The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

For Ages: 14 and up
  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
Mara Dyer doesn’t know if she is crazy or haunted—all she knows is that everyone around her is dying in this suspenseful and “strong, inventive tale” (Kirkus Reviews).

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.
After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.
This fast-paced psychological—or is it paranormal?—thriller will leave you breathless for its sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
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  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442421776 | 
  • October 2012 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Read an Excerpt

1
BEFORE
Laurelton, Rhode Island


THE ORNATE SCRIPT ON THE BOARD TWISTED in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head. They were jumbled and indistinct, like alphabet soup. When Claire pushed the heart-shaped piece into my hand, I startled. I wasn’t normally so twitchy, and hoped Rachel wouldn’t notice. The Ouija board was her favorite present that night, and Claire gave it to her. I got her a bracelet. She wasn’t wearing it.

Kneeling on the carpet, I passed the piece to Rachel. Claire shook her head, oozing disdain. Rachel put down the piece.
... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer By Michelle Hodkin Discussion Questions 1.Although she is the narrator, we get to know Mara Dyer as a character rather gradually in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. What were your first impressions of Mara? How did your opinion of her change from the beginning of the book to the end? Can she be considered an "unreliable" narrator? Explain. 2.What do you know about post-traumatic stress disorder? Do you think Mara is experiencing conditions associated with this disorder, and how so? Perhaps it's something else? Explain using specific examples from the book. 3.Noah Shaw has a bad reputation around school, though Mara sees a different side to him. Why do you think Noah cultivates this reputation? Do you think he is right not to correct other people's assumptions? 4.What are the qualities of Noah that attracted Mara? Did Mara fall in love with Noah at first sight, or did it happen over time? Was there a particular turning point that seemed to signify a shift in their relationship? Do you believe in love at first sight? 5.Mara asks Noah, “Are you afraid of anything?” and Noah replies, “I’m afraid of forgeries.” What does he mean? What does his response say about him? What are your own fears? 6.Often we’re faced with discrepancies between reality and illusion in see more

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