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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Monday, August 27, 2012

Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Michelle Hodkin

I'm SO excited to be a part of the Authors Are Rockstars Tour!
My rockstar author is the loverly Michelle Hodkin, author of the fantastic The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (read my review) and the soon to be released The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and she is stopping by today with a fab Top Tens List guest post.

But first, let's meet Michelle...

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Michelle Hodkin is the author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the first book in the Mara Dyer trilogy. She grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found prying strange objects from the jaws of one of her three pets. You can visit her online at
and find out why I think she's a total rockstar!

Michelle is a rockstar author because she wrote a book that...

has readers saying

how awesome, you ask readers?

an awesome book with a guy that makes readers

and an ending that leaves readers all

Yep, Michelle rocks my face off and bakes my cupcakes!!!

Now check out this fab Top Tens List guest post from the rockin' and awesome Michelle Hodkin that includes a few teaser sentences from book two...

Top Ten Favorite Quotes from 
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution of Mara Dyer
From The Unbecoming
1. “My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.” 
This sentence, the first sentence of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, is the backbone of the trilogy. It frames the entire narrative and does so many things with so few words: it cues the reader to ask who Mara Dyer is, why she has a lawyer, and why she needed a pseudonym to begin with. It’s probably my favorite quote from all three books.

2. “Watch your language.  It's unbecoming." 
This is another bit that does so much with so little. Spoken by Daniel at the beginning of The Unbecoming, it references Mara’s potty mouth and gives us a bit of insight into her lovable but seriously pretentious brother. And, clearly, it’s a play on words: not only is Mara’s language “unbecoming,” but the title, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, relates to her transition from what she was into something else (Gregory Maguire, in Wicked, wrote of Elphaba, “It's unbecoming…A perfect word for my new life. Unbecoming. I who have always been unbecoming am becoming un."). But there’s also another element, about the idea that using “foul” language is an “unbecoming” personality trait; in the larger context of what’s actually going on with Mara and the choices she makes, it sort of begs the question: are you really going to get huffy about her  language? Really? 

3. “Have you made any other friends since we've been here?" 
I gave him the death stare. "Yes, actually." 
"Who? I want a name." 
"Jamie Roth." 
"The Ebola kid? I heard he's a little unstable." 
"That was one incident.”
Jamie’s (bizarre) obsession with Ebola is my (bizarre) obsession with Ebola, and the incident Jamie describes on pages 41 and 42? The one that provoked Daniel to say what he says above on Page 244? That was me. I was in 8th grade. Whole thing was blown COMPLETELY out of proportion. 

4. “You're supposed to say, 'All I want is your happiness. I'll do whatever it takes, even if it means being without you.'" 
"Sorry," Noah said. "I'm just not that big of a person.”
This exchange captures the Mara/Noah dynamic pretty perfectly. Mara lampshades a romance cliché and then Noah rejects it. But in doing so, he still owns his bad behavior; he’s a teenage boy, after all, and he’s far from perfect (even if Mara doesn’t always see him that way, especially in The Unbecoming). One of my favorite things about writing this series is how the characters continually surprise each other, for better and worse.

5. “I twisted my arm to curl him behind me and he unfolded there, the two of us snuggled like quotation marks in his room full of words.”
This line is thought by Mara as she’s in Noah’s bed, in his bedroom, on her birthday. I don’t think of myself as being a particularly descriptive writer, but this sentence, written during a frenzied writing session, ended up being one of my favorites—it’s an unusually evocative image, for me. 

From The Evolution:
6. “Own yourself.” 
An allusion to a quote attributed to both Friedrich Nietzsche and Rudyard Kipling; “No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” I find that idea exceedingly interesting because it makes you wonder what price could be too high. Would it still worth it to make your own choices, and own them?

7. “I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.” 
This speaks so much to the inner and outer conflicts that plague Mara, and to the changing relationship with her family. It’s a powerful thought and has ramifications later, but she doesn’t quite realize how much of an impact this really has on her at the moment she thinks it. 

8. “Get a meadow.” 
My beloved Twilight reference! The self-awareness of the characters in this series is quite possibly my most favorite thing about it. Getting to go meta and to lampshade clichés (See, e.g. Jamie’s line in The Unbecoming, “[Y]ou’re not going to listen to your token black Jewish bi friend, are you?”) is probably the most fun I’ll ever have writing, period. I’m hesitant to say who says this quote, but I will say that it’s directed at Noah and Mara. 

9. Mara: “We’re only seventeen.” 
Noah: “Fuck seventeen.”
This exchange happens at a highly charged moment in what is possibly my favorite scene in the entire book. There’s a stark juxtaposition between the coarseness of the word “fuck” and the content of their conversation—and Noah’s critical words that follow it. I wish I could say what those words are, but I would hate myself if I spoiled this scene for anyone else.

10. “Her sound is a siren’s song, calling me to the rocks.” 
So, In The Evolution, readers will get a glimpse of Noah’s point of view. Surprise! This line is evocative of both Noah’s (really different) voice, and also the changing dynamic between his character and Mara’s. It’s my favorite line of his, I think. 

And there you have it—thank you so much for having me! 

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.

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository


fakesteph said...

OMG... THAT FIRST SENTENCE. WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET??? Sorry for the yelling, it's just... wow, what a sentence.

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

Yayyyy Michelle is totally a rockstar!! I got to meet her at a signing in January and she is SO AWESOME!!! What a great post, I'm glad you got to host her!!

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

OMG, "Get a meadow." Bwahahaha! I love it! Michelle is definitely a rockstar! :)

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

Fiktshun said...

Oh my gosh I have to read this book NOW! I love that first line. I want to know more! The author is right it does exactly what it's supposed to. It makes me wonder why she has a lawyer, what her real name is, why she needs to have an alternate name. Oh I totally think I'll be dying for book two when I read this.

And the Twi reference, LOL! I love that the author has even the briefest of ones in her book. I can't WAIT to check it out.

This stop on the tour today was so much fun and has made me want to read this book even more than I already have!

Thank you so much for being an amazing host and agreeing to be a part of our tour. I love, love, loved the animated gifs! :)

Jaime said...

Dude loved this post when Michelle first sent it and I loved it even more the second time!!!!

Aiecha thanks so much for being a tour stop you are awesome my dear <333

Jaime @ Two Chicks On Books

Lisa Mandina said...

I have been wanting to read these books for awhile now, and now, well I need to do that soon! Great post!

Dizneeee said...

LOVE Mara and Noah! AND Michelle!!!! I am so very ready for The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Dying to know what's happening!

Jaime said...

I really need to start this series!!! I have the first book and have been meaning to read it and your post just pushed it up on the TBR pile.

Thanks so very much for being a part of the tour!!:)