First, to give full disclosure, I want to state that the author is a fellow Bookanista. Sometimes it can be hard to review books by friends. But to be honest, I forgot who wrote the book and fell into Michelle Hodkin’s THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER.

Here’s the official blurb from the publisher:

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.

There has been so much buzz about this book. I’m always a little afraid of buzz, but the synopsis for this book intrigued me and the gorgeous cover sucked me in. I wasn’t disappointed by what I found inside.

First off, the author knows how to write suspense. I felt like I was holding my breath for much of the novel. The tension kept building and building, but I never really tired of it. I kept flipping pages wanting to know what was happening to Mara as much as she did. The mystery of what happened to her in those first chapters consumed me as a reader.

Second, Noah. I’ve read some reviews criticizing Noah as a Patch-like jerk who’s rude and condescending to Mara. I have to admit, I didn’t see the relationship like that at all. He’s arrogant, sure, but Mara has a bit of a chip on her shoulder. Everything he dishes at her, she dishes right back. This girl can definitely hold her own, so I never felt like Mara was a victim or taking crap from a boy who treats her poorly. I thought they were pretty evenly matched, and their sparring was pretty hot.

Another thing..I loved Daniel, Mara’s brother. Siblings in stories can often fade to the background or seem to be cliched. I didn’t feel that with Daniel. He’s a little too good to be true, but Mara herself points that out about him. I liked their interaction and how they often teamed up when it came to their parents. This seemed real and like something I’ve done with my own siblings.

I have to confess that I wasn’t wild about the abrupt end of the book. I like a novel to feel complete even when I know a sequel is coming, and the last pages left me more than a little frustrated. A few times, I did get a little lost about what Mara was experiencing. But overall, I’d give this book a 4 out 5 stars and a “please write the dang sequel already!”

Check out the links below to see what the other Bookanistas are talking about!

Elana Johnson and Scott Tracey find wonder in The Near Witch

LiLa Roecker sing out about Where She Went

Christine Fonseca adores A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie

Corrine Jackson delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at My Life, the Theater & Other Tragedies

Veronica Rossi is wild about Wildefire