Friday, October 10, 2014

All Things Halloween Review - The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, # 2)

By: Michelle Hodkin

Published: October 23rd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published March 1st 2012)

544 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal,

Source: Personal Library (Christmas present, thank you Mom!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know.

Goodreads description--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?

First off...the covers for this series are brilliant. I love, love, love, love, love them!

So I really loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer right? But there was this one part at the end that totally just threw me out of whack and kind of tainted the whole experience for me. Well I guess if you're reading this then hopefully you should have read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, if not, I'm about to discuss the ending, so stop reading please. :) Thanks. Basically Mara flips right? And she finds herself about to purposefully inflict pain (aka death) and Noah's all like "Mara, if you do this, you won't be the girl I fell in love with anymore." And yet she chooses to proceed anyway. And so it ends where I'm not happy or proud of Mara, I don't know if she and Noah will survive this event, and well that just wasn't the cliffhanger ending I was hoping for. So truth be told, that ending had me not the least bit excited to pick up The Evolution of Mara Dyer. But guys, all of that fear and dread was unnecessary. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was great.

Michelle Hodkin does a great job in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer making you, the reader, uncertain as to whether Mara is actually crazy or not. She's an unreliable narrator. You want to believe that she's sane and all of these crazy and supernatural things are happening to her, but you're just not sure for a large portion of the book. And I wasn't sure this was even possible, but Michelle Hodkin finds a way to make me still question Mara's sanity in The Evolution of Mara Dyer too. I suppose as long as Mara is never fully convinced that she's sane the reader will question it too. But Michelle Hodkin did a great job in this aspect.

I feel so bad for Mara. She's up against some huge odds. She's got a lot of whacky, supernatural things happening to her and around her. And because of the traumatic events of her past, her parents, the authorities, basically everyone but herself and Noah have the perfect out--she's crazy, right? They don't have to listen to her. She can't warn them. And if she tries, she just sounds more crazy than they already think she is. It's a recipe for the perfect storm.

Luckily Mara does have Noah. I was so worried that their relationship would be down the tube with Mara's decision from the end of book 1, but Noah isn't willing to give up so easily. He's going through the same thing Mara is but without the added pressure of a couple of deaths on his head. He's her biggest source of strength and I love how fiercely he loves her despite the moments when he might want to strangle her. I loved how their relationship isn't where it once was. They are indeed on rocky soil, but it's not exactly for the reasons that I was fearful of in the beginning.

As I said in my review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, it was so refreshing to see an entire, intact family unit. Mara's parents are both present and both working to do whatever they can to help Mara with the limited information they have. I love both of Mara's brothers. Joseph and Daniel, but Daniel is by far my favorite sibling character that I've ever read. He's always got Mara's back, but yet he doesn't fully believe her either. When Daniel goes to family day at Mara's outpatient counselling facility, I fell in love with Daniel just a little bit more. You can tell he's fully supportive of Mara, and he put all of himself seriously into the family assignment he was given. I just can't rave about him enough.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer was a mysterious book. I didn't always know which way was up, but I think that's exactly how you're supposed to feel while reading it. I address Michelle Hodkin's writing style when I wrote my review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and I found myself feeling the same way in The Evolution of Mara Dyer as well. While her writing isn't as lyrical or poetic as Lauren Oliver, Maggie Stiefvater or even Tahereh Mafi, Michelle Hodkin has a depth to her prose that makes her sentences flow from one to the next just beautifully. Since I have physical copies of this series, there was no highlight or note taking, BUT I've started taking pictures with my phone to catalog the passages I want to keep. And I took about 15 pictures.

My favorite quotes:

-I was drawing on construction paper with crayons. It wasn't my proudest moment.

-"I want to kiss you," I whispered instead.
He angled his face closer, lower down to mine. But not to my mouth. To my ear. "I'll allow it."

-Noah wrapped around me as he unwrapped me with his mouth. Our mouths were fluent in the language of each other and we moved with one mind and shared the same breath.

-"There will be a moment when there's nothing you want more than us. Together. When you're free of every fear and there is nothing in our way,"...
(continuing this through the end of the page, but I'll leave that to your imagination)

-She isn't the only one changing. Every day she shapes me into something else. ...I twine myself around her like moss on a limb; our heartbeats synchronized and we become one twisted, codependent thing. She brings me to heal with one look and I hear an aching violin, a cello's low swell. It hums beneath my skin; I want nothing more than to devour her, yet I do nothing but clench my jaw, press my lips to her neck, and savour the tremor in her chord. After a while, it softens at the edges as she slips into sleep. Her sound is a siren's song, calling me to the rocks.

-"Get a meadow"...

One of my favorite quotes I can't share. :( But it has something to do with some weirdness being afoot.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is intense. It's mysterious. It's emotional. And I loved every page of it. The Evolution of Mara Dyer gets 4.5 Stars. I can't recommend this series enough. Have you read The Evolution of Mara Dyer? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.


  1. Haha...that's okay. You're forgiven. :) I really hope you check them out, because I've really enjoyed this series so far. I definitely understand not wanting to add more to the mountain that is the TBR list. I've been trying to only add ones I'm really excited about also, but I would definitely recommend checking this series out. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lark!

  2. Great review, Sandy! I haven't read either book (and yes, I know, I read the spoiler, but really, it didn't spoil much for me), but you've almost convinced me to try them. And I'm trying really hard not to add too many new books to my way-overloaded TBR list!