Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Shelf: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin

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.

(Blurb from Goodreads....)


Having recently finishing this, I’m not quite sure there are words to accurately describe the brilliance that is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Intense and chilling, Michelle Hodkin’s debut is unlike anything I’ve ever read before!

So incredibly beautiful in its riveting prose, Hodkin’s haunting storytelling is in a world of its own! Writing very much like a seasoned author, one could be forgiven for mistaking Hodkin as someone with a series of books under her belt as her words flow together perfectly to create an utterly mesmerising tale that will sweep off your feet and into a world so compelling that you won’t want to put The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer down! Personally, I was so absorbed as I read this that my house could have burned down and I wouldn’t have noticed.

With writing next to perfect, the storyline Michelle Hodkin has so cleverly crafted is as fascinating as it is riveting. Waking up in hospital with no memory of recent events or how she got there, heroine Mara Dyer is faced with the news that she has just lost her closest friends. Even this accident is written beautifully by Hodkin as a far from typical accident scenario, and as Mara and her family pack up and start over, you know as the reader that things are going to get even harder for Mara even before the do.

The moment we were introduced to our heroine Mara, I knew I was going to like her. Despite the tragedy she’d recently been through and despite the problems she was currently facing, Mara was an exceptional main character to read about. There was something so compelling about her voice and she was so incredibly grounded even as she fell apart at times. Easy to emphasise with, Mara was full of spirit and fire in the face of everything and her sharp wit and intelligence made her a joy to read about. Honestly, I love this girl!

From the very first page, the mystery surrounding the events Mara could not remember captivated me. I found myself breathless as I watched everything unfold before my very eyes. I did not know what was going on. Never! Just what had happened that fateful night that ultimately led to tragedy? Why couldn’t she remember? Were the things that Mara saw really there or was Mara insane? Just what the hell was going on? As Mara begins to piece together the events of that night there’s such power to the story. Hodkin writes Mara’s distress and confusion so perfectly that even you as the reader question her sanity. Has Mara lost her mind, amidst the pain of the night she can’t remember or is there something more sinister at work here? Perhaps something supernatural?

And in the middle of it all; in the midst of all the regular high school drama and possible insanity Mara is facing, there is a boy. A boy named Noah Shaw. Noah. Freaking. Shaw! Has there ever been a boy so perfect? A boy so masterfully woven together that in the beginning you don’t know whether you wanna kiss him or slap him most of the time? I think not!
I don’t know if I can describe Noah in a way to do him justice. He’s simply too much. Oh, that attitude, that accent, that look. That suave, unattainable nature that makes him so compelling in the beginning and then the truth that lurks beneath the surface makes Noah such a draw. His sharp tongue and mind make him hilarious to read about as he walks to his own tune. He’s a bad boy with a reputation and he makes no apologies for who he is, but he’s so much more than what he seems. He’s an enigma, so completely different than the person perceive to be.

As Mara fights her attraction to Noah, his draw and appeal make it near impossible to ignore and as Mara finds herself getting to know him and spending time with him. There’s no denying that there’s something very real there. The romance that develops between them isn’t rushed, or hurried, rather a delicious treat written by Hodkin in a way that isn’t overly physical, yet is still undeniably electric! The moment these two meet, sparks fly. The intensity that their relationship exhibits is impossible to ignore. As the two banter and tease one another, the sexual tension vibrating between the two of them practically bleeds from every page and really takes on a life of its own. It’s so intense and passionate and sensual and that’s even before they kiss!

Filled with fantastic characters including Mara’s vibrant family and sporting a storyline that is spine tingling and addictive, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book you do not want to miss! As Michelle Hodkin weaves together a story of intensity, intrigue and danger, the mystery and allure of this novel continues all the way until the final chapter, where revelations and a mind blowing ending will have you hanging out for the sequel and wishing Hodkin wrote it, like, yesterday!

Place The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer firmly at the top of your To-Be-Read list guys, you won’t be sorry!

Source: Sent for review by Simon & Schuster Australia (Thanks so much Caroline--you totally rock)
Format: Paperback
AU Release Date: February 2012
Expected AU Price: $16.99
Recommend: Yes, yes, YES!
Recommend borrow or buy: Buy it!
Cover: It's riveting. So incredibly beautiful; I can't stop staring at it.
Read sequel/continue with series: Oh, wow. Yes! Honestly, I wish i was reading the sequel right now.
Challenge: Debut Author.


  1. Great review Rachel! Welcome to TEAM NOAH! I'm so glad to hear you loved loved LOVED this book as much as the rest of us. Can't wait for the sequel now!

    1. Aw, thanks hon <3 Woo-hoo! I'm SO on that team. We should have shirts made or something, hehe ;) And ditto--bring on book two!!!

  2. Aaaa!!! Awesome review, Rachel!!! I really really love The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer too! I am so thankful that Caroline sent a review copy to me too! Noah is just plain awesome. He is a character I so want to meet in real life!! So glad you enjoyed this, Rachel!! :)

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

    1. Ha! Noah would be awesome in real life! He'd be so much fun, lol. Oh, yes....Caroline is amazing!

  3. A goofy grin totally spread across my face at the beginning of your Noah paragraph. HEEEEE!! That romance? Whew *fans self* And that $%&%$# boy?! *faints* I love you, Rachel, but seriously, back the hell off. I claimed him first!

    Agh, this whole freaking book was crazy awesome! Michelle successfully manage to screw my brain over (more than it already is...). SO many questions still remain and SO long to wait until the sequel! *sob*

    I am insanely happy you're on the Mara Dyer bandwagon, Rach! LOVE YOUR REVIEW!

    1. Hehe, perhaps I'll have to fight you for him Brods ;) Sure, I love you too and sure you claimed him first, but a guy like Noah Shaw? All bets are off!!!!

      I know exactly what you mean! Michelle wrote so incredibly that I didn't know what to think half the time. LOL! Right. Jess, seems to think you're sane-ish, ahaha!

      Thanks lovely <3

  4. I haven't looked too closely at your review as I have to read, but 5 stars is very encouraging. I am looking forward to cracking this open, it's been a long time coming. Very pleased Caroline sent a copy too. She's wonderful. So Team Noah it sounds like from you girls comments. Looking forward to reading about this lad.


    1. This book is so worth the 5 stars! Hell, it deserves a lot more! I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it when you read it Michelle--Hodkin sure knows how to weave an addicting tale! Yes, Caroline is so wonderful. And generous--she's so good to us :)
      Hehe, oh yes. Noah is yummy!

  5. I loved loved loved and adored this to bits! It was awesome!

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  7. Loved this book!! So glad you enjoyed this book too! And yes welcome to team NOah! <3
    Great review Rachel

    1. Thanks Lalaine! I'm glad you hear you loved this too--it was truly awesome :)


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