Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Release Date: January 21st, 2011
Pages: 452
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Series: Mara Dyer, #1
Genre(s): Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 rambles

I knew that I was going to love The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Everything about it screamed “Psychological thriller! Read me!” I have a weakness for sometimes dark, often twisty, books. They’re about as close to the horror genre as I get, and I love walking that line like it’s a tightrope. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will thrill you, confuse you, and sometimes creep you out. You may have to reread passages because you’ll find yourself thinking, “Wait — what?!”

From before the book even starts, before chapter one of the story, I was already drawn in. Michelle Hodkin writes the book from two different points in time: Before and After. Although most of the time we are reading from After, the chapters that flip back to Before are chilling, and of course, make the overall mystery that much more intriguing. And the best part yet: Mara Dyer is the epitome of an unreliable narrator. We never really know what is real and what a dream, hallucination, or memory.

The general story alone would have kept me completely immersed, but add Noah Shaw and it just got somehow even more immersive. Here are three reasons why Noah Shaw made this book even better:

  1. He’s British. Yes, I’m one of those girls that is all for slapping on a British accent and falling in love immediately. 
  2. He’s sexy with a bad boy reputation.
  3. He’s really not that bad of a guy and has a flawless personality.


Oh and the sexual tension between Mara and Noah made me want to blush sometimes…

But all in all, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was everything I was hoping for. It was exciting, mysterious, eerie, and sexy all at once. And that ending! Well, let me just tell you I plan to read book two ASAP.



Week in Review: October 26th

Week in Review

In Life

My life has been pretty boring this week. I stayed home all week from school due to being sick, spending the majority of my time on the couch, on the computer, watching TV and reading of course! (That’s why I was a little more active in the blogging community, leaving some comments, etc. I plan to comment around more today but I also have like 50+ comments to reply to on THIS blog…)

Also: Is anyone else as excited as I am for Taylor Swift’s, 1989, coming out tomorrow?!?!??!?! From what I’ve heard of the three songs she’s released and the bit in the Target commercial I love it! I know some people are bummed about it being pop, but listening to the lyrics of “Out of the Woods” you can really see the same old Taylor shining through with her lyrics!

In Books

I didn’t get any books this week, but there is one I’m VERY excited for that is coming out this Tuesday…

That would be Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters, #2) by Michelle Madow! I read the first book earlier this year in anticipation of meeting Michelle (who is SO NICE, by the way), and I’m a member of her Street Team for the series. But the best part? I’m going to be in the acknowledgements! She announced that she is putting every street team members name in the acknowledgements which I think is the SWEETEST, and also ups my excitement a bit! 😉


As for my reading, being home sick did have its advantages: I read TWO books this week! Now, for some people that isn’t anything, but juggling school, blogging, and reading makes this number huge for me, as I normally only get to read on the weekends. This first I read was Rush by Eve Silver [REVIEW], which was a fun and exciting alien sci-fi! And the second (just finished this morning) was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. That book, WOW. I have to continue to process it before I can write a coherent review. It should be up tomorrow though, if I can get my brain to work properly.

In Blogging

Here’s what you missed at Books & Cleverness this week:

I hope you all had a wonderful week! I’d love to chat with you! 🙂



Review: Rush by Eve Silver

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Author via YA Bound Book Tours
Series: The Game, #1
Genre(s): Sci-fi
Synopsis from Goodreads:

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

my rambles

Special thanks to Eve Silver and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me a copy of this book for review!

Wow, Rush was an action-packed, adventure-filled, rollercoaster of a thrill ride. Super fast paced, it didn’t at all lack in the “cool” department. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before, Rush pulled me (if you’ve read the book you’ll get the pun) into an alternate universe filled with aliens and tons of excitement!

But while the action scenes were so entertaining, and a highlight of the book, I felt that other parts fell short. The first was the worldbuilding of the game. I would have loved to have learned more about the history of the Drau and their invasion of other planets. Also just their motives for their predatory nature and behaviors. What caused them to be this way? It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing about the book, but I definitely am intrigued by these creatures and the world.

Another was the romance. Originally, I thought that this book would turn into the typical YA love triangle, but thank goodness I was wrong. But, unfortunately the romance turned out to be between Miki, the main character, and the guy that I didn’t care for too much: Jackson. I felt like the romance between them was overly rushed, and I didn’t really get the chemistry that was supposed to be felt between them. I found it a bit cheesy and unrealistic. Miki’s thoughts about Jackson seemed way premature for the amount of time they spent together, no matter how emotionally difficult what they went through together was. I will admit thought, I found him to be very mysterious and very attractive…

But while these things did annoy me at some points, they didn’t take too much away from the story. I remained engaged and interested in the story. I’m excited to check out the next book in the series and really hope that we get to learn more about the Drau, the game, the committee, and just more about the story in general.

