Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin **Review**

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Pages: 452
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 27th September 2011
Buy (Hardback): Book Depository | Amazon US
Buy (UK pre-order paperback, 1st March 2012): Amazon UK | Waterstone's

Goodreads synopsis:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

There are so many things I want to say about this book - but many of them would give the whole thing away to anyone who may want to read it, so I'm going to try containing myself as much as possible.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a pure delight. It's intelligent, captivating, thrilling, funny and yet darkly twisted and creepy. Nothing in the book is done in a half-hearted manner; everything has been so clearly well-planned and written with such conviction that the force of the novel becomes even greater.

Mara is an exceptional character. She is deeply disturbed and confused, but we not only seen the serious, anxiety-ridden side of her character, but also a lighter, humourous side too. There were moments in the novel that caught me so off-guard, they became even funnier, but the skill behind the novel meant that I would often switch between laughter and something that definitely resembled fear in an instant, exhibiting the truly twisted nature of the book.
There is a lot more to say about Mara's character though. She is a loyal, moral and strong-willed character, who despite her lack of certainty about herself, is still able to decide what she feels is right (whether it turns out to be the right decision or not).

Noah adds another interesting dimension to the novel. There isn't a lot I can say about him without giving too much away, but I can say that the relationship between him and Mara is compelling and intriguing. Despite the difficulties that Noah is presented with, he continues unperturbed, to get to know and love Mara for who she is. Even on his own, he is an extremely compelling character - especially, as one of the reviews on the back of the book says, if you like your heroes dark.
However, are the problems that end the novel going to be too much for their already fragile relationship? I can't wait to find out!

The end of the novel is left on such a cliffhanger - not only will I be waiting impatiently for the in the series, but I won't be able to get this one out of my mind at all.
This is definitely an addictive and darkly thrilling page-turner, and I highly recommend it.

Just a little note at the end here, to say that I won my copy of this one from the wonderful Amy at Following the Reader blog. You guys should definitely head down there and follow her! She's a really great blogger :)


54 comments:

roro said...

gr8 review / hav not read this

Chey said...

I'm really glad that you liked this one so much! I know that a handful of people didn't quite care for it, but it was one of my favorites of the year! :)

Pen to Paper said...

Chey, I think it will be going down in my top ten for the year as well. It was an incredible read! :)

Amy said...

Ohhh I'm so glad you liked it!!! Looks like I will have to read this one next! (Though I am pretty sure I said that last time :P). Pretty much every review has said that they can't giveaway too much about the story, which has me completely stumped! Great non spoilery review!!

Amy @ Following The Reader

Pen to Paper said...

Yes I did, thank you Amy! I loved it!
Thank you very much for my prize ^_^

Yeah - it's difficult to say much about it without giving it all away. I'm very strict though. I will never publish a review with spoilers in it. I think I may have done once on goodreads, but I ticked the spoilers box, so it's hidden from view, and you have to click to view it.
Otherwise spoilers in reviews are a definite NO. :)

xxx

Lecea said...

Great review! I love how the book has such a mysterious atmosphere with everything happening at once. Hated the cliffhanger, though...

xSweetEternityx said...

I haven't had a chance to read it, but I'll definitely give it a shot after reading your review. I love strong heroines the best!

Books Glorious Books said...

I've been wanting this one for a while now but I still haven't bought it!

LisaILJ said...

Oh good, I am glad that you loved it as much as I did. It is killing me that not only do we have to wait FOREVER for the next book, it still doesn't even have a title or cover.

Pen to Paper said...

Lisa, I know exactly what you mean! When I finished this, I was dying to read more, but we do have to wait so long!
Will definitely be reading and reviewing it as soon as the second one comes out!

Dani :)

Rica said...

i want to read this one but i heard a lot of mix things about this book.. :|

Kathryn said...

I am looking forward to reading this book. It's at the top of my TBR list :)

Cayce said...

Thank you for the review! Another great one I have to add my TBR.
Can't wait to read it. Noah sounds like an interesting guy :P

Fara said...

Great review! I've been hesitant to read this and now I know should order the book now:D

IdentitySeeker said...

Oh! How I do so love reading positive reviews of a book that's next up on my TBR pile :) Thank you for haring your thoughts! You've just made me very excited about this book.

Christina Fiorelli said...

WOW!! I'm so happy you enjoyed Mara Dyer. I loved it, and I also love that Michelle is such an animal lover (it's on her blog)

Lunarwolves86 said...

Love your review!! I read this right when it came out! The cover dragged me in completely! I loved how the inside details didn't really explain what was going to happen in the book! It was so exciting to learn as you read!! Ugh SOOOO excited for the next one! <3

jwhitus said...

This book looks so interesting I'm adding it to my TBR list. Thanks

Sam said...

I really want to read this book. I like the sound of Mara and Noah! Damn. I wanna read this! Thanks for the great review! :D

Pairee said...

I have wanted to read this for quite some time. I had mixed feelings, I was worried it might have too much heartfail. Your review has help pushed me to read it. And who is this Noah!?!
:-D

mimz said...

Thanks for the great review. :) I haven't read this yet, but I've wanted to for some time and I really hope I find the time for it. I've read so many good reviews!

shorevalerie said...

