Countdown to Retribution: How I Fell in Love with Mara and Noah


Okay, I admit it: I bought The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because of the cover. Probably not a cool statement from a writer, but there it is. I mean, I read the flap copy and it sounded like a good story. Maybe not quite my normal thing as a psychological thriller type story, but it sounded intense and swoony and a little weird (and those are totally my thing). But holy hell, that cover is just gorgeous. I wanted, needed to read the words that it held inside.

And from the beginning of this story, I was captivated. As a reader, I couldn’t read fast enough, and at the same time, was so scared of reading it because then it would be done and the second book wasn’t out yet. As a writer, I was blown away by the genius of this book. The psychological mind-fuck of the writing that made me never quite sure if Mara was being tormented by the ghosts of her friends and by some ability she couldn’t control or if she was truly bat-shit crazy. That’s such a fine line, and this book navigated it like a veteran tightrope walker. And then there were the characters, who are so vivid and real and just quirky enough to make me fall in love with them instantly.

This book made me laugh at the snarky, quick-witted banter between the characters and made my heart melt at all of the swoony Noah Shaw moments, of which there are thankfully many. But this is one of my favorites:

“You’re the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You’re the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you’re wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You’re the girl that I–” Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. “You are my girl.”


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