The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Overall Rating: 2/5

Quality of Prose: 2/5

Quality of Story: 2/5

Quality of Characters: 1.5/5

Ability to Make the Audience Think/Feel Differently: 0/5

How Long It Took Me To Finish: A week

A 1 Sentence Summary

When she moves to a new city and school after her friends died in a mysterious accident she can’t remember, Mara Dyer meets the handsome Noah Show and uncovers what really happened the night of the accident and who she really is.

My Favorite Quote

I honestly don’t have any quotes I loved from this book, but for the sake of continuity, here’s one that isn’t terrible:

“The two of us snuggled like quotation marks in his room full of words.”

mara dyer

What I Loved About It

At first, I was really intrigued by the mystery in the book. What happened to Mara’s friends? Why do people keep dying around her? I was also intrigued by the romance between Mara and Noah. Will they ever get together? Are the rumors about him correct?

But about midway through the book, when these questions were finally answered, I lost all interest and found it very difficult to not roll my eyes at the mawkish romantic fluff between Noah and Mara and the silly, plot-hole filled mystery that is the central conflict of the novel.

The romance, though it started out being a particularly sexy and interesting one, ended up bearing too great a resemblance to the Twilight series. Noah and Mara seem to be too deeply in love far, far too quickly. Noah is creepily overprotective and way too perfect and Edward Cullen-esque. And that part is the most frustrating of all because at the beginning of the book, it seemed like he had flaws–he was a player and a bit of an entitled but mysterious jerk–and these flaws made him a really attractive character. But then Mara realizes he likes her and suddenly, he is perfect and sweet and kind and so smart and supportive and a dog lover and trillionaire and the most attractive man Mara (and the audience) has ever seen. And for some inexplicable reason, he likes Mara immediately (even though, like Bella Swan, she’s given him no reason to garner his attention or attraction).

And don’t even get me started on the plot itself. What began as a really intriguing mystery devolved into a difficult-to-follow, cliche-filled, rushed narrative that I honestly didn’t care to know the ending of. Mara kills people with her mind? Ack. Mara has to swim across a swamp of alligators to find her brother who has been kidnapped for NO APPARENT REASON with the help of Noah who–again inexplicably–knows her brother has been kidnapped and where exactly to find him? Double Ack. Noah has a super power that means he can sense Mara’s pain and cure people and especially Mara? Ack Ack Ack. Let the uncontrollable eye rolls commence.

Though I myself found the book especially corny and unlikable, I could definitely see my students being interested in it (the way they’re still interested in Twilight though it is also–to put it mildly–pretty terrible).

What My Students Could Learn From It

Nothing at all.