The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Review

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been rereading a lot of books lately, so why don’t we continue that trend with a book that I’ve now read three times— The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

 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. – summary

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real.”

For anyone who doesn’t know, I am currently hosting a read along for the entire Mara Dyer trilogy on my Instagram. This is now the third time that I’ve read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and the reason I keep coming back to it is the characters. I have become attached to these characters over the course of the three books—they all feel real as they grow over the series and learn from their experiences. This character development really lends to rereads as it is nice to go back and see how far these characters have come, changed, or digressed (depending on who you’re talking about). Mara, in particular, is an interesting character because she starts as an innocent girl who has been through an accident, and just want to understand what happened. When things start to go a little crazy she genuinely wants to get better. Her character changes drastically over the course of the next two books into someone that, rather than wanting to get better, knows she is insane and doesn’t give a crap.

Noah and Daniel are both great, supportive characters for Mara. Daniel has always stood out to me in The Unbecoming for just how supportive and trusting he is with Mara— even after she has been through so much. Noah is a great character and love interest, who kind of has his own mini ark throughout the book. When around Mara, he goes from being this overly rude bad boy with a reputation to a really sweet guy who would do anything to protect her. But what is interesting about Noah (and the reason he grew on me when I originally read it) is that he was always that sweet boy, he just let people think that he was a player. He reminds me a lot of Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices, who also acted rude and inconsiderate, but when it came down to it he was actually a really good guy. What makes both of these characters work is the fact that they both have a reason for acting the way they do, but they are good guys in their heart.

The structure of The Unbecoming (and the entire series for that matter) is very interesting. The Unbecoming has a very loose plot, instead of a strict, common three act structure. I’ve always believed that the antagonist in The Unbecoming is Mara’s own mind since much of the book is her battling hallucination and trying to remember what happened when the asylum collapsed. That’s very different from most things you find in YA and I really like it. A lot of the beginning of the book is just Mara going through life, meeting people, and trying to not go crazy. This sounds boring, but I really like it. It is still entertaining because Hodkin is a master at writing dialogue. Reading the banter between these characters is great and it lends to some of the most quotable moments of the book.

Overall, this is the third time I’ve read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and it still holds up. The book is full of great character and a loose plot that allows for fun scenes and character interaction. This character interaction leads to memorable dialogue and banter that I will still be able to quote years from now!

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