I will certainly be reading the sequels, but I do hope Mara’s relationship with Noah is bound by mystery and not by teenage infatuation.
In a Sentence
A good read, one with mystery and suspense but also a tiny bit too much teenage romance.