The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer  - Michelle Hodkin Ayayayayay. Where to begin? For real, I don't even know where to start with this review. I have 4 pages of notes and numerous Goodreads status updates. Okay. I didn't hate the book. But I sure didn't like it. Let me start with Mara Dyer herself as a character. There was not a THING to like about Mara Dyer. She was self-involved, whiny, and she was a slut-shamer of her fellow females. But most of all, the thing that annoyed me most about Mara Dyer was the way she swooned and lived her life for a man (boy) that was pretty much a douchenozzle. Protagonists that are completely unlikable usually turn me off a book immediately. And I saw that in Mara Dyer from practically the first page.The club scene. Apparently when you wear revealing attire to a costume party, Mara Dyer thinks you are slut. Or a whore. Because wearing CLOTHES that you feel good in define how many men you sleep with. This is news to me, but whatever. First of all, that word should never be used, period. Just because a woman loves sex does not mean she should be labeled in a derogatory way. I was DISGUSTED. And then there was this girl that broke down and slept with a bunch of guys after Noah dumped her. And she was labeled by Mara's token gay, Jewish, black, bff forever as a slut but then when Noah did the same thing, he was portrayed as a sex machine that all the girls were chasing after. UGH. I could say more about this but I think you get the picture.The book begins with a letter from Mara Dyer to us, the readers. And you read on and on hoping to find out who Mara Dyer is, but the book never comes back to that letter. Not once. So the book begins fantastically and hooks the reader in a great way, but never comes full circle. This was a huge letdown. This was not the only story element that made no sense. There were alligators, a court case, a murder, a kidnapping, a stereotypical black and gay bff that fell off the face of the earth, and plenty of hallucinations that just all felt really disjointed. The story elements were tied loosely together and I just didn't think it was really skilled writing. It plodded on and felt like a long hike to somewhere great, but there was no payoff once you reached your destination. There was a lot of telling, very little atmosphere and a lot of filler chapters that could have been left out. Not to mention the book was full of dialogue that was useless and never went anywhere. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ended up being a romance novel and everything else that was great about the story was pushed to the back burner.I need to work in a quote about Noah and I don't know where to put it, but then after I show you that quote we are going to talk about the cocky, arrogant Noah Shaw. The quote that follows is pretty much how he appears throughout the whole novel."So, he said, his eyes meeting mine again. "You're a smuthound with daddy issues?" The corner of his mouth turned up in a slow, condescending smile. I wanted to smack it off his face. "Well, you're quoting it. And incorrectly, by the way. So what does that make you?"His half-smile morphed into a whole grin. "Oh, I'm definitely a smuthound with daddy issues.""I guess you nailed me, then.""Not yet."Okay. Is this what goes for attractive these days? Do girls actually fall for this garbage? Listen, confidence is attractive. Playing hard to get can be attractive. But being an arrogant prick that thinks he can bang every girl in a three mile radius is not attractive. And it never will be. I am sick AND tired of reading about these types of male love interests. The Edward Cullen effect. There were times in this book where Noah Shaw literally made me sick to my stomach. I was thirty seconds away from upchucking in a toilet. And the way Mara fawned over him and his prickish antics made me sicker than the antics themselves did. But then again, Mara Dyer wasn't exactly a human being with a ton of integrity. The author just took the bad boy image too far. Every little thing that came out of Noah's mouth was either cocky, arrogant, or very smartassish. I know that's not a word and I don't care. It was tiring. If I was dating Noah (not a chance in HELLLLL), I would have slapped him and knocked him into rush hour traffic after five minutes. He did get a little better as the story went on but I could not get over the fact that he was douchetacular for the first 100 pages. You cannot forget that. You just can't. The actual plot of this book I enjoyed (sometimes), but because of the author's views on women wearing skimpy clothing (sluts and whores)and her opinion on what kind of man is sexy (and Noah Shaw ain't it), she made me lose interest and get angry. Sending the message to teenage girls that this is the type of romance that is something to aspire to is shameful. The only good thing about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was that it was compulsively readable. But I'm reading the next one. I need to know what happens, and if I hate it (probably will) at least there will be another entertaining review to come out of it.