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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, Book #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: Sept 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal 
Romance, Mystery
Pages: 452
Buy: The Book Depository

Book Description: 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.

First Line: “My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.”

I bought this book on black Friday and I finally picked it up. I am so glad I did because this book was amazing. The writing is well done. It’s simple yet sucks you in right away. I’m usually really picky about books written in the first person but with this novel it worked very well. I think seeing the story from Mara’s perspective made things more interesting.

I really liked Mara’s character. I liked her snarkiness despite all she’s been and going through. I could easily relate to Mara and understand where she was coming from, even if I didn’t agree with some of her decisions. I was wary of Noah at first, but that was the point of his character. I liked him the more Mara got to know who he was. My favorite character was Jamie though. I loved him even more when I found out he was the token black Jewish bi friend. I wish he was more pertinent to the story but I can understand why he wasn’t there very often.

The romance was very well done. Some YA novels will just skim through the romance or portray it as love at first sight. I really liked how in this instance it was more hate/annoyance at first sight. While the middle dragged on a bit and didn’t have much of the creepy aspect, I liked that Hodkin made the time to flush out the relationship between Mara and Noah.

The creepy factor was spot on in this book. I loved how amidst the romance and getting to know the characters, something small would happen to keep you interested and wanting to know what it all means. Having the story written in first person really increased the creepy factor. I enjoyed not knowing what was real or fantasy and being just as confused as Mara with what was going on. I liked going through that journey with Mara rather than seeing it from outside the story.

The ending, though. OMG that ending! I thought I finally figured everything out, and that all the questions (or at least the ones I wanted to know the answers to) were answered. But then Hodkin throws in the one major plot twist in the last two pages and left me screaming and flailing on my bed and then scrambling to buy book two online. This book was amazing and I highly recommend it. I also loved that it was really unique. I haven’t read a YA paranormal romance like it at all and I liked that. I feel that there are too many books that are the same concept, but this one really stood out. I have definitely found a new favorite author and I can’t wait for my copy of book two to arrive in the mail.

My Rating: ★★★★★