Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Evolution of Mara Dyer Review: Mara

Book: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer
Standing: Book 2
POV: 1st person by Mara, present tense
Genre: YA paranormal, thriller

Source: Physical Copy
Pages: 528
Release: October 23rd, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Favourite Line: "This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me."

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb (Goodreads)
The truth about Mara Dyer's dangerous and mysterious abilities continues to unravel in the New York Times bestselling sequel to the thrilling The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. 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?


People told me not to read this at night. Clearly, I should have listened. I was up all night reading, and once I finished it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. THAT ENDING.

Disclaimer: if you haven't read the first book yet, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW. It's extremely hard to review this book, since everything that happens is based on the events of the ending of the last book.

Good? Good. Let's continue.

HOLY MOTHER OF HADES AND BACK. This book was disturbingly amazing.

The book picks up a day or two since the reeling revelation that Mara's ex-boyfriend, Jude, is alive. We get more gaps of memory, and Mara finds herself in a sticky situation. No one will believes that Jude is alive and trying to kill her, and thus her parents are forced to ship her to a mental residence. Mara needs to strategically figure a way to prove she's not crazy to get out of the institute so that she can go home and figure out how to prove Jude's alive, and to protect her family. But how do you do that when the powers you have are exactly what's keeping you in the mental hospital, and the person who's terrorizing you leaves no evidence?

There are all stories where main characters are warned off from exposing their powers, else they end up in an asylum. We all know of side characters like this: developing paranormal powers, unable to hide it, and thus gets shipped off to a mental institute. Moral for the main character is that he or she must keep their powers under control, but what if they can't? You get Mara. This is everyone's worst nightmare when it comes to powers: being shipped off to a mental institute, where they try to treat you for something you don't need treatment for. What do you do? Fake that you're getting better? Until events come in and ruin everything you've been working towards? That, my friends, is the very story of Mara in this book.

Mara is admitted into a home for "troubled teens" because she insists that her ex-boyfriend, Jude, is alive. So everyone chalks it up to be the crazy speaking. But Mara knows that Jude is very much alive, and she does everything she can to get out. Mara was a phenomenal actor, one who did her research. She knew what the psychologists were looking for, what they wanted to see, and thus was able to play strategically into their hands. For example...

[Question:] Do you lie or manipulate others when it suits your needs or to get what you want?
Often. "Rarely," I circled.

[Question:] Do you feel that the rules of society don't apply to you, and will you violate them to accomplish your goals?
Sometimes. "Never," I choose.

[Question:] Do you easily talk you way out of trouble without guilt?
Often. "Rarely."

I couldn't stop laughing here, because the irony. The irony! Mara played the psychologists like a pro. Her ability to lie through her teeth to a psychologist was awesome. The psychologists all say she's crazy. Fine. Mara plays it that way, and worms in that though she admits she's crazy, she desperately wants to do better. Which is ironic, because she's not crazy. Yet another cheerful reminder that the adult world simply refuses to acknowledge the supernatural and loves to through people into asylum and stuff them with meds. Because that clearly solves everyone's supernatural problems.

Noah. I fell in love with Noah Shaw even harder in this book. He has his own set of issues in this book. Though I wasn't too sure how I felt about him resorting to money to fix things in every situation, the things he did for Mara was astronomical. Noah and Noah alone believes Mara. He knows Jude is out there, he knows Jude is out to hurt her. So what does he do? Background checks, hiring private investigators, hiring security to watch and protect Mara, flying over the country to try to dig up information, everything. GUYS. Fine, Noah drops money like it's nothing, but he does for it for Mara and thus makes him one of my top good-guys in the history of good-guys. He cares for Mara, and will do anything he can for her.

This is definitely an emotional thriller of a read. They said Mara might show signs of being suspicious and paranoid? Those two words define me the entire book. God, here I was, reading, and suddenly I'd be like oh my god, Jude's going to be there, isn't he? Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod. And then he wasn't, or it was just a minor thing (which I was quick to jump to the conclusion that it was Jude's fault), or it was just Noah, and THE RELIEF. And then the cycle started all over again. And again. And again. I was frustrated with Jude just as much as Mara, afraid he was going to show up or do something drastic. And when he did... God, I was so paranoid and freaked out and scared of him by then. Just what was he capable of?

Mara is probably one of the most extremely unreliable narrators out there, making the book both intriguing and thrilling. Ever since the last book, the things Mara sees, I have to question whether she's hallucinating or if it's really happening. Mara doesn't know what's what, and neither do we. No one has answers, no one has explanations, and we're forced to believe what Mara does, because honestly, no one else is coming up with even near-logical explanations. Is it real? Is it not? What's going on??? Which is all part of the thrill of reading this book, however freaked out I got.

I honestly do not know what I would have done in Mara's situation. Would I have had in it me to pretend that yes, I need help, and yes, I'm getting better, when I'm actually thinking I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy. There's really a guy out to get me, and you're both in my way and protecting me from him! and the fact that I'm in an asylum means that no one will listen to a word I say, even i it's the truth? Nope. There would have been no way I could deal. So it's nice to read about someone who can.

The ending...well. PLOT TWISTS AGAIN. Let's just say I get to sit in silent agony while I hunt down the next book. Agony. Terror. And a vivid imagination. Yeah, I need the next book else I'm seriously going to end up in an asylum just like Mara...


  1. This book made me feel paranoid. It was disturbing, in a good way. Michelle Hodkin did an amazing job with this book. AND THE ENDING. Well that was an unexpected plot twist with agonizing cliffhanger!

    1. I completely get what you mean! I was paranoid the entire time, but in a good way! THAT ENDING. I don't even know what to do with myself now...

  2. This sounds thrilling and the cover is also gorgeous! I love novels with plot twists, I'll definitely add it to my TBR list :D

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

    1. Yes! The plot twist...I can't even express my feelings right now!!!

  3. I hear such mixed opinions about this series, some say it's too whiny and character is not likable and now I see you giving a five stars and from 'not to read' it just goes to 'have to read' confusing!

    1. Haha, I've heard the same things said about this book too. But I found the characters relatively realistic to their situations, which was why I enjoyed it. Hopefully you'll like it if you pick it up!

  4. I've heard SO much about this series!!! I really should start it one of these days. I took your advice and didn't read the review cus I didn't read the first one, though =p The blurb sounds amazing though!

  5. Ahh, you should read this series! It's both creepy and disturbing, but in a good way...