The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

“Even telling you this much probably isn’t smart. But without my big mouth, no one would know that a seventeen-year-old who likes Death Cab for Cutie was responsible for the murders. No one would know that somewhere out there is a B student with a body count. And it’s important that you know, so you’re not next.”

unbecoming mara dyer

Synopsis from GoodreadsMara Dyer believes life can’t 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 strangely unharmed.  There is. She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

Feelings: I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I don’t usually watch TV shows that are super creepy and I tend to shy away from creepy books. I’m very visual, so if it’s too descriptive, it’ll stay in my head for a while. With this book…let’s just say that when I was done reading for the night, I’d watch a couple episodes of Parks and Rec before I went to sleep. Ha!

There’s really not much I can say about this book without spoiling it or messing with its mystery. There were SO many hints about what was really happening and lots of AHA moments that I experienced from beginning to end. I really liked the small details that kept reoccurring and the way the meaning unfolded as it went along.

Issues: It was PRETTY CONVENIENT that Noah had oodles of cash on him (like in the thousands) and had KEYS to the most random places. Some things just kind of came together too easily for my taste.

Characters: At first, I felt sorry for Mara. Then I was suspicious of her. Then I didn’t trust her. Then I felt sorry for her again. I’m STILL not sure how I feel about her. This story is so confusing! (As in, it’s making me feel conflicted, not so much that it’s actually confusing and hard to understand.) I liked the way that we flipped back and forth between BEFORE and the now. It was really interesting how the author gave us pieces of the truth as the story unraveled. We learned about the BEFORE Mara and the now Mara simultaneously, bringing us to a better understanding of her in the end.

Immediately upon meeting Noah, I had a Why is he important? train of thought. It took me a while to understand him because he’s pretty complex and generally has a lot of layers. He started out as a creepy man-whore and ended up being actually likeable. I liked the way he was welcomed into the Dyer family, but I’m curious to see how that relationship will continue (or not) in the next book.


Final thoughts: This story is wrapped in mystery. I have a large number of lingering questions, but they’re the types that I really think will be answered in the next 2 books. At least, I hope so. I need some better understanding of what is actually happening… I thought this book was really great and I’d highly recommend it!

Pick this up if you liked:

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings (for the Florida + death side of things)

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (for the teenager with powers side of things)

Goodreads rating: 4.10/5 rating: 4.2/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


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