I review The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer with my sister

Title: mara dyerThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Genre: YA paranormal

Length: 466 pages

Published by: Simon and Schuster

Source: library


Mara 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.

Remember this loser?


This is my sister Sophie. And she’s the one who pestered me to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. She’s persistent enough that I eventually did. And I wasn’t…ridiculously impressed. So Sophie, why did you recommend this book?


I think the thing I liked the most about this book was the element of the unknown, the mysterious. This was especially enhanced after I read the back story about it, which you can read on the official Mara Dyer Site. If you weren’t ‘ridiculously impressed’ does that mean you were still impressed Emily?


Woah, big words there. See, Sophie doesn’t know how things work on this blog. I don’t review books seriously. Ever.

I just talk about things in caps lock, most of the time. When I say I wasn’t “ridiculously impressed,” basically I mean that the premise of the book didn’t hold up for me. There wasn’t much of the paranormal stuff – or not enough for my liking, anyway. And then there’s Noah. Ugh. He was so possessive at the start and he annoyed me.


Omg no. Noah is literally the perfect male interest, because he is, actually, interesting. He likes animals! Perfect!


This is the point where we find a swoon gif, Sophie. This is your mission.


So she tried to put a shirtless gif on my blog.


I DID say that you could write I chose it. At least then everyone would know my good taste.


One day we will make a post on hottest guys in YA books. But today is not that day. Back to Noah. I did grow to like him eventually. I just didn’t like his possessive beginnings. But anyway. Let’s talk about some other stuff. Like the paranormal stuff.


First of all, he isn’t possessive. He’s like the opposite of possessive. His love for other girls is like emphasised profusely for pete’s sake. But the paranormal stuff, well it is what I love about this book. The fact is that most of Mara’s situations are not fully explained, so you actually have no idea what’s going on. This is some what cleared up in the next book, but for the purpose of a book that’s a first in a series, I like the mystery.


Maybe I just have a problem with first books. I mean, I didn’t really like Throne of Glass either. But you kept pestering me to read this book so I did to get you off my back. And there was one part where I actually was quite creeped out.


Ohh my god if you were creeped out in the first one wait til the second one.


If I even read the second one.


Excuse you. You’re reading it next. After Isla.



Let’s talk about Mara.


I did quite like Mara. Even when you take away all the paranormal stuff going on, there were real issues with her, and she felt believable to me in the way she wasn’t always brave, or whatever, but you know…just a normal teenager. Actually, this book could have even worked as a contemporary, because that’s what it FELT like for a lot of the book. But Sophie doesn’t like contemporary books.


If this was just a book about a girl suffering from PTSD I wouldn’t be caught dead reading it.


Ha ha. Dead. Ha ha. Get it?


Shoosh. I was really expecting you to call Mara pathetic, to be honest. You tend to like female characters that stand up for themselves and are strong in the face of whatever gets thrown at them, but Mara wasn’t. I liked her as a character because she was dependable, she was real and actually pretty relatable.


I don’t dislike female characters who don’t stand up for themselves. I just don’t like female characters who become complete idiots in front of guys. Which…well, Mara was close to doing that sometimes, but her sarcasm kind of made up for it. But in general I don’t mind characters who aren’t the strongest, as long as they’re written well and feel real.


Let’s move on and talk about her brother, Daniel, who is my favourite character. He is an absolutely perfect human being, which is totally unrealistic but I loved him anyway. Most teenage guys are gross and annoying, but he looks after Mara so well and is such a solid figure in their family and just fantastic.


Well considering I thought his name was Nick, clearly he didn’t make much of an impression on me.



Of course it’s a Harry Potter gif.


Okay, well I think that sums it up. Possessive guy who gets a bit nicer gradually. People dying. PTSD. Sliiiiight love triangle (but barely there). And also a twist at the end that I definitely did NOT see coming. Anything else to add to our summary?


More like really nice guy who becomes even nicer gradually. People being murdered. Yeah PTSD. NO love triangle, there is actually nothing going on between Jamie and Mara. But yes, that twist was definitely unexpected.


There was totally a love triangle. But we can agree to disagree. Ratings?


Emily’s rating: 3/5 Wonderkitties


Sophie’s rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties


Emily: So in a gif, tell me how much I should read the next book, The Evolution of Mara Dyer?

*Sophie would also like it to be known that SHE found this amazing gif. That is all.

32 thoughts on “I review The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer with my sister

  1. One of my favourite things about this book was the fact that it read like a contemporary but had those paranormal elements, as well. I think its so realistic. If there were paranormal things in this world, it would happen like this. To people and in places which are completely normal.

    I don’t think Noah was possessive, but then again I am slightly SLIGHTLY in love with him. I think he was just uber supportive, and sexy. ;D

    Mara did annoy me at times, but I think that her character traits were understandable, given the circumstances. I did love that she had her art – I always like it when characters have a thing they love doing, and her sarcasm and geekiness were awesome.

    I definitely think you should read the next book, Emily! It’s even creepier than the first, and yup. It’s fantastic!

    • I did like that about it, actually. You could even interpret the whole paranormal thing as just an extension of her psychosis or whatever. That’d be an interesting way to look at it.

      It was just some of the things Noah said at the start, how Mara was “his.” That annoyed me a bit. Mara’s sarcasm was awesome, though 😉 I love snarky characters.

      I’m reading the next book now and I really love that it’s set in an asylum!

  2. OMG THIS WAS HILARIOUS AND THE BEST. I feel for you Emily, you skeptic you. I busted out giggling at the “who are you” HP gif. Yes, that character definitely made an impression on you, didn’t he? So tell me, you two fabulous sisters…do you EVER read a book that you both like or do you have to disagree on principle? 😉 *whispers* My sister and I…er…disagree on principle. COME ON. We can’t be agreeable. That’s not sisterly at all.

    • YAY. WE SHOULD TOTALLY DO MORE JOINT REVIEWS. Haha, I am such a skeptic with paranormal books, I swear. And yes, of course I have to dislike books she likes! That’s how siblinghood works! 😛 (If I like the second book I’ll have to just deny it). Although we did both like Crown of Midnight….

  3. I’m going to have to agree with Sophie on all elements here.
    Especially the love triangle thing. Unless you count Jude (which you shouldn’t), there is no love triangle, and that’s part of what makes this book awesome.
    And Retribution comes out in, like, 3 MONTHS!!! I’m excited.
    Oh, my sister is also called Sophie…it made reading this weird.

    • DAMN. She wins this time. There wasn’t so much as a love triangle as just two possible love interests, I suppose. Like it could have gone somewhere with Jamie (I really wish they’d stayed friends).

      Oooh, exciting. I’ll have to read Evolution before then. HAHA. How funny that your sister is called Sophie too 🙂

  4. Yeah! Welcome Sophie! 😀 I haven’t read Mara yet, but I’ve heard so many great things about it, and it seems like you really loved it Sophie, so that makes me really intrigued by it!

    Emily – it’s a shame you didn’t love this as much as Sophie did, but I’m glad you still enjoyed it. I can completely see how you might have found the romance and Mara as a character annoying based on how you described them.

    Definitely going to consider giving this a try! HILARIOUS review girls! ❤ (The Harry Potter GIF was da bomb – just sayin'!)

    • It’s her second stint here. Should I let her on again? 😛 I don’t love many of the books Sophie does – we’ve got very different taste in books, lol. But yes, definitely give it a try. And apparently the second book is much scarier 🙂

  5. I love Sophie already. Now, that point aside, I don’t even really class this as paranormal, but I do agree with Chiara, how it reads like a contemporary but still has spooky elements. I loved this book, though I was slightly disappointed. It just didn’t seem “scary” to me at all, but then again, I love scary books, and it takes a lot to spook me. I still gave it 5 stars though. I really hope you enjoy book number two a lot more, Emily. Apparently there’s a biiiig cliff-hanger. I absolutely LOVED this review, loved it to pieces! It was so entertaining. ❤ 😀

    • Damnnnn. I was hoping people would hate her 😛 It DOES read as a contemporary, doesn’t it? It’s really unique that way. I’ve decided that I like that about it. It wasn’t scary to me, either. But everyone keeps telling me the second book’s really scary so I’m excited for that. And I do love cliffhangers.

      Haha, glad you liked the review, we should do them more often 🙂

  6. Haha I really enjoy your conversations ladies, they are so funny XD I would have liked to see that shirtless guy gif lol! Anyway, I haven’t picked up the series yet but I’m still deciding whether I would find the romance a turn off. It actually seems to have a lot of romantic drama in it. At least the guy sounds decent! Lovely review!

    • Lol, we can get along sometimes. When we feel like it. Hahahha I decided the shirtless gif was just a bit too…erm. Shirtless. Haha. But the good thing about having Sophie here is that I can’t rant too much about the romance, even if I didn’t like it so much.

  7. Haha this was hilarious! Honestly I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book either (too much romance,I WANTED MORE SCARY STUFF). The second book worked much better for me! Listen to your sister and read it *shoves the book into your hands*. But yeah read Isla first. Or send it to me. It would probably arrive before my the book depositoy copy will *sulks in the corner*.

  8. Well I know a friend who read book 1 and felt meh and then read book 2 and fell in love so there is hope that you’ll like the series, Emily!!! 😀 I’d totally read this (to satisfy that teenager in me who is still not completely over that PNR phase) but it sounds so SIMILAR to a book I loved and read ages ago. I’ll probably still read it because of the pretty covers and the fact that a lot of people who didn’t like the series at first really got into it by book 2. And perhaps the similarities are only very minor in which case I wouldn’t mind all that much 😛

    Fantastic conversation(???) you guys! 😀 😀 And Emily, you should do stuff with Sophie more often 😉

    • Excellent. That’s what I like to hear. And I’m bad with series – I often don’t like the first book. So hopefully I’ll like the second book of this one 🙂 they do have pretty covers, don’t they? Although I seriously don’t see how they relate, but anyway. Maybe I’ll discover that in this next book 😛

      Hahaha, if Sophie will deign to write more reviews with me, I’ll totally post them up here 🙂

  9. Haha this post is awesome. And the second one WAS better than the first. More creepy too, which was probably why I liked it better. But yeah this novel didn’t blow me away, though I have to admit that I didn’t see that end coming. Not at all. That was definitely a motivating factor for me to borrow the second in the series.

    I am sooo waiting for your hottest guys in YA post. 😉

  10. Love this review post you two! I have been wanting to read this book for *aaages* and yet I still haven’t gotten to it. I find books with that contemporary/creepy element quite interesting, and this one looks like it could be something I would like. The cover I think is the most intriguing element of it (which is what drew me in first) but it’s good to know what happens on the inside. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I haven’t. I only read it under duress (sisters can be REALLY PERSUASIVE, you know). The cover is definitely interesting even covered in library plastic, lol. I just love book covers in general (although it’s more difficult to stroke them covered in contact). I hope you like it 🙂

  11. LOL! “Remember this loser?” You’re hilarious, Emily. xD

    Everyone raves about Noah, but from the blurb, he definitely does NOT sound like a guy I would like. >_< But maybe he does redeem himself… We'll see. 😉 And Mara… also not sure about her. In general, I'm not sure if this book is for me.

    Anyway, you two are adorable! I'll be looking forward to more joint reviews. 😀

  12. This is the best way to do a review, I loved it! I haven’t started this series yet but I’ve heard this gets better as it goes along and if that is the case than I’m really interested in starting it soon.

  13. I incidentally read this post with my sis! 😀 She reminds me of a soulsister of Sophie – everything 😀
    Do more reviews like this! DO! They are so much fun ♥

  14. Hahaha! This review is soon funny! But I agree with you, Emily Noah got on my nerves! I found Daniel okay but the romance was too much for me. Anyway, I hope you like the second book!

  15. You two are adorbs. You should make the discussion review a regular thing. ‘Well considering I thought his name was Nick, clearly he didn’t make much of an impression on me.’, too funny. I burst out laughing then. I really enjoyed this one, it had issues as it did seem a little too predictable at times, but it was incredibly entertaining.

    What are you girls planning on share reading next?

  16. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves: the week of ISLA | The Loony Teen Writer

  17. HI SOPHIE! I know I’m late with reading this review, but I loved your collaboration. 😀 I haven’t read Mara yet, and I’m not sure I’m going to read it any time soon, but the book sounds interesting for sure. I know a lot of people who have really enjoyed it so I will definitely give this a go some day. I hope you guys do more reviews together, this was fun!

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