The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuester
Publication Date: Sept. 27 ,2011
Series: Mara Dyer, book one
About the Book: Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
My Thoughts: I finally got around to reading this book! It was one I was really looking forward to. The book itself is just so dang pretty. Just look at that cover! The look, the feel, the font… it all works together so well. Thankfully the words do too. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer more than lived up to my expectations.
The story starts with a letter from the main character. It sets the tone for the book. It grabbed my attention and really made me wonder about the story and what “Mara” was about to tell us. Chapter one takes place, “before.” The story quickly moves to “after”, “eight weeks after”, etc… There are flashbacks to “before” as Mara remembers more as well. I really liked the way this was done. I thought it enhanced the feel of the story and added to Mara’s confusion in a way that the reader can still follow.
I can relate to so much of what Mara went through. Dont’ worry…. it’s not the hallucinations/memory loss/maybe had something to do with the death of her best friend stuff. No, I can’t relate to that. What I can relate to are the feelings and situations she finds herself in… feeling usurped by someone new in a friendship, doing something you know you’ll regret but you can’t seem to stop yourself, being treated unjustly by someone in a postion of power, feeling out of control, things like that. I was really impressed with the way these universal concerns were worked in to the bigger issues that Mara has to deal with.
I couldn’t put this book down. I was so engrossed in the story and trying to wrap my mind around what was going on. Book two cannot come soon enough!
I debated writing this part of the review but felt the need to include it. I heard a number of differing opinions on this book before I read it. I’m cool with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Not everyone is going to love every book. However, there were a few things that I heard about the book that I found to be untrue and people who hadn’t read the book took them as fact rather than opinion. (I know I did before I read it.) This frustrates me. Even if I hadn’t liked the story I would have been annoyed. There were two things that really stick out to me.
One: There are two scene that involve alligators or the mention of them. Not crocodiles. Alligators. They do not eat anyone. The scenes that they are involved in take place in wetland areas of Florida. There are an estimated 1 to 1.5 million alligators in Florida. Why is it odd that they would be there? As to what happens in the scene involving them… personally I didn’t find it surprising. In my opinion it fit with the way the story was progressing. I really was expecting some totally crazy thing from what I had read online. After I read the actual book I thought, “Seriously? That’s it? Why is that a big deal to people?!?!” Again, maybe not for everyone but not that out of place.
Two: Noah and Mara’s relationship. Some things I read made it seem like he was a total jerk who was stalking Mara and basically forcing his company on her. It sounded like Mara couldn’t stand him at all but he bulldozed over her. I didn’t get this. Mara is dealing with a lot and not exactly sure of her sanity so she does push people away. To me it seemed more of a cover. She didn’t hate him but didn’t know how to deal with him. I won’t say it’s a healthy start to a relationship but her resistance seems to be more of the “I like you but it’s easier to hate you then let you in” variety. Yes, in the beginning of the book he seems to be a male slut but we only know him by his reputation. His actions say something much different. He doesn’t hurt her. He tries to protect and help her. Abuse is a serious thing and never okay. I do not think it was happening in the book.