Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading .... The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Just Finished Reading .... The Evolution of Mara Dyer


The Evolution of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin
Published by Simon and Schuster BFYR
on October 23, 2012

Source: book swap with a friend





Possible minor spoilers for book one. But since in this series, you never know what's real and who's reliable, you may not even notice!

Mara Dyer has been through a lot. In book one, she's moved to Florida in the aftermath of the death of her ex-boyfriend and his sister in an accident -- for which Mara holds herself responsible. She thinks she has special powers. Or maybe she's just crazy. She's also trying to figure out her relationship with the insufferably rich, insufferably handsome, insufferably confident Noah.

As book two opens, Mara's getting help. Psychiatric help. Let's just say she and a shrink should have a boatload to talk about. Problem is, talk therapy doesn't seem to be working. Mara's convinced that her dead ex-boyfriend Jude is actually alive. She's getting creepy notes and bloody gifts, having strange dreams, and basically making everyone think she's gone off the deep end.

I loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer. In fact, I put it on my Favorite Paranormal Reads of 2012 post yesterday. And there's a giveaway!  Go enter and then hurry back, because there's lots to discuss...

To me, The Evolution of Mara Dyer was like a big, larger-than-life, overflowing bucket of crazy. I like books with unreliable narrators. In The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I wasn't sure if Mara was reliable or not. In this book, she seems like the sane one, while most of the secondary characters seem to have wandered off to the land of the what-the-hey.

Take Phoebe. She's a fellow patient in Mara's therapy group. She seems all innocent but she's actually super-creepy, and Mara doesn't trust her for a second. She's totally gaslighting Mara. Phoebe's good at playing the victim so that Mara is the one who looks guilty.

Then there's Jude. Is he real, or isn't he? Mara is convinced that he's alive and out to get her. If he is real, let's just say he should also check himself in for some intensive therapy.

And of course, Noah. He now seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder. The old I'm-All-That Noah has been replaced by a strange smotheringly overprotective Noah. He and Mara have developed this unbalanced relationship in which she's the demented damsel in distress and he constantly swoops in to her rescue. He's the only one who believes Mara. He's the fragile thread that connects her with her sanity. If that thread snaps ... watch out!

The ending. Okay, I've complained about cliffhanger fatigue. But for this book, the ending was perfect. I mean, I should have seen it coming. On the one hand, I wasn't that worried. But on the other, I can totally see Michelle Hodkin ending this trilogy with a mindblowing final twist, M. Night Shayamalan style.

I mean, in my experience, stories like this are not usually happily ever after. Just saying. Or maybe, like Phoebe, I'm just trying to mess with you. *evil laugh* I guess we'll have to wait to find out!

Try this series if you loved:


Shutter Island Tighter by Adele Griffin Gaslight

Have you read this one? Tell me what you think!  If you want to talk spoilers, email me!

30 comments:

  1. I read this a few days ago and I ABSOLUTELY loved it! It was a great addition to the series! :)

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  2. Great review! You pretty much summed up all the things and I love that you added a nice little evil laugh at the end because that fits The Evolution perfectly. It was filled with wonderful craziness!

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  3. Ahhh I just got this one and I am totally excited to read it!! I loved the first book and I have been dying to read this one.

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  4. Omg that sounds amazing!!! Really different to what i expected....poor Noah!!!

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    1. If you love Noah, you'll love it. If you didn't love Noah so much, he's showing a whole new side of himself!

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  5. Ok, ok. This is the second review I have read that is making me think I may need to give this series another try. Because I LOVE all the crazy, crazy, you know? If I can just get past my urge to punch Noah every time he opens his mouth...

    But YAY!! for informative reviews, I learned a new term today: gaslighting! I've not heard that yet and now I want to go watch that movie...:)

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    1. I also wanted to slap Noah most of the time in book one. In this book, I wanted to slap him and tell him to stop being so smotheringly lovesick.

      This book just worked better for me -- it was so out there!

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  6. Oh my gawd!!!! I had zero interest int his series before but I keep seeing these awesome reviews for the second book which almost NEVER happens.

    It sounds insane in a really good way.

    I have both books on my Christmas list. Fingers crossed!!!

    Awesome AWESOME review.

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    1. The second book seemed way more fun to me. I liked the first one, but this one had me flipping pages, cackling like I was the one who was crazy!

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  7. You are so right about the cray in this book. But I agree, it was fantastic. I'm ready for Mara to start taking charge, but I was thankful for at least one link to sanity (aka Noah). I get what you're saying about him, but I liked him better in this book over all. I thought he seemed more complicated and thus more human.

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    1. I'm thinking in the next book that either a) their relationship will become more equal or b) she'll just go even more crazy. Probably b) then a).
      But I'm still convinced that there might be a Big Twist!

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  8. I'm thinking this will be my next read! Great review Jen! I love that it's on your favorites for this year too!

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    1. I finished this the other night and I loved it! Can't wait for book 3! :-)

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  9. I came out the end of 'the unbecoming of mara dyer' firmly believing that she needed serious psychiatric help. I was really in two minds as to whether I even wanted to read this second book, especially as sometimes sequels are worse than the first book. Reading your review has totally changed my mind though, this actually sounds better than the first book! So glad that Mara is actually getting psychiatric help and her fellow patients sound like a hoot!
    Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  10. I both love and hate how the book is so crazy you don't even know if you can trust or believe the main character. I'm very curious to learn what is up with Jude. I really don't think Mara hallucinated him. But oh no! Another crazy cliffhanger ending. I hope the series has a happy ending.

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  11. Amazing Review Jen! I so need to read The Unbecomming and I really loved the first book a lot! :)
    Happy Reading :)

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  12. I can't wait to dive into this one and meet Phoebe and Jude and of course get more of Noah. Absolutely loved the first one and I just know I will the sequel as well. :)

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  13. I love unreliable narrators too. I really loathed Noah in the first book but I was caught by the killer cliffhanger and I'm interested to see what comes next. Also love your comparison to Gaslight-great film!

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  14. Okay, I seriously have got to start this series!

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  15. I fully intend to read this series in one big hit. I can be patient.

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  16. This sounds interesting. To be honest, I still have the first book on my shelf and have never read it yet. The summary sounded so vague! But after reading you review, I dunno, it kinda looks mysterious, and something I'd enjoy. :) Mara sounds crazy, but hey, I might like her! :D

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  17. Okay, so I think I talked about it here how I pretty much hated the first book but...GASLIGHTING!? Unreliable Narrator!? I love it! Has the second book managed to redeem the series for me? I have this sitting at work and I keep walking past giving it the side eye. Thanks for the ringing endorsement.

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  18. I have to read this one, but I think I need to reread the first book in the series first. I do enjoy cliffhangers, but I'm only okay with them when there's an actual resolution in a book -- I think books should all be able to stand on their own!

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  19. I still need to read book one, but I bought it the day it released..eer last year!

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  20. This is a series I've been meaning to get to for a while, but now I HAVE to read it because you compared it to Shutter Island. :)

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