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.
©2011 Michelle Hodkin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"Narrator Christy Romano captures the youthful voice of the 17-year- old main character. Mara's sass, worries, and romantic longing all come alive, thanks to Romano's performance." (AudioFile)
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ― Jorge Luis Borges
An interesting, young adult, paranormal romance. It’s a story about damaged girl who just wants to be normal. We can all relate to that part of our teen-hood in one way or another. The romance was a bit too sugary, but the mystery kept me reading. I will, however, wait until the third book comes out to finish the trilogy.
Part mystery, part romance with a paranormal twist and its unreliable narrator this was one heck of a crazy ride. Hodkin delivered a pull your hair-out read that left me scratching my head and screaming for more.
I am not sure if The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was a mystery, suspense thriller or romance with paranormal elements. The tale goes back and forth between the two having me on edge one moment and swooning the next. Whom could I trust? What the heck is happening? Is Mara crazy? Mara begins to regain memories of the night her friends die and slowly we begin to understand, or at least I thought did. Noah is a curiosity, he is involved and the discovery was nerve racking. Between moments of uncertainty and disbelief we have a somewhat normal romance, and while I enjoyed the romance it also made me crazy because hello, WTH is happening? Hodkin kept me on the edge and even when I thought I knew she kept me second guessing. Her writing style is descriptive, and she gave me a panoramic view of events as they unfolded. I could smell the swamp, feel the dampness in the abandoned building, taste Mara’s fear and visualize the dirt floor of the shed. The tale unwinds unevenly, giving us moments of frenzy and then dragging in parts. One minute it is a thriller and the next I it was like I walked into the middle of a contemporary romance. The tale ends in a cliffy that threw me so hard I actually went back and listened to the last two chapters again fearing I missed something.
Christy Romano did a great job as the narrator. She gave Mara and Noah their own unique voice. The only time I heard her break from character was in Mara’s bedroom when Noah revealed his secret. Mara’s monotone narrative added to my sense of uncertainty.
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer came out in print two and a half years ago but is just now making its audiobook debut. The plot of Mara Dyer centers on a big mystery, and the reader is left in the dark as much as the title character. You don’t really get a lot of answers in the first part of the trilogy but flashbacks/dreams/visions provide some pieces of the puzzle. The mystery part of it was interesting to me, though I can’t say I completely bought the romantic side of the book.
Because Mara Dyer has this high concept mystery, the reading experience is a little confusing as you’re trying to pieces together what the heck is happening. I had to consider Mara Dyer to be an unreliable narrator as I questioned what was real and what was not in this book.
I wanted to know more about what was happening to Mara, but the romance with Noah Shaw started to take over the book. Noah Shaw is the guy every girl wants- he’s wealthy, has a British accent, is cocky and smart and gorgeous, and of course Mara’s the only girl for him. If you buy into the romance you will probably love this book.
I listened to the audiobook, performed by Christy Romano, who is an actress and the voice of Kim Possible. She has not performed in too many audiobooks but the author saw Romano in a play in New York and thought her voice was a perfect match for Mara.
Romano’s voice sounds age appropriate for Mara, and she has good comic timing to deliver the humorous lines. Romano is talented at accents, and especially uses a convincing male British accent for the voice of Noah. There were some technical issues that distracted me at times such as re-recorded dialogue and some misinterpreted lines. Overall I enjoyed the performance though and thought Romano was a good pick. The audiobook also includes a couple chapters from the second book in the trilogy.
This is one of those books that readers seem to love or hate. I zipped through this book fairly quickly and was entertained, though I’m not going to jump right into the sequel just yet either. I am really curious about the mystery though and how it’s all going to work out.
Really, really, good!
I really enjoyed this book. The title caught my attention along with the cover art but the story definitely held my attention.
Listening to audio books whenever I am not around humans. Which is actually very very often.
dark, alluring, explosive
This was a pretty cool read. the reader did a great job getting all of the personalities within the story. I laughed, freaked out, swooned and anxiously awaited parts while trying to figure out what was happening to Mara. Noah was a great building character, loved his personality along with Mara's family. This book was really fun. Excited for the next one!
If I hadn't read it.
She is the worst narrator I've experienced with an Audible book so far. I think she ruined it for me as I spent so much time feeling annoyed with the truly awful reading that I couldn't concentrate on the story. Her voice had the inflections of a 16-year-old forced to stand up and read a book she hates in front of the class. Bored, impatient, let's-get-this-over-with tones. I know this is a YA novel, but it deserves a much better reader than this.
Disappointment in a very weak plot and cardboard characters. And constant annoyance at the reader.
I will never purchase another book read by Michelle Hodkin. She could ruin Stephen King for me.
An Unexpected Plot.
It's unlike most of the YA novels that are in the limelight such as The Hunger Games and Divergent series. It was a refreshing, witty read. I wasn't able to stop listening to the story!
No, I haven't listened to any of Romano's other performances, but this one was a fantastic performance. I loved the way she gave different personalities to the character's and flawlessly breaking from a British accent to an American accent and vice versa. I was so immersed in her narrative voice.
Thank you, Christy Romano! You're voice and skills were perfect for this book for I enjoyed it all the way through!