I was on the fence about this book but your review has peeked my interest. The well rounded characters and the creepy plot sounds intriguing! Looking forward to read this book.

Juana said...

I loved this book too, and can't wait for the next one. I don't like cliffhangers, but this time I didn't mind.

Jaime Lynn Lester said...

Wow, this book threw me for a loop. I loved it and hated it and craved it all at the same time. I haven't read very many YA novels that are quite as dark as this novel. I think the thing that amazed me the most is that it was able to go from so dark and gritty and horrifying to light and humorous for just a split second before it went right back to dark and gritty. This book is a favorite and I can't wait for the rest of the series either!

Kali S said...

I really want to read this! I dunno why, but I love the cover of it as well. I might pick this one up closer to the release of the second, since I hate waiting so long for books! Thanks for the review.

Laura Armstrong said...

Ack! A cliffhanger ending?!?! This is one of the books I couldn't leave the library without. I love your review.. and I can't wait to read this!!!!

Jade! said...

I've had this on my bookshelf since the release but it looks loo deep to tackle, but I must get around to reading it! Thanks for the review!

Sam said...

Damn, I wanna read this!

Lolawid said...

Aw, I've been wanting to read this book sooo bad! All of the reviews I've read make me want to read it more! Thanks for contributing to my longing... :o)

Jodie Lane said...

I have read very mixed reviews about this one but they have been very mixed! Glad to read you enjoyed it.

Veronika said...

I want to read this book so bad! The truth is I've heard a lots of positive reviews about it, but a few negative too, so I was a bit scared of it :) I'm glad you like it. I think I give it a choice too :)

Tea, Daydreams & Fairytales said...

I was so excited for this book - I saw it on Goodreads months before and then when I finally read it I found it quite disappointing. You really liked the characters but I found Mara very weak and I couldn't really understand why she reacted to things the way she did. I'm glad that people enjoyed it - I wish I had been one of them :)

Brittany C. said...

Thank you for taking the time to do this review!! This book has been on my "want to read" list FOREVER!!! Darn book buying ban restriction by the hubby :(

Wolfswan1 said...

Well, if I was undecided on reading this book your review has made up my mind. I am def posting in to my TBR pile, but not before the release of the second book. I hate books that end on cliffhangers. Thanks for this great review.

Jaime Lynn Lester said...

I am glad that I read your review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It has surprised me how many negative reviews that the book received. I, for one, loved it. Too many YA novels have a cutsy, sweet feel to them. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the darker, disturbing side of YA. It is nice to see that others agree with me. So thank you for a positive review of a novel that deserves many positive reviews!

Jaime Lynn- GFC

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this. Need to dig it out.

Wolfswan1 said...

Thank you for your review. This book has been on my TBR/wishlist since its release date but I have not made the effort to read any reviews or actually buy the book yet. I love stories that have an amnesia theme this one i think, I will enjoy alot.

Gabrielle said...

Great review! I've been hesitating on whether or not to read this one, but I'm pretty sure I'll check it out now. thanks! :)

Fara said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Agreed with everything. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is indeed captivating and intriguing. And of course, Noah. *sigh*. Great review! =D

Cliona said...

Glad you enjoyed this, I really want to read it! The cover is AMAZING!!!

Beth said...

amazing review!! This book is on my wishlist, and your review has made me want to read this even more!

Thanks for the awesome review!
Beth xxx

Little Sprites said...

This book sounds awesome....loved your review..made me want to read it even more. been on my list for some time now and have heard so many good things about it....I think it will be the next book I read.
GFC:aprildan01

Diana_Dimovska said...

I have this book (epub file) and I haven't read it still (since I don't have a reader I must read it on my smartphone and that is annoying:/ ). But after this review I'm seriously considering starting... Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for this review ^^

Shelver506 said...

Interesting. For some reason, I've been shying away from this book, but I think I may just have to try it. Thanks for the review. :)

TayteH said...

Great, a cliffhanger. That's just great. And Mara does sound interesting. A strong character. :D

Rebecca Hipworth said...

So glad that you love this book: I do too. :D

Anonymous said...

Great review! I need to read this now. It sounds amazing.

Tal said...

I heard good things about this book... I'm so glad you liked it! great review! I can't wit to read :D

Shelver506 said...

Tricky books are the hardest to write reviews for, but you did a great job! I might have to pick up a copy...

Kelly said...

I am glad you thought it was amazing. I guess I better get to getting my own copy!!

Rose Pryimak said...

What a great review! Makes me really want to read this book now!!

Daizymoon said...

OK so if there is anyone out there who has not read this book, don't walk but RUN to the store as soon as possible and buy it! This is one of my favorite books that I have read! I couldn't put it down(well ok there were some scary part that I put it down on to hide lol) but it was a definate one day read. The suspenseful twists and solid connections between the characters are wonderful. I cannot wait to read the sequel to escape back into the world of NOAH and Mara! I am by far TEAM Noah! GREAT READ!

Bengal Reads said...

OMG I have been DYING to read this... it's sitting on my shelf because I have other books that I have to read before this but GREAT review, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts... I've never really read a scary book so I'm curious!

Gaby said...

I have been wanting to read this book for forever but I never get the chance to. After reading your review it make me want to read it that much more :)

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