Literature And Other Musings

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer – Book Review


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.

First of all the cover is awesome, I think it achieved the eerie, mysterious quality that the book was hoping to embody but failed in an epic manner.

Now, back to the content in the book. I wanted to like this book, particularly because the first scene was gripping, and tense, but thanks to the author, I was forced to revise my opinion. The entire book was a really bad teen horror movie (are there any good movies in this genre? I don’t think so) and in the mid, I was like “Okay, what the…This is sort of like a watered down, drippy teen version of Inception happening sans all the awesomeness and the HOMG beauty of  Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Mara Dyer (DY-ER, Geddit? Please guess the rest) wakes up from a coma in the hospital wing. She is confused as to what had happened that had led her here. She gets to know that her friends died in an accident but she had somehow survived. From here, Mara slowly unfolds into a person teetering at the edge of insanity. She loses chunks of time, imagines situations and people that are not real, sees and hears dead people. Things get so bad for her that her parents consider sending her to an asylum.

Yeah, I didn’t hate Mara in the beginning and I hoped, my sentiments will stay this way but hellz to the no, of course, the dashing hero of the novel had to sashay in and dazzle the protagonist so she’s reduced to a blubbering, swooning pile of idiot.  Also get this: he is scorching hot, a bad boy, arrogant, has a harem of women, obviously richer than Bill Gates and…he’s British. 

He’s perfect! Apart from being a jackass, but that’s okay. He’s hot, amiright?
True, he became much better after a 100 pages or so and I almost stopped hating him but he’s nowhere coming near my “Awesome characters I adore *heart heart*” list. P.S: He also has a super power. Be ashamed of yourselves, mere mortals.

Mara just practically wrenched out her heart and gave it to this hot guy, Noah, as soon as she sees him. (If that would have been literal, this book would have been awesome. heh) She did try to be a smart ass and witty though, but then she said this and I was like: OH. GOD. Control yourself, voomun.

What could I say? Noah, despite you being an asshole, or maybe because of it, I’d like to rip off your clothes and have your babies. Don’t tell.

No. Just NO. I think we need to put Noah in a Burkah/veil his face. Also I wanted to impale Mara after Jamie (her only friend) tells her that Noah hooked up with his sister (for a very stupid, revengeful reason) and when she confronts Noah about this, he admits it.
And Mara said:

Nothing.
That’s right. She changes the subject. Hey, why talk about such unpleasant but crucial stuff that can jeopardize our weird relationship, right?

Throughout the novel, Mara seemed to spiral out of her control, and being a reader I felt out of sync because nothing was real anymore. You couldn’t guess if this thing happened or not. Mara’s brother is kidnapped, and she and Noah go down to the creek to save him. There are dead alligators, broken bones and lots of mud. I didn’t know if it was happening in real time or it was a figment of Mara’s cray-cray imagination, if this was what the author intended then congrats, it worked!

Her family is nice, I liked them. The characters in her school were painfully forgettable, honestly, I don’t even remember any of the names or their roles except that two students tried to torment Mara because yeah, she had the attention of the godly Noah. Pass. Also, there is her  bisexual, Jewish, Black male with dreadlocks and a tongue ring friend, Jamie (Dang, is this the author’s way of putting diversity in the novel? FAIL) I also managed to like him, and then he disappeared! Seriously, for a good half part of the novel, there was no mention of Jamie as Norma struggled with her sanity and the feeling in her pants for Noah and then when Jamie comes back, it’s just…just lame.

The book was fast paced, I was curious enough to read the entire thing because I wanted to see if Mara will lose all of her shit (the thought was too tempting) The writing wasn’t bad, the characterization brought the whole thing down. Also the author lost focus of the novel by putting all of her attention on the romance. I would have liked to read more about what ails Mara and her super powers but instead we’re treated to this Mara-Noah banter.

The ending! Damn that cliffhanger, I didn’t see that one coming, and now I’m curious enough to pick up the next book to see what happened.

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27 thoughts on “The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer – Book Review

    • I give out good reviews too! 😛 check the other book reviews, please!

      I want to be a writer too! But I think the mistakes YA authors make to go mainstream are unforgivable.

      • I wouldn’t quite agree with the term unforgivable, though. Nobody is perfect. Going mainstream is more of an opportunity. Not just greatest of all writers go mainstream. You will find a lot of talented writers somewhere around us who don’t have any spotlight on them while literally talentless writers have gone mainstream because of [probably] money and opportunity.

        I read your other reviews as well. That was when I subscribed. 🙂 I wrote two reviews on my blog once. I’m not much of a reader. Most of the books I read are written in Bangla. I wish to read English books more but since I don’t have any institutional course or English isn’t my mother tongue, I have time time understanding. 😦

      • I agree with you, but I was referring to this YA culture now where the protagonist has to be Mary-Sue or Gary-stu to be able to attract the readers which, in all honesty, doesn’t make sense to me. Apart from that, majority YA books have heroines that are weak-willed, and seemed to hold a sign above their heads “Hey, I need saving! Gorgeous, Abusive boys apply!” I thought Bella Swan from Twilight was a mess but I’m apparently wrong. There are characters even worse than Bella Swan, and I just want to hunt them down and possibly crack their heads open with a hammer.
        Abusive relationships, shoving religious doctrines down the throat of the reader, slut shaming – you name it! They are all there. No one’s perfect, yes, I agree but I’m disgusted when I come across books that have all the elements above. I guess to get published, you need to have one of these things.

        Anyway, Thank you very much for subscribing, Sajib! 😀 Your english is very good! Try reading books written in easy english. Why not try some of the classics e.g: Shakespeare’s works that are produced for students? they’re actually very easy and just as enjoyable to read!

      • Of course, would be a pleasure, Sajib!
        Why don’t you try the Oxford Press’s take on some of the classics out there? It’s meant for students (ranging from 3rd grade to 12th grade) and they are very easy. For example: Treasure Island, Oscar Wilde’s works, Shakespeare’s plays etc etc.
        You can also try reading “The Hunger Games” OR “Harry Potter” – Both of them have a very exciting story and are not that difficult to understand at all! Hope this helps!

  1. I wanted to read your review because I thought the cover was awesome, but now I probably won’t be reading this book – bad teen horror movie – yuck!

  2. AnkitaD says:

    Imagination goin’ haywire/asylums and romance don’t mix. I believe if the auther would’ve written in a manner that makes the reader go mad by jus’ thinking about the suspense, it would have made a pretty great book. Butthis gives me an idea for my own book

  3. i will never in a million years read such a book. and I can’t simply, for the life of me, be impressed by the book covers. they mean nothing I guess.
    But this was a good review. Gave me all that I wanted to know about the book =).

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