Author of Five (Maor Series)
Just months ago, Mara Dyer’s life was normal. She had a best friend and had finally caught the eye of the boy she’d been drooling over. But all it took was one night to bring all the pieces of her life crashing down around her.
Now she wakes in a hospital, unable to remember the horrific accident that took the lives of both her boyfriend and her lifelong best friend. Unable to contemplate a life without her best friend, Mara convinces her family to start anew.
The Dyer family moves to a new city and Mara and her brothers start a new school, but Mara soon realizes that the troubles of the past are not so easy to leave behind. Not to mention the new troubles that come with this new life. Not only does she have a heap of school work to catch up on, but she finds it’s not so easy to make friends in this new school with its deeply entrenched social hierarchy.
Then Mara meets Noah. He’s at the top of the food chain and has both the good looks and the not so good reputation to match. No matter how much Mara keeps pushing him away, he won’t leave her alone. Then strange things start to happen to Mara and the only person she can turn to becomes the one she’d been trying to avoid. Can Noah save her from herself? Can he help her distinguish between what’s real and what’s not? Or will his own secrets be both their undoing?
This novel was a suggestion of one of my Goodreads bookclubs. It’s the kind of novel I love to read with a touch of paranormal in a normal young adult life. The character of Mara Dyer was highly refreshing. From the start, she’s not your average good girl. She’s crazy - in very real terms and she’s been through the wars. What a wonderful change from the perfect life of most teen heroines. Noah’s character was suitably mysterious and book-boyfriend-worthy. There were a few parts, like the Everglades scene, where I felt Mara’s reactions to him were not completely believable and there were too many unanswered questions surrounding him for me to feel completely satisfied.
The plot was well-paced and the overall story quite entertaining although I will say that the storyline with the legal case and Everglades felt a lot like it had been inserted as a last minute theme to setup the end scene’s moral dilemma. In terms of themes and messages, there are a few. Questions are raised about the power of the mind, about trying to start over without facing the demons of the past, and about the moral right to ‘play God’ with the lives of others, regardless of circumstances.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel - and I’m dying to know the outcome of that cliffhanger!
On a side note: I purchased an Audible copy of this book and was quite disappointed with the narration. It reminded me of Kindle text to speech. The cover, on the other hand, is one of my favorite ever!
The book was actually very entertaining; it had me guessing the whole time and it kept me hooked all the way to the end. Technically, that would be enough to give it 5 stars. Except for one major issue I had with the book: Noah. He is definitely interesting and complex. However, there are two things I did not like about the dude. See below...
1. He is a whore, and I mean whore with capital W. He sleeps around with so many girls and leaves them jilted because he only does it for fun (girlfriend is not a word in his vocabulary) and has no care in the world for anyone's feelings but his. I'm sorry but when a guy is notorious for having sex and 'discarding girls like condoms' (that's an actual line in the book btw) not only do you lose my good opinion but you totally gross me out. And no, being hotness personified, with an English accent to boot, won't save you.
2. He smokes. Enough said.
So yeah, I was a bit turned off (no pun intended) by Noah and the fact that Mara had no qualms about this. Sure, she has plenty of monologue where she reminds herself of this but it's all halfhearted and forgotten the minute she lays eyes on the dude. *sigh*
Aside from that, I did like it and I do recommend it to those who like romance and mystery/suspense.
Just finished listening to book 1, and I'm really torn. There were things about it that I genuinely enjoyed. The story started strong. Mara is smart and funny, and I enjoyed getting to know her. Her story was interesting...living through a terrible ordeal that she cannot remember. But then the plot seemed to really lose focus. Maybe it will wrap up nicely after the 3rd book, but the 1st book was all over the place. The end is super annoying. I'm all for a cliffhanger ending, but this book just ended...practically mid-sentence. When the Audible voice over said "You've reached the end of the book", I thought, "Surely it said the end of the part not the book, and I just need to download the next part!?!". Nope, it was the end of the book. I suppose the preceding scene was suppose to be the ramp up to the end, but it was really anti-climatic and disappointing. I did go ahead and purchase book 2, as I'm interested to see if this all comes together in the end.
I was similarly torn with the narration. When the narrator was speaking for Mara, she was usually great. Sometimes her reading was rushed as though she was trying to just get all the words out, but for the most part, she was enjoyable. HOWEVER, she was downright CREEPY as a 17 year old British heartthrob. I mean EWWWW! The hunky love interest sounded like a nasally 12 year old. Just awful. The narration of Noah was so off and distracting that I would actually recommend reading this one instead of listening to it.
"Strange, and not really in a good way"
What a strange book this is. Many friends have raved about it but I'm afraid I'm not a fan.
Between not being able to find much to like or admire in the heroine, the weird smoker hero, the largely improbable plot points and character reactions (even within the suspended reality of the book's own universe) and some truly bizarre moments (obscene versions of the Velveteen Rabbit, Dr Seuss and Curious George, anyone?), it just didn't do it for me.
My reaction may have been colored by the narrator - bad British accent, rapid fire delivery, and a flip, offhand, casual tone/expression that makes some of the more (melo?) dramatic lines sound so wrong, and makes the protagonist more irritating than engaging.
I suggest you read it, and make up your own mind.
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