Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (#1) by Michelle Hodkin

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

Firstly, I’m so glad I decided to save this book for spooky season. It was absolutely perfect for a Halloween-y, fall read. It is deliciously haunting and creepy. But that’s….kind of where the good stuff ends.

The first thing I realised about this series is it did not age well. If you’re wondering how different a book can be in just eight years, choose one set in a private high school with every 2012 trope and cliche going. Welp. Some of the sentences in this book (for example, one along the lines of ‘what an overdramatic thing to commit suicide over’) made me want to throw it at a wall. I almost DNF’d it multiple times. I’m pretty sure this stuff wasn’t appropriate even back in 2012. So, why didn’t I just put it down?

Thinking something does not make it true.

I can’t deny this book is gripping. It made for a super quick page turning read. I flew threw 100ish pages a day, which is pretty good going for me. In places, it is spine tingling, and once I got through the first 200 pages, I found I could overlook most of the problems and mostly enjoy this book for the cringe-fest it is.

I expected to hate Noah, but in fact I struggled with Mara herself more. She’s just kind of annoying. And I get it, she’s broken, and the story would be boring if she just….got the help she needed. But like most of this book, her temperament is another thing to overlook at times.

Wanting something does not make it real.

So overall, this book was okay. I’m giving it 3 stars for now, but it’s definitely a low 3. I got through it quickly and I will be carrying on with the series, and I am intrigued by where it will lead. If you think you can overlook all the cliches and tropes of bad boy, broken girl and high school drama for the haunting undertones, you just might enjoy this book.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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