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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Book Review

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1442421769

446 pp.

Reading copy via local library

This book had a lot of buzz pre-publication and I can see why. Way cool cover. Intriguing premise of is-she/isn't-she crazy. And it almost delivers.  It kind of bums me that I didn't L-O-V-E it like I thought I would, but it's still a good read.

Mara Dyer (not her real name as we learn in a prologue) wakes up in the hospital after an accident has killed her best friend Rachel, frenemy Claire, and boyfriend Jude. Mara has no memory of the accident and starts seeing Claire and Jude. Mara tries to convince herself that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and these sightings are merely hallucinations.

Mara also convinces her family that what she really needs is to get away from places that remind her of her friends, so the whole family moves to Florida. There she enters a prep school and meets Noah, an annoying-but-hot-boy, who has a love 'em and leave 'em reputation.

As Mara tries to fit into her new school, she continues to have hallucinations. And these hallucinations are not just getting scarier, they're getting deadlier. No spoilers here, but Mara does finally confess what she sees to Noah. And we learn he has a secret of his own. No matter what his reputation is, he vows to help Mara. CUE gripping climax that sets up for the next novel.

The thing that bumped me as a reader was that I felt too much time was spent on the is-she/isn't-she crazy. There are sooo many hallucinations just to freak Mara out, but not many of them really moved the story forward. And one in particular, a phone call Mara convinces herself isn't real, is foreshadowed TO HAVE CONSEQUENCES. But when the shizz hits the fan at the end of the book, this phone call never comes up.

This is the beginning of a series, and I understand that some threads have to be left hanging, but some seem forgotten rather than deliberately crafted to be so.

But that's just me. Most readers probably aren't so picky. And I did enjoy this novel. I repeat, I did enjoy it. I would recommend The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer to readers who enjoyed Angelfire by Carolyn Allison Moulton or Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer book trailer:

Bonus video: Michelle Hodkin discusses how the book came to be