The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer fell short of my expectations—expectations that were likely created by the buzz surrounding this book. It’s becoming quite clear that I need to learn to keep my expectations in check, because my final opinion on a book is often vastly different from the majority.This book started out strong for me. Mara’s friends are all dead, and she has no recollection of how exactly it all happened. It was intriguing, and that intrigue pushed me through the book. I kept waiting for something big to happen, something that really caught my attention. Or surprised me. Or made me care. I mean, so much potential! But much of Mara’s curse/power/ability/whateveryouwouldliketocallit is glossed over. It turned out to be a weak plot device, skirting around the edges of a romance that I didn’t really enjoy.Which brings me to the love interest. I’ll admit Noah made me laugh a few times, and if I ever came across a person like him in real life, I would probably find him sexy. But man-whore extraordinaire is hardly an ideal love interest, in my opinion. He’s rude and cocky, and not in ways that made me like him. (He reminded me a lot of Patch, who I actually adored when I read Hush, Hush. Makes me wonder how I’d feel about that one if I had read it now)He’s used slept with nearly every girl in their school. I have no issues with casual sex, as long as both parties know what they’re getting into. But a guy who charms girls out of their panties and tosses them aside is another story, and quite frankly makes the dude a jackass. (Even if said girls need a wake-up call, but I digress.) Noah makes no apologies for it, which is probably his only realistic quality with his padded pockets, English accent, and his ability to speak a handful of different languages. (I feel like there’s an “accent” trend in YA these days where a sexy accent makes up for how big of a douchebag the guy is.) His love for Mara is pretty adorable, though, even if it makes no sense. He’s drawn to her for whatever reason, who knows. She’s different, he says. She’s crazypants is what she is (the crazy is the only thing that remained consistent as her world shifted and suddenly revolved around Noah), so I guess in retrospect, maybe they do belong together.It held my interest well enough, and sometimes I actually found myself enjoying the book. I think my biggest issue with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is that it tries to be too many things--romance, psychological thriller, paranormal (I guess?)--none of which were done well in my opinion. I mean honestly, what even happened here? Mara Dyer somehow manages to have too much, yet too little going on. What makes it worse is that there are hardly any answers, because really, Mara has no idea what is real and what isn’t. So neither do we. There is no real climax, no resolution, and we’re left with more questions on top of a plot that already doesn’t make a lot of sense. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll bother with the sequel.