Audio Book Review : The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

January 7, 2015 Book review 19 ★★★

To be honest I found it slow and was hovering at 2.5 stars for a lot of the book but then it got good, really good. Edging towards 4 stars. At the start of the book, I got bored and put off reading it but I persevered as I knew that a lot of people loved this series. And then at about 80% I got hooked and couldn’t turn it off.  Then that ending! It had me panting for more.

Audio Book Review : The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by  Michelle HodkinThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 27th 2011
Genres: Family, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 456
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Narrator: Christy Romano
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes
Buy on Amazon

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.

My thoughts on The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin:

I listened on audio and I loved the narrator.  Christy Romano captured the uncertainty and fears and girlyness of Mara.  And then has a cute British accent for Noah.  I’ll definitely be continuing to listen to the rest of the series on audio.

So I have no issues with the narrator.  The book on the other hand……I tolerated it and then fell in love at the very end.

I just wish that more of the elements at the end of the book were introduced earlier as that would have grabbed my attention. I wanted it to be creepier and just more. More entertaining, with characters that I cared more about and more fleshed out. But with a bit of patience all that happened. And I have seen reviews that compare Mara to Bella and I get that totally. There are similarities and Noah is a bit Edwardesque which annoyed me while reading. But gradually, they started to become more interesting, more unique and then things DID get creepier and more mysterious. Just a little late in the book.

I also felt that while there are lots of unanswered questions and there is some supernatural stuff going on, this read more like a contemporary book. Now I love contemporary, just not when I think I’m reading a paranormal series. Again you just need to wait, it’s a slow burn but it does eventually sizzle.

Things I loved:

– the Ouija board
– the suspense
– Noah (eventually, it took me a long time)
– the humour

Things that bothered me:

– the slow pace for the first three-quarters of the book
– the insta-love that was more than a little cheesy
– Mara not talking to her parents about all the craziness

But overall that ending made up for all the bad points.  I feel it was more than worth sticking with as you are rewarded with some plot twists and lots of intriguing threads.  Now I’m confused and very curious and even excited about what lies ahead. Need I say that I’m downloading book 2 ASAP!


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin?

I’m recommending this to people who like contemporary books with elements of supernatural activity.  And also to those with lots of patience, give the book a chance, it will make it worthwhile in the end!


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19 Responses to “Audio Book Review : The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin”

    • trish

      I thought the same for a lot of the book but it really took off nearer the end! It might be worth ploughing through the last 30% in case it’s turns around for you too.

  1. Cynthia

    I really enjoyed that series, but I know what you mean about the slow pacing and the insta-love. And I didn’t even start liking Noah until the second book. The series gets so much better!
    Cynthia recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Blue Asylum

    • trish

      Well towards the end, I really liked Noah before that I just couldn’t buy them together. I’m excited about book 2! And glad you felt it gets even better!

  2. Sifra

    I started this book but then put it down in favor of other books because it was a bit slow paced and boring. I think I’ll give it another chance though, now that I’ve read your review!
    Sifra recently posted…Review: Cruel Beauty

    • trish

      I know, it was a very slow burn for me but it did get better, A LOT BETTER! Definitely worth another shot and giving it a chance right to the end.

    • trish

      Ana, it was such a slow burn for me but it really redeemed itself by the end. And I’m a scaredy cat but I didn’t feel scared, just puzzled. I want to know what’s going on and wasn’t too creeped out at all.

    • trish

      I only stuck with it as I had heard the series as a whole is great. So I figured I would give it a proper chance. Glad I did!

    • trish

      I do have to warn you Dee, it’s not overly creepy and feels very ‘contemporary’. But stick with it, the paranormal stuff does build momentum. Can’t wait to see what you think of it when you get to it!

  3. Berls

    I find that so frustrating – if a book can end well, why can’t if be good the whole time? I do want to read this one, but I’ll wait until I’m in a really good reading mood so I can push through if I feel that way too.
    Berls recently posted…#FitReaders Check-in Week 1

    • trish

      That sounds like a good plan to me! I wish that the paranormal stuff took off a bit earlier and to a larger extent as when it did that really reeled me in!

  4. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    A slow pace and instant love do not mix well for me so I’m not sure what I’d think of this one. I have been wanting to read this series for a while so I think I’ll have to lower my expectations for this. I hope your next read is better, Trish!

    Fantastic review, hun <33

    • trish

      I know lots of people adored this book so maybe it was just me. And it got me on board in the end too! I hope you enjoy the series when you get to it.

  5. Wattle

    I am pretty sure I have this book sitting on a shelf somewhere…I didn’t know it involved instalove D: nooo! I hope the series picks up as it goes along, I can appreciate a slow build up but sometimes it’s just frustrating.

    And yay! Audiobooks! Isn’t it great to have someone else do all the work? That’s my favourite part of these things so far lol
    Wattle recently posted…Showcase Sunday #20

    • trish

      The insta-love irritation lessens as the story develops! It is a slow build but I get the definite feeling that it’s all heading somewhere…but….I have no idea where! Which is why I can’t wait to start book 2 now!
      And yes, I love that about audiobooks and that I can be getting on with other things too while I whittle my way through my tbr 🙂

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