Review | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin


  • Paperback (Simon Pulse, 452 pages)
  • First published 2011; this edition published 2012
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars (3.5)
  • Buy the book here

“Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy. And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…”

Mara Dyer… isn’t Mara Dyer.

That’ll make absolutely no sense if you haven’t read the book, but if you have, you’ll know what I mean. (It’s not a spoiler, don’t worry!) And despite the weird timelines and often jarringly sudden flashbacks, I found The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer an intriguing book. Michelle Hodkin has created an interesting YA novel out of tropes – the girl with abilities, the unexplained events, the hot, arrogant guy who is shrouded in mystery – and yet, this novel doesn’t entirely slip into the abyss of cliches. It actually manages to emerge triumphant, a beacon amidst the many badly-written and excruciatingly cringey young adult novels. It’s not a perfect book, by any means – but it is a good one.

There were things that grated on me – such as Noah’s arrogance and his almost controlling nature – but overall, Michelle Hodkin’s writing flows, is easy to read and is very engaging. It took me less than two days to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and I do not regret reading it at all. I’m excited to get my hands on the two sequels, and I fervently hope they’ll be as good as, if not better than, their predecessor.

All in all, an enjoyable YA read, and if you haven’t read it, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is well worth a look.


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