Gamers, action-lovers, thrill-seekers, and anyone who loves a fun sci-fi will be sure to enjoy Rush!


Enough is Enough!

why i can't wait (4)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about book series, and how tedious it has become to follow them when books are released a year after the other. Because of this case, I have become emotionally invested in many series and characters, but have failed to complete the books because over time I started to not be interested in the books anymore as the story was so long and drawn-out. This thought brought me right to one series, or group of series, should I say: The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (with authors Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan).

I used to be a hard-core fan of the books, and I can still say that I enjoy some of the books very much. The first three books in her first series, The Mortal Instruments, were awesome. And her, The Infernal Devices trilogy is absolutely wonderful (I still have yet to read the last book). But, my problem began when more and more spin-offs and novellas were announced. I said to myself, “Really? This is a lot for one world, one author.” Thinking about how many books there are going to be set in this world, I could really just spend months alone reading only Cassandra Clare’s books.

Now, here’s where I begin to have a problem. The first three books in her TMI series were great, like I previously said. TID trilogy is amazing. But I started to have a problem with the ending of TMI series. She originally planned to make the books a trilogy, but for some reason chose to expand the series to 6 books. Okay, that’s fine…but the writing and creativity of the stories went seriously downhill. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still GOOD. I still really enjoy her writing and books, but the increase in bad writing plus the announcement of the upcoming spin-offs and novellas made me reevaluate my commitment to these books.

I began to wonder, “Why is she doing so much for the Shadowhunters?” My best guess is because publishers know that it has a solid fan base, and will make money. BUT, this is where I differ with the thoughts of the publishers, media, whoever thinks that this series will continue to be popular – I bet there are more people out there like me that are getting impatient and bored with these books. I would love to see what else Clare has in her to write a new (maybe even standalone) book that is outside of the world of the Shadowhunters. She’s a wonderful author, but I feel like she’s now being restricted by outsiders to stick with The Shadowhunter Chronicles, and creating lesser content because of that.

Another thing that bugs me is that since all of the books are connected, to get the most out of the story it is recommended that the reader reads EVERY book in order of publication date, in order for the stories to make the most sense and in order to keep a book from spoiling the other! (Again, I think this is a ploy for money, and not at all Cassandra Clare’s fault.)

The most recent announcement that actually pushed me to write this post (that I am nervous about posting), is that the rest of The Mortal Instruments book will be turned into a TV show by the same people that made the unsuccessful film. Now, I enjoyed the film, but I know that it didn’t meet my expectations, or the expectations of a lot of readers. Do I think this TV show will be a good idea? No. Will I watch it? Most likely, although whether I’ll stick with it unlike her books, I can’t say.

I really don’t want this post to come off as me bashing Cassandra Clare and her books, etc., because I really love them! But I think there is a point when an author (or their publisher or whoever decides that a book should be written) needs to know when to stop. When enough is enough, and that too much of a good thing can end badly.

So, will I ever continue on with these books? Yes, I plan to finish up the last two TMI and the final TID books and call it quits.

If you’re interested in seeing all of the books that Cassandra Clare has written you can visit her Goodreads page. And to keep up to date on everything Shadowhunter and Cassandra Clare, TMI Source does a great job posting when the first news is announced!

Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and I do not mean to offend anyone by sharing them with you. I am in no way trying to hurt the author mentioned, her books, or to offend her in any way. You do not have to feel the same way as I do, and I encourage friendly discussion over the topic that this post covers in the comments.

Do you agree? When is enough, enough?


Waiting on…Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

waiting on wednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: May 19th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of Entwined, a brilliantly conceived adventure through an alternate London. This sweeping, cinematic tale of an apprentice scientist desperate to save his family—and his world—is The Night Circus meets Pixar.

Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that is breathtaking and wholly original.

why i can't wait

Although that synopsis is vaguer than vague, this book already has a bunch of things going for it in my eyes:
1. I read and fell in love with Heather Dixon’s previous book, Entwined. So, so good, guy – read it!
2. It’s set in London. A.K.A. my favorite setting for any book that isn’t a fantasy world EVER.
3. The synopsis says it’s The Night Circus (excuse my heart-eyes) meets PIXAR. WHAT?!?!? That sounds A.) awesome., and B.) PERFECT!

So basically, you can tell that I’m pretty freaking excited for this book and I only just found out about it all of 5 minutes ago before I wrote this post! Already sold, just not on that release date…waaaaay too far away for my liking.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?