The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)FeaturedHot
As soon as I started reading I was taken on a journey through every emotion I have. I was so worried about Mara and I had no idea if half the stuff she saw was real or not real. I could FEEL it. How many books can you say that about? How many books can you actually feel like you are the character, or at least right there with the character? My word, Ms. Hodkin, what a fantastic job! The relationship between Mara and Noah (*fans self*) is so achingly real, I could hardly take it. Seeing how much Noah wants to help Mara and how worried he is about her, just took my breath away. So beautifully written. And by no means is their relationship perfect. There is angst there my friends.
Without giving away any spoilers, I do just want to say this. Prepare yourself for the last page. You definitely want to be sitting down and when you're done, let me know because I need to TALK about it! That's all I'll say because I don't want to give it away.
Now I have to wait for the third book and I'm not going to be patient. Until then, I will keep talking about this series and recommend that you all read it. It's so good and I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Michelle Hodkin has written a sequel that is a creeptastic mix of psychological torment, humor and heart-aching romance. It left me slightly confused (Real? Or not real?) a little bit wary (I don't know if I like where this is going...*chews nails*) and sucking all the air out of the room while clutching my chest and shrieking, "OMG! DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN?! Because...Because...I.CAN'T.EVEN!" at the end. (I'm convinced Michelle Hodkin is trying.to.kill.me via book heart attack or at least cause me to have a nervous breakdown but I'm completely OK with this.)
If you loved Unbecoming, you will no doubt love Evolution as well and find it hard to put down. (I know I did.) Mara's family dynamic takes center stage and I still wish Daniel was real so I could adopt him as MY big brother. Some questions are answered but new ones also arise leaving one to question the sanity of everyone. (yourself included) The romance between Mara and Noah is as *face fanning* as ever and we get to see parts of Noah Shaw that will make you fall more in love with him (if that's even possible) and has very little to do with the fact that he's shirtless. Seriously, he's so swoon worthy it's painful at times.
Old friends mix with new ones which, when combined with the plot twists and turns, makes for one crazy and mind blowing ride. (I was happy to see one of those friends in particular and as usual *they* were FANTASTIC!) Just when you think you have this story all figured out, Hodkin delivers a cliffhanger that will shock.the.beejezus out of you! It will also leave you craving the third book which I need like, yesterday. ;)
Mara and Noah continue to dig deeper into finding out why Mara is the way she is while her family continues to think she's suffering from PTSD caused by the collapse of the building and death of her friends from book one. Oh, if only they knew.
Mara is convinced she saw Jude and that he is alive. She knows he is out there, but at the same time is also doubting herself. Is Jude really alive? Or is she really crazy? That's part of the beauty of Michelle's writing. We don't know ourselves either. Because we're being told the events from Mara's perspective, she could very well have gone off the deep end and is dragging us right along with her. Or, Jude is really alive and she's in serious danger.
Either way, The Evolution of Mara Dyer grabs a hold of you and refuses to let go. The pacing is fabulous. I never felt bored or any "come on, get one with it" moments. The scenes are full of detail and imagery. The characters are fabulous - can I just say how much I love Jamie? The romance is hot and electric (and not as overpowering as it was in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer). The mind fucks are still fucking with my mind.
This series is all I could have hoped for and more. The danger/horror is subtle. It's not in your face and it's not obvious. I'm a huge sucker for that type of horror. For me, that's scarier than staring at the guy with a knife outside my window. You don't know! You just don't know what is going to happen and when. I've got a pretty good idea what the guy with the knife is going to do, but I don't know what the maybe dead guy or the possibly crazy chick is going to do next.
I really struggled with this review as there were so many aspects of The Evolution of Mara Dyer that I want to discuss, but those aspects are also HUGE spoilers. One of the things I highly enjoyed about this novel is everything I read was a surprise. I hadn't read any reviews that hinted at this or that, so every occurrence of OMG was just that - OMG!
