Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 10/23/12
Dates Read: 12/03/17 – 12/07/17
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I almost decided to hold off on a review of this one until I have read the entire series. I feel that judging one installment of a series is tough, since it is not meant to be stand-alone text. I also feel that I have wavered in my opinