Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Title The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer 1)
By Michelle Hodkin
Genre YA supernatural/paranormal
Pages 452
Recommended by Everyone

First sentence The ornate script on the board twisted in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head.

Synopsis 
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.  (from Goodreads)


What it has going for it
I'm a little scared to write this review, guys. This book was on nearly everyone's top ten favorite books of 2012 and seeing that encouraged me to finally pull it off my shelf and start reading. Unfortunately, and as usual, I didn't find it all that amazing. But don't worry, I didn't hate the book. There were good things about it. First of all, despite how predictable it was, I really enjoyed watching the story unfold and thoroughly enjoyed watching Mara discover her secret. Sheesh, besides that I can't think of anything else  that wowed me.

What's lacking
Well, as I mentioned, it was incredibly predictable. Yeah, there were a few things that while I suspected something I wasn't positive what they were, but I like being blindsided and I never was. My biggest complaint, though, was the romance. I know, I know, it's a supernatural/paranormal romance, but it completely took over the whole story! It's like we got thrown into this mystery, it grabbed us, gets us interested and then, after we're tied down, we get hundreds of pages of "romance". And I call it "romance" because...I didn't like Noah. I know, you're not surprised, neither am I, but still.  And it also irritated me that Mara really never seemed upset that her friends were dead. They just up and move and she's already joking around with her brother and Noah. It just didn't feel believable. You don't get over losing your best friend and having no memory AND hallucinating that quickly. Oh, and the "twist" ending...I'll admit I didn't suspect it but rather than gasping or being shocked I specifically remember rolling my eyes. 

Favorite moment
 Meh, nothing blew me away. I liked the scene in the swamp and the whole alligator thing. That was creepy.

Yea or Nay?
Sure, but you're not going to find anything new or surprising here. 

32 comments:

  1. *weeps quietly in corner* Oh...what are we going to do with you? I did love this one so so much but I admit, I can see where you're coming from. But I loved how Mara really wasn't into Noah at first and was like "go away" and how you never knew if anything was real or not...it was cool. I am sad you didn't like it

    Cait x

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    1. I'm sorry. I really am. I sometimes think there's something wrong with me.

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  2. As soon as I saw this post, I knew it was going to be good. I'm glad you enjoyed the story to some degree... although it stinks that it was too predictable. Maybe I just get too engrossed in the romance that I'm not trying to figure out the mystery as much. I don't know why I'm a sucker for Noah... I blame the accent. ;)

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    1. I heard so much talk about Noah that I my expectation were just too high. The bad boy with a heart of gold just gets old. You know?

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  3. Oh I didn't love this book either-Noah was just such a jerk. I figured that would be the case after reading some of the quotes people loved in reviews (they were creepy!) but yeah he was awful. However I did love the ending, which is why I'm planning to pick up the sequel some time.

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    1. Yay another Noah hater! ;-) I'm curious to see what will happen next but if it's just more romance I'm going to quit.

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  4. I've had this one sitting on my shelf for a while now. I wanted to wait until all the hype was over before I started reading it. Usually if my expectations are too high for a book I will be disappointed so I try to avoid the hype, but it doesn't always work.

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    1. Yeah, I waited so long to read this one. If I'd read it sooner I would have disliked it even more.

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  5. +JMJ+

    I know absolutely nothing about this book except the information you've written here and the fact that it was reviewed on a bunch of other blogs. That you're so contrarian about the really popular books actually makes me more curious about them than all the raves in the world! ;-)

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    1. Lol. I'd love for you do read this one and tear it apart.

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  6. "I specifically remember rolling my eyes." You should write a book starting with that line. Maybe it could be about a book critique who is chased through the utterly predictable plots of popular books by a magical author/publisher/vampire hottie who she won't ultimately fall in love with then nearly lose because she can't decide between him the author of the one truly original plot line she was chased through.

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    1. Hmmm, it's probably been done before. ;-)

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  7. I knew you'd feel like this about this book! I haven't read it but I am steering clear. So so many people love it so that's a sure sign that we're not going to enjoy it :(

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    1. So true, Lan. I don't know why I don't learn! If everyone else likes it... I won't.

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  8. Oh Jenny! Sigh. I don't remember find it predictable the first or second time I read it, but I'm a terrible predictor so that doesn't mean much.

    Sorry you didn't like it better, and I'm sorry that you're not enjoying Across the Universe right now!

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    1. Sigh. I'm sorry I'm a disappointment. I would loved to have loved this one. At least I didn't out right hate it.

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  9. Really loved your review, as I have the same reservations about reading something so beloved. There's nothing wrong with you, as everyone has different tastes. I love your honest reviews and hope you never change! I still have this one on my shelf, and figure I'll get to it one of these days.

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    1. Thank you. I always fear people think I hate books every one else likes just for the sake of hating a book but I really am just being honest. I didn't hate this one either. It just wasn't as great as I wanted it to be.

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  10. I mostly just stay away from these paranormal romances lately. PRedictability is a huge issue and I've grown tired of it. I'm sorry you didn't like it more since it means you wasted your time, but I can totally see why you did, though.
    Great review!

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    1. Yeah, I'm getting sick of the predictability. I should lay off these paranormal romances.

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  11. You know, I have learned as a reader that most things dubbed YA romance aren't my thing. I don't like plots that are overwhelmed by romance. Just my preference. Don't think I'll read this one, since it sounds like it's heavy on romance but light on plot.

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    1. Romance is more character based and I'm all about the plot. I guess I should have known.

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  12. Now I don't feel so bad for not reading it yet...

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    1. Well maybe when you get to it will we'll agree on it. ;-)

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  13. I haven't even heard of this one . . . well, till now. I think I'd be really disturbed by the lack of emotional aftershock. Anyone who has lost a lot of loved ones knows the pain takes a long, long time to heal. Maybe the author just hasn't experienced real loss, yet, so she doesn't know how to portray it. At any rate, I think I'll skip this one!

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure this one would be your cup of tea.

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  14. I am so behind on reading and blogging that I haven't even heard of this one before. Sounds like I am not missing anything mind-blowing though.

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    1. Yeah, having kids can do that to you. ;-) everyone seemed to love this one. You still might give it a chance.

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  15. That's about how I felt about this book, too. I thought it was going to be one kind of story (a mystery) and then was disappointed when it turned into boyfriend-fest. But I really liked the ending so I read the second one. I liked it much more than the first because I knew what to expect. But based on why you didn't like the first one, I'm guessing you wouldn't like the second either.

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    1. Really? I thought I might give it a sky but if it's just more romance I think I'll pass.

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  16. I hate predictable stories. I'm glad I can count on you to point out the over-hyped books :)

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  17. Jenny, I ranted about this book. I didn't completely dislike it, but just wasn't sure what the heck was going on. If you're interested in reading my full review, here's a link to my Goodreads review

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