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)
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.
Mostly YA Book Obsessed!
This is another one of those books that has been on my TBR since before it was released. I fell in love with that gorgeous cover and immediately added it to my TBR. Unfortunately, this is about the time my reading, and therefore my TBR, exploded and this book got pushed down. Still, every time I saw this cover, it made me want to read it. Not only is the cover beautiful but it also makes you do a double take and think. Is he trying to pull her out of the water…or is he trying to pull her in??? I still can’t figure it out…
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was nothing like what I was expecting! Half the time, I had no idea what in fuck was going on but (I’m pretty sure that was the point) I still loved it. I usually haaaaate not knowing what’s going on because it drives me nuts. But for some reason, it just works with this story. I’m still lost on some parts which I’m sure the answers will come in the next book. My big question: who is Mara Dyer??? She starts off the book with a letter saying ‘her real name isn’t Mara Dyer’, but this is what we know her as throughout the whole book. Even in the ‘before’ scenes her name is Mara. Her family’s last name is Dyer. So what is the deal with this name thing??? Then we have that scary ass Ouji scene is one of the flashback scenes where the board spells out MARA, and they all turn to look at her and they were calling her Mara earlier…but that’s not her name???? I know we’re getting the answer in on of the next books but the theories are driving me crazy. Mostly because I don’t really have any…
After losing her best friend and boyfriend in an accident, Mara and her family move to Miami to start fresh. Mara attends a new prep school where she meets the infamous Noah Shaw. I even knew about Noah Shaw! Noah is the school bad boy and Mara is not taking any of his crap. She calls him an asshole the first time they meet and I couldn’t help but go ‘awwwwwww.’ Noah isn’t one to give up easily and the more he goes after Mara, the harder she starts falling for him. I get why so many people are crushing on Noah, because he is totally crush-worthy. He has that whole arrogant-but-sweet guy thing nailed. I loooooooved his chemistry with Mara! The fact that it had a slow build up, made it so much more enjoyable. I was so happy that this was such a mature YA book. Mara and Noah acted and talked like normal kids their age which is a huge plus for me. I was surprised and loved all their conversations filled with sexual innuendos and was so excited when Mara said she was going to ‘freak the fuck out.’ :)
I would sometimes forget that this wasn’t a contemporary book because a lot of times it felt like it. In the first half, Hodkin would throw in weird and scary incidents that would remind me ‘Oh shit, something else is going on! Something big!’ At about the 70% mark of the book, we really get into more of the paranormal parts of the book and I was soaking it all in just waiting for the bomb to drop. Even though I had no idea what was going on most of the book, the mystery and Noah and Mara’s relationship were so good that I didn’t even care. I loved how Hodkin tied everything together and that ending left me wanting more! I’m excited to read the next book!
Audiobook Comments: I love going the audiobook route for books that have been on my TBR for a long time. I listened to this sample many times and was already kind of in love with the narrator. I just love her tone for Mara’s voice. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that Noah’s character was British. I haaaaaate British accents (all accents in general). Unless, you’re Ed Westwick, a British accent does nothing to me. When I read books with guys with British accents, they all sound like Ed Westwick in my head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t picture Ed’s sexy ass voice as Noah because his voice was so different. For the next book, I’ll be actually reading it instead of listening to the audio. Christy Romano was an amazing narrator! A YA narrator that sounds like a teen, horray! She pulled off Mara’s ‘I don’t care’ and smart ass attitude so well and she did such a great job with all the characters. Even though I wasn’t a fan of Noah’s voice, she nailed that British accent! I know I’m in the rare minority when it comes to accents so this would be a good book to try on audio if you’re like me and have had this on your TBR forever…
The book has a good start, And the narrator has a clear, brisk voice that kind of pulls you on.
So, you have the typical high school crowd, the cute-most coveted boy (with the plus of an english accent) with his entourage of beautiful but empty-headed and-of course- mean girls and here comes our heroine who is-of course again- not that kind of beautiful,but sooo very special. And thus the clichés begin and the adventure begins...Except that if you want to follow this adventure you must forget all kind of logic and common sense. I'm very aware that if you embark on a YA fantasy, normalcy doesn't apply, which it is as it should be. In this case though let's just say that contradiction is the key word...Alas the idea is not bad,but is so full of clichés and not real behavior like THE DIALOGS: OMG! I really don't want to be mean, but it is a mixture of Yoda and Shakespearian speech, which in itself is not disagreeable if sparingly used considering our speakers are 21th Century teens. But use it too frequently and you will start sighing and shaking your head.
So, although I finished the book, I won't buy the sequel and in good conscience I can't recommend it.
Unpredictable, intense, great read! Couldnt put it down.
Cant Wait for the next one!
Christy Romano performance was incredible.
Really enjoyed this book!!
"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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