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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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I finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer this past weekend and want to talk about it! First, isn’t the cover amazing? I love it. So unique and intriguing–mesmerizing. Second, isn’t the title cool? It captures the tone of the book really well. On to  other things about this book. This one really keeps you guessing. The basic idea is that this girl, Mara Dyer (even though I’m a little confused about whether that’s her real name), wakes up from a coma after being in an accident with her best friend, boyfriend, and boyfriend’s sister. Only Mara survived. But she remembers nada. Zip. She doesn’t know (and neither does the reader) whether she belongs in a mental institution or a prison or what. So her family picks up and moves to Florida for a fresh start for Mara, but obviously you don’t escape these kinds of problems by just moving to a sunny state. 🙂 Enter into the mix Noah, the British bad boy that Mara’s attracted to (oh, and every other girl in the vicinity).

Overall–I really enjoyed this novel. It’s a great read. There are some creepy moments, but they just add to the really intriguing storyline. I thought the characters were likable and interesting. There’s only one complaint I have. I understand that Mara falls for Noah–apparently he’s the kind of guy everyone falls for but shouldn’t. But in Mara’s case it’s okay. However, he’s got a really bad reputation which Mara knows about from day one. My only problem was when Jamie, Mara’s one and only friend in her new school, shares with her why he hates Noah (it involves Noah’s behavior with Jamie’s sister and it’s, indeed, worthy of hating him). Hardly a moment later and Mara’s bringing this up to Noah and he’s pretty much saying it’s true, and hardly another moment later Mara’s making out with him, unable to control herself, I guess. I thought this made Mara seem like another weak girl who has no self-control when it comes to guys, but it also made her seem a little cruel and heartless. Jamie’s the only person who befriended her! So I didn’t think that scene represented Mara all that well–because other than this scene, she seems like a girl who’s handling way more than anyone should have to handle and doing okay. She’s brave. She loves her family. She misses her best frind who died. And she’s grateful to Jamie for being her friend. Also, just the fact that every other girl around seems to melt for Noah and do whatever he wants–because of this I would have liked to have seen a little more strength from Mara at this crucial moment when you realize he’s hurt another girl.

Moving on. Don’t get me wrong, I think Noah’s a likable character. He’s got great redeeming qualities and you learn that there’s way more to him than anyone knows. He’s got depth. I like Mara’s relationship with him. I think maybe I’ve just been reading too many YA novels or something. The obsessive crazy way love is always pictured just feels . . . I’m not sure. I’m just seeing it in every story, I guess. Anyway, the characters in this book develop in ways that are totally unexpected and I love that about them. The plot goes in surprising directions and that’s refreshing.

So, read this one. If you’re a fan of YA lit, you’ll probably like it as much as I did.


About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an award-winning author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

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