If you read and loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, you'll definitely enjoy The Evolution of Mara Dyer. If you read and were iffy about the first book, this book will make you a fan. And if you haven't read the first book? Well, I'm not exactly sure what you're waiting for.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is in a way, completely different from book one. The Unbecoming set up the story, gave us a romance and a mystery, and set us on our way for the sequel. The Evolution throws us right into the action and the rest is spent guessing what if and asking why? to a number of things. I thought book two was even better than book one. I could not. Stop. Reading. It was all I could think about for the four days it took to read. I thought it was paced a bit quicker than the previous books, and the mystery. And the romance. And ALL THE THINGS.
I did not know what was going to happen. At all. I'd guess and then I'd be wrong. I'd start to doubt sanity along with Mara just to find out the opposite. Or the truth would become a lie would become truth. This book is just mind bending, guys. I went through an extreme range of emotions throughout the expanse of the novel. There were moments where I just wanted to scream in rage because of the characters in the book, namely Mara's mother and some other choice people. Noah made me swoon. Of course. And there were some moments that just broke my heart.
Overall, an excellent, if even better, sequel to a book that was already amazing. If you thought the first book was kind of creepy, then you're in for a boatload of insanity with this one. I just don't know what to think anymore. I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything.
Unlike most of my friends, I felt rather tepid toward The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer. Was it entertaining? Yes it was, but it wasn't as amazing as most of my friends had suggested. I was a bit skeptical about reading The Evolution Of Mara Dyer because I had such mixed feelings regarding the 1st book. Despite my skepticism, I really enjoyed The Evolution Of Mara Dyer and I definitely believe that this is a sequel that surpasses it's predecessor.
One of my major complaints with The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer was how scantily Hodkin spread the paranormal and horror aspects in her book. Immediately from the first few pages, Hodkin made good on her promise to deliver a compelling, paranormal novel. I can honestly say that I was utterly creeped out several times while reading this novel. All of the tense, ominous horror was absolutely perfect in this novel and was essential in keeping me turning the pages.
When I read The Unbecoming, I was so focused on Noah's snarky attitude and behaviour. Strangely this time around, I wasn't as amused by Noah's antics and I didn't find his demeanor to be humorous. Noah comes from an extremely affluent, wealthy family and so Noah has more money than he could ever spend. Throughout the novel, Noah spends money like there's no tomorrow trying to solve Mara's dilemmas. Whenever Noah and Mara got into a bind, it seemed as if all Noah had to was spread some cash around and everything was alright. This just isn't realistic; money can't buy everything! Sure, money can be used to purchase so many necessities, but it isn't the solution to every single problem that comes your way in life. I felt the fact that Noah and Mara were so reliant on money to solve their problems acted as a bad message to readers. I know Noah's wealth is part of who he is, but I wish Hodkin had toned down Noah's use of $ to solve problems. There were several instances where the plot could have been benefited by further conflicts, but instead Hodkin took the easy way out by having Noah bribing someone.
Mara has become such an interesting character to read about and she has truly evolved since book 1. I loved how Hodkin created such a conflicted, unreliable narrator that is shrouded in mystery. I really wanted to see what laid behind the peculiar aura that surrounded Mara. Reading about Mara's inner fight with reality and her perception of it was a strange, but extremely rewarding experience. Hodkin hit the nail on the head with writing an unreliable narrator and I went through periods of time, trying to decide whether Mara wasn't distorting the story. Even though I wasn't 100% on Mara's reliability, I empathized with her easily and almost immediately. This was such a change for me because I wasn't a huge fan of Mara in book #1.
I quickly read The Evolution Of Mara Dyer, even though it spans over 500 pages. I was compelled to read further in the novel due to an unbearable urge to find out what happened next. I loved the balance of horror, paranormal, and romance elements in this book; I think Hodkin used a terrific formula when crafting this novel. I couldn't bear to stop reading this book and I had to read this book sneakily while I was at work because I was so addicted. I am so impressed with The Evolution Of Mara Dyer and how quickly my opinion of this series has changed because of this engrossing installment. I am definitely one of the many people who are eagerly awaiting The Retribution Of Mara Dyer. I am extremely glad that I decided to pick up The Evolution Of Mara Dyer and I would even highly recommend it to people who were indifferent to The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer, is probably the most apt title. Mara Dyer finds out a lot of things about herself. She changes so much and comes to terms what's going on in her head, and she also gets too freaking cute with Noah (beautiful disaster) Shaw. I really love how this series is changing, and where it's going, and I can't wait for the third installment
Okay, I can see her side of things. She doesn't want people to think she's any crazier than they already do. That's fair. I couldn't get on board with her hiding every single little thing from everyone but Noah, though. Honestly, Mara, did you have to hide the dead cat from your family? That seems a bit extreme. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think their first assumption would be that you did it yourself. And the sleepwalking? That is a legit thing that's happening so I think it'd be okay to tell at least someone.
I will say the pacing was good and the suspense was great. I didn't really think Mara was truly going mad, but I could still see her slow spiral into inner craziness. This just keep getting crappier and more confusing for her, so it's definitely justifiable. The last 50ish pages, my heart was pounding and I couldn't read fast enough. I needed to know what would happen next. I even stayed up until 4:30 in the a.m. to finish.
And what a finish it was. One the one hand, I really like the direction Hodkin is taking the unexplained powers(is that really the word for it?) thing. On the other hand, I'm really, really glad I waited until this year to read it. Hodkin is definitely a master of cliffhanger endings.
The Nutshell: While I enjoyed Evolution I wasn't quite as big of a fan as I was with Unbecoming. I didn't feel as completely in the dark as I had with book 1 and that was part of the fun. Mara also grated on my nerves a bit and I called one of the big reveals early on. I'm still really looking forward to the next book and can't wait to see what Hodkin has in store for Mara next.
Just as amazing as the first, if not better. I was so stunned and overwhelmed, that I don't think I will be okay until the next one is out. I mean, people, this book don't mess around with your feelings.
I'd like to give a legit review, but for some reason my brain can't process the everything about this book and the massive expanse of time until the next one is out.
So, a few key reasons why you should read this series.
1. Noah Shaw and all his adorable problems. (The amount of times I caught myself grinning at this book is alarming).
2. All of Mara's paranormal musings. (I love hearing her thoughts. They're actually interesting).
3. Daniel and Joseph. (Wishing I had this relationship with my brother).
4. Jude's creepy ass. (He scares me).
5. Jamie. (The sweetest thing).
6. Noah. (He keeps you coming back for more).
So yeah. Read this.
The book starts with Mara being committed to a Psychiatric Unit. The doctors release her but she ends up at a treatment facility and Noah joins her. They believe that Jude will stay away from them for a while. But Michelle Hodkin had other plans. Long story short, the Mara Dyer series begins with the collapse of the asylum and so far the story ends with another collapse. And people die….or maybe not? (Cliffhanger …I hate those.)
Mara is looking for answers. She is a complicated character. Most of the time she's afraid and desperate but there are also moments where she's a whole new person. Strong, fearless, determined and dangerous.
Noah is…well Noah. The same guy that we fell in love in the first book. He's Mara's shelter, her family knows it and that's why he's spending his nights at Mara's house. He's kind, gentle and romantic. He planned this ridiculously romantic getaway in a private island for him and Mara.
His voice was quieter, now.
“What do you want?”
“You.” Always you.
“You have me,” he said, his eyes meeting mine. “You inhabit me.”
“Now you're just being cruel."
“I like pushing your buttons.”
“You'd enjoy it more if you undid them first.”
He could almost be described as the perfect boyfriend. ALMOST. And thats because he has his dark side as well. He had nobody to show him how his ability worked and he doesn't want that for Mara. That's why he's with her in every step of the way and of course because he's madly in love with her.
Just like what I wrote for my review title: It's getting beter and better.
Evolution picks up a couple days after the ending events in Unbecoming. Mara is clearly disheveled and trying to grasp all that is going on all at once. Her family comes together to try and get her back to the healthy girl she once was and enrolls Mara into a place for teens; a psychiatric clinic. Here she is supposed to work on her issues with PTSD and other things. But, as the story goes on, we begin to learn more and more about Mara, her family, her surroundings, and Noah.
So many times throughout this book I had to stop and take a breather. Because guys, I was literally in amazement. Like I really could not believe what I was reading. (Don't believe me? Check out my GoodReads updates here...) This book will totally leave you in awe. Not only because of the weird paranormal events, but the sheer awesomeness of Hodkin's writing.
If you know me, you know that I LIVE off books with details. Not too many to just be made of fluff, but enough to get my heart pounding when a scary scene comes or to get me all swoony when a romantic or really sweet part comes along. And that's exactly what Hodkin did. I was on the edge of my seat for most of this story just from being pulled into Mara's mind. So many chilling events had me so in awe that I was complaining to my boyfriend that I wouldn't be right after I finished this one. And the fact that everything ties together makes it even more enjoyable. For example, just Google Mara's middle name and you will know exactly what I mean. I was intrigued by it and did it and I was seriously sitting slack jawed for a full ten seconds. Guys, this book is seriously creepy, but I enjoyed every SECOND of it.
But, just like last time, the part I loved most was Noah Shaw. Gah so many swoon worthy moments in this book! You can tell how much I loved those moments too by my status updates. He definitely clinched his spot as my all time favorite book boyfriends with that "Birthday do over" scene. With that being said, I do NOT believe the ending of this book. It just CANNOT be. Hodkin would NOT do that to me her readers! And as if that wasn't enough, that cliff hanger was bananas too.
I guess its safe to say.... After reading this..... Mind = BLOWN!
The blurb is as mysterious as the first book's, but I love this book so much. I'm probably gonna go and reread it a couple of times now. And freak out about the awesomeness of the incroyable book I just devoured in one all nighter. Anyway, on to the technicality review stuff.
Plot: It can get a little confusing, but as long as you either are a very thorough reader or go back and reread the confusing parts you should be fine. The plot itself is amazing. It was quite emotional and you could really see the depth of the characters. It was sort of depressing, but Noah makes it all better
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is freaking nuts. I was up super late last night and I legitimately had to turn the lights on in the other room because I was so freaking creeped out. And I had to leave them on ALL NIGHT. The Evolution of Mara Dyer is literally some of the scariest shit I’ve read. Like mysterious dolls, stalkers, sleep walking, knives, you name it.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer has it all.
But we get some much needed answers in The Evolution of Mara Dyer…which of course leaves us with a billion and twelve more questions. Not to mention DYING for the third book because holy what the what the what.
And the SWOON. I wasn’t super impressed with Noah in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, although granted I just got back from living in London for six months and all British guys had momentarily lost any swoon from me. But MY GOD Noah is just jfe[aijfoeafaei in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. IOJFEAJFIEIAOI to the max. For two people who barely kiss, there is a lot of OIFEJAFEA;OIFEA in this one. I mean, wow. And normally I would probably be like really they love each other already whatevvvvss, but it totally works in this book and I didn’t even care because it’s freaking Mara and Noah and they’re meant to be, obviously.
Did I mention the major creep factor? And the AWESOME storyline? I really enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I think this one was way more up my alley. I loved the intense psychological thriller aspect because we’re still in the midst of figuring out if Mara is just a legit psycho or if this shit is real and man, I love wondering that kind of stuff while reading a book. I love unreliable narrators and Mara Dyer is the freaking queen.
Gah, that brings me to the characters. I JUST CAN’T. I love Mara Dyer’s family to bits. Her parents, who love her so much even though she’s cray, and her brothers and how well they all fit together even though their personalities are all over the place but they still remain fairly stable despite, as I mentioned, the fact that Mara is cray. And Mara, of course, is AWESOME. She’s headstrong and stubborn and so complicated. She is the very definition of a beautifully complex character. I don’t think, even after finishing this series, I will ever know everything about Mara because there are so many aspects of her. She’s such an evolving character but she still has so much personality. Mara Dyer is definitely a protagonist that will stick with me for a very long time.
So yeah. Basically I loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. She really kicked it up a notch with this book, I thought. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was such a page-turner, even at over 500 pages or something ridiculous, but I had to force myself to stop reading and go to work. I could not wait to get back to it. And even now, after finishing it nearly twenty-four hours ago, I can’t stop thinking about The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I might even reread it because I kind of just want to live her world for a little bit longer.