Hey everyone! Hope you’re all doing great 🙂
Today I’m reviewing The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a book I’ve heard so much about and that most people seem to really love. I didn’t know much about it, except that it was weird and creepy. So, perfect for a Halloween Review!
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.
To be honest, I went completely blind into this book. I had no idea what it was about, except that it was the story of a girl named Mara Dyer. Specific, right?
But from the very beginning, I was hooked. I am very picky when it comes to first-person POVs (and I’ve been reading tons of them lately, it seems) but this one pleased me for the most part. Mara is an interesting character because she’s sort of an anti-hero – she’s neither good nor bad, and her morals are a bit twisted. Her decisions and her choices are also constant reminders of how flawed human beings can be.
There was the occasional moment when I would roll my eyes and shake my head, thinking she was being too much of an idiot teenager, but then had to remind myself she was seventeen so what if she kept thinking about this guy’s face and how perfect it was? Been there, done that, after all.
Still, I could have done without some of the clichés presented in this, even if they weren’t too much of an eyesore and didn’t spoil the whole experience.
I loved her family and how “normal” and present they were. Sometimes in YA, we don’t get to see the main characters’ parents or siblings much, or see them interact with one another, and I really liked that for a change. Her brothers were two of my favorite characters, as well as her mom who was just so real and imperfect. Her dad, although less mentioned, was also super sweet. They were all very supportive and made such big sacrifices for Mara, it made my heart swell. I also adored her friendship with one of her classmates.
I thought the author portrayed trauma and its aftermath quite well, too. One could almost get inside the mess that was Mara’s head, feel her anxiety and how distraught she got, and really understand what she was going through. Which wasn’t pretty.
Now, the love interest. I mostly liked him, yet felt he and their relationship were a bit problematic at times. There were some very cute moments that made me go all mushy, but there were others that made me a bit uncomfortable as well. Some strong instalove vibes also kept me from embracing the pairing fully, although I did find I had warmed up to them a bit more towards the end.
Lastly, I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming, which was a major relief. The story is full of them and we are given subtle hints about what might transpire – I was mad with curiosity! Things are explained in the end, though, and they all made sense. There were still some loose ends left but I’m sure they’ll be tied up in the sequels.
Overall, I really liked this book (partly audiobook) and how it gradually unfolded into a full-blown paranormal romance. The ending was particularly unexpected and I’m dying to find out what happens next!
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!