Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by MIchelle Hodkin

14 Feb 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Release Date: September 27th 2011 (US)/ February 2012 (AUS)
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

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.

Like 90% of bloggers on the planet, I’ve completely fallen for Noah Shaw’s charms <3 Sooo, when is my own NOAH-FREAKING-SHAW GOING TO APPEAR IN MY LIFE?!?!

Now, on to the story…
Mara wakes up in hospital, after an ‘accident’ that killed her friends and boyfriend. She cannot remember what happened the night of the accident, and in an attempt to start over, she and her family moves away. But her past starts to haunt her. She’s having hallucinations-seeing the faces of her dead friends every where she goes-and hears eerie voices that belong to no one. Even worse, once she wishes for a person’s death, it seems said person will die instantly in exactly the same way in which she imagined. (How utterly CREEPY is that?!) All this hallucination seriously messed with my mind; I had no idea what was real and what was a figment of Mara’s imagination. I don’t know about you, but I actually considered time travel as a possible theory! (I know it’s lame, but really, what other choice did I have? I was so confused!)

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer had one of the best beginnings I’ve ever read. Wait. Scratch that. That explosive beginning was probably the best I’ve read. Ever. It was so eerie and immediately captured my undivided attention, and held it, until the very end of the book.

And we’re back to Noah… Please don’t even get me started on Noah Shaw! I’ll admit that he possessed the desirable qualities of a typical YA male lead, but really, I can NEVER get enough of these sexy men! Imagine a tall, fit, and possibly the hottest guy you’ve ever seen slumped on a bench looking like he just rolled out of bed (Isn’t that enough to make you swoon? But WAIT. There’s more!) Add in a sexy British accent, flirty smile and an irresistible I-own-this-place attitude. Seriously? Can you resist someone like that?

Mara was this, confused, and at times, seemingly lost girl, yet incredibly determined to unravel the truth behind her abilities. I found her really easy to relate to, and though she was extremely stubborn at times, it never annoyed me.

I know a lot of people have said that this started off brilliantly, and then the plot disappeared as the story started focusing mainly on Noah and Mara’s relationship; then picked up again towards the end. However, I felt that while the relationship was quite significant, it never overrode the main storyline. When I think back, I remember more of Mara’s disturbing hallucinations, and her determination to find out what happened, rather than the romance. That’s probably the reason why I’m liking Mara more and more now!

Mara Dyer is one hell of a spine-chilling psychological thriller, that will leave you in a state of utter confusion. But in a good way. You’ll be left wondering what really happened, and whether the hallucinations were in fact, real. My adviceIMMEDIATELY.

I originally gave this 4 stars, but later changed to 5. This is one of those books, where as soon as I finished reading it, I thought ‘wow..that was pretty good!’, but then after a few weeks, I began to think ‘noo…it deserves more than 4 stars! It was so much better than a mere ‘good’; it was BRILLIANT!’. So, Mara now sits on my 5-star + favourites + I-WANT-THE-SEQUEL-NOW shelf!


  1. I. ADORE. THIS. BOOK. TO. PIECES!!!! Noah Shaw <3 I loved every bit of this book although there were so many questions left unanswered and I didn't understand the relationship of the prologue (with the letter from Mara) and the connection with the story itself! I hope things will be further explained in the 2nd book! Awesome review, Shirley! Glad you loved it! :)

  2. ME.TOO!!!! LOVEEEE NOAHH<3333 I know right?!?! But sometimes it's good to have unanswered questions, since it prepares us for the next book!! Ohh and that letter was just...creepy :S So..Mara isn't her real namee...?! *confused* BUT STILL, IT WAS AMAZING!!!

  3. Ahhhhhhhhh! Sooooo glad you loved this!!! How hot is Noah Shaw?!? Rhetoric question......he's insanely hot!!!!! Cannot wait for more Mara after that ending!!! Eeeee! So good


    Noah Shaw gives new meaning to the word sex. You're making me all giggly-fangirl again just reading your review hehe. But wow. The plot was afreakingmazing and seriously, who is going to pay for our therapy sessions afterward?! Brain, welcome to your new gooey state.

    Love your review, Shirley!! And sweetheart, I think I gave you warning before you read the book, but clearly you need it again. BACK THE HELL OFF MY NOAH.

  5. EEEEEH I love your review! *squeals* Noah made it on top of my book bf. I swear he made my palms sweat and squealing silently like a little girl!He is so perfect!!!! I love him to bits<3. and yes I loved how it started and that also caught my attention. the combo of romance and the mystery was just enough to turn you upside down and do the back-flip! LOL

  6. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW! Oh my gosh, Shirley, I'm SO happy that you're one of those people who fell in love with this book too! Mara Dyer seems to be one of those books that splits the blogosphere down the middle, and I'm glad to have you on my side in case we're thrown into a war. ;) Noah Shaw will rock anyone's socks off, and I originally thought of giving it 4 stars too but switched it to 5 like you!

    AMAZING review, Shirley! The wait for book 2 is going to be unbearable after that cliffhanger, but at least we can wait it out together! :) <3

  7. Yessss! OMG, I LOVE Mara Dyer so SO much!
    And your review! Perfect! I love how dark and twisty and creepy and WEEEEIIRD it is, and I SO agree with you... I don't think it loses track part way through... I think the way ti develops is the way it's meant to and OMGOMGOMG! NOAH EFFING SHAW!

    Err... Brodie? She scares me. *backs away*
    I... think she's laid a claim on Noah :S


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