Publisher's Note:  

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.

     After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.

     This fast-paced psychological—or is it paranormal?—thriller will leave you breathless for its sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

by Michelle Hodkin

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Overall Review:  

This book came highly recommended by one of my students, and it was an intriguing, original story. The first third dragged, but it picked up considerably after that. By the end, I couldn't put it down. 


Hodkin's characters are believable and genuine. Her descriptions are vivid, while leaving a lot to the imagination, and her writing is strong.  I found myself feeling sure of what was going on several times during the book, and almost every time I was surprised to be wrong. It's definitely exciting to continually wonder if the cause of unexplained events is imagination, mental illness, or due to supernatural influences. 


I was disappointed in the end of the book. Where it was slow in the beginning, the end seemed far too rushed. There was no resolution whatsoever, which means I have to read the second book if I want to find out . . . well, anything. While this may be a good marketing ploy, I don't appreciate it as a reader--I like to have a little closure, especially from a book that plods along much of the time. That's not to say it's not an exciting story; it is, and I'll probably get to the sequel eventually, because I want to know how it all ends up.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  35 religious exclamations; 51 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 20 derogatory names; 12 scatological words; 29 anatomical terms; 11 F-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore:  Brief news report of murder; a character falls and gets a bloody nose; two characters fist fight and sustain bruises and cuts; two characters are shot with no description of blood; a character's friends are killed in an accident--she doesn't remember details; a character sees his mother stabbed and killed with few details; a character imagines the grisly death of several people with some details; a photo of a dismembered body is seen; several people are violently killed with some details. 


Sex/Nudity:  Characters kiss, flirt, and hold hands; allusions are made to one character's alleged sexual exploits; a character imagines having sex with no details; characters engage in caressing legs, thighs, and arms; several references are made to prostitution; a magazine with nude women is viewed; references are made to a sketchbook with nudes; a character wakes up nude in the bed of a member of the opposite sex; a character takes shirt off with intent to have sex; a character tells stories with sexual references; a character is the subject of attempted rape in an extended scene (2 pgs.); portions of the attempted rape scene are recalled several times.

Content Note: While no characters actually have sex, the reader isn't ever sure about that until the end. From descriptions and multiple allusions, it seems like there's a lot going on in the bedroom.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Kidnapping, murder.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A teenager smokes.

Reviewed By Leslie
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