Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review - Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer

UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER: By Michelle Hodkin


After months and months of hearing constant praise for this book, I finally received my copy in the mail. It was odd to crack open a book and have absolutely no idea what to expect. And for once, I was unable to predict the ending (well, most of the ending). I like to think of myself as somewhat of a young-adult book savant. I can tell you how they are going to end by chapter two. Of course, after a baker's dozen books where they all end the same--Girl meets badass boy, girl hates badass boy, girl falls for badass boy, girl discovers badass boy is not human, girl loves him anyway, badass boy really isn't badass--it doesn't take a particularly talented person to know that the next YA book will probably end the same way. (And the random boy you think you are supposed to trust--he is never good. Never. Don't trust him. He is the bad guy.)

This book has a similar progression, but it isn't badass boy's secret we are seeking to uncover. It is Mara's. Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the story of, you guessed it, Mara Dyer. After she wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there, she discovers she was involved in an accident that killed three of her friends. The trauma leaves Mara with PSD or so they assume...hmm? Her family moves across country to help her cope and move on. But moving on isn't quite as simple as residing in a new location. As Mara's story proves, it is easy to run, not so easy to hide. Because the past is the dark shadow tied to your feet. As the mystery of the fateful night starts to unravel, so does Mara herself. The only thing keeping her from completely going bonkers is Noah Shaw, the mysterious boy that won't leave her alone.

Oh Noah Shaw. Thank goodness for snarky, British boys. They really can make any book good. Not that this book needed him but he certainly helped. He is of course devastatingly handsome and falls perfectly into the previously mentioned book progression. Only I will give one thing away. Noah is not a vampire or any other predictable supernatural being. But he is Noah, and he is great. And he is constantly dressed well. I don't mean expensive silk shirts. I'm talking plaid, thermal shirts, and chucks.  I don't want a man in a cream colored, v-neck sweater. No thanks. I want perfectly disheveled and scruff on the chin. That's a man. Or an 18 year-old-boy, but still.

I would review this book further, but I think my love for Noah just about says it all. Just kidding. Only not.

This book is well written; the language is well done without being distracting. I thoroughly enjoyed the multiple references to Harry Potter. Mara herself is enjoyable. Given her current situation, she could have the tendency to be overly dramatic and mopey, but she does a good job of trying to work through it. We empathize without needing to roll our eyes every other page and mutter things like, "Okay, get over it. We get it. You're sad. You are making out with a hot boy. Your life cannot be that bad."

For me, the key to an enjoyable young-adult book is the success of the characters. I think Michelle Hodkin achieved likable and believable characters and then furthered them with realistic dialogue. At the end of the day, I like a book if I like what the characters have to say. And every time Noah opened his mouth, I liked what came out. Oh and the rest of the characters weren't bad either.

In conclusion, read it. Whereas many of the books I say I love are on the questionable side for quality, I think this book is actually good. And whereas sometimes I tell you that I really liked it, but don't necessarily recommend you read it, I do recommend this book. Read it and discover what exactly is causing the unbecoming of Mara Dyer. 

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I loved your review. I had started this book but then it was due to the library and I couldn't renew it because someone else had a hold on it. So...now I think I need to check it out again and read it. I didn't even get far enough in it to meet Noah, which I see I need to do!

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