Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plot Summary:
Mara Dyer has no recollection of what happened at the old insane asylum. She remembers being woken in the middle night by Jude, her boyfriend, and has reluctantly agreed to join him and his sister, Claire, and her best friend, Rachel, to investigate the haunted building. What she doesn't remember is how she woke up in the hospital and how her friends died. After being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mara convinces her family to leave Rhode Island to the sunny and tropical state of Florida. After enrolling in Croyden School, Mara has to start over, knowing that her best friend is dead. On her first day of school, she meets Jamie, who not only puts her nervousness at ease, but a her first friend who doesn't know about her past. Unfortunately, with every new school, Mara quickly learns that everyone in this school, except for a good few ones, is as dumb as a rock and ten times more vicious than a rabid lion. However, what Mara didn't count on is Noah. Known as the most hottest, and most popular guy, in school, Mara becomes the object of Noah's time and affection. After being warned that he is an all-time heart breaker, Mara does everything she can to avoid him. However, Mara still struggles with her nightmares and hallucinations that she fears she may never heal or be normal again. Although no one know this, but Mara has a very powerful gift that she cannot control, but, unbeknownst to Mara, this gift is her curse where certain people he had encountered end up dead. Mara has no clue what's going on with her head, but the last things she needs is to be humiliated by Anna and Aidan (the school's most notorious bullies and dimwhits). What Mara didn't count is that Noah was there, from the beginning, protecting her. Mara is very leery about Noah, but the more she gets to know him, the more she starts to realize that he is something all together different. Is it possible that this broken girl could finally start over? Could Mara have a happy ending? The cards say something different.   

Critical Evaluation:
Michelle Hodkin has written a thrilling account of a teen who not only has to deal with the loss of her best friend, but the very idea that she is the reason the person she cares the most for is dead. Although what happened that night was rules as a terrible accident, the events of that night slowly come back to Mara as the story progresses. By entwining flashbacks of the past with the presents, readers cannot put this book down because we have to know what Mara saw. Although this story is a very real tragedy, the idea that someone has the power to will the demise of another person without physically doing it is not of this world. Mara is convinced that the flashbacks are just hallucinations, but when it starts to literally affect her, and those around her, Mara believes something awful is happening to her. For Noah, who happens to be just as special as she is and complete opposite, has the power to heal and restore. The idea of a romance between two people who can cause and resolve catastrophe is more than romantic, it is also very dangerous and unpredictable. Although I get the feeling that Mara resembles X-men hero, Rogue, Mara has yet to make a choice: learn to control her power or let her power control her. I seriously could not put this book downs and am looking forward to the sequel!

Information about the Author:
According to the book jacket of her book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer:
Michelle Hodkin grew up in South Florida, went to college in New York, and attended law school in Michigan. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found prying strange objects from the jaws of one of her three pets. This is her first novel.

Teen Thriller, Teen Supernatural Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer:

Awards & Recognition:

Review Quotes

"Haunting and dreamlike, the intrigue and romance of Mara Dyer will inescapably draw you in." --Cassandra Clare, author of the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series

"The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer strikes a rare balance of darkly funny, deliciously creepy and genuinely thoughtful. One minute I was laughing out loud, and the next, I was so scared I wanted to turn on all the lights and hide under the covers. Michelle Hodkin’s talent and range are obvious, from her chilling descriptions to romantic scenes that almost crackled on the page. I’ve never read anything quite like it."--Veronica Roth, New York Times bestselling author of Divergent

"A clever, captivating thriller, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is perfect for those (like me) who like their heroes dark, their heroines dangerous, and their romances seriously twisted."

--Kirsten Miller, New York Times bestselling author of The Eternal Ones

"WOW. Michelle Hodkin's debut will keep you guessing until the last page--and long after."

--Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Unviverse

"As spooky and twisty as it is lyrical and beautiful, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Read this one with the lights on." --Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of Demonglass


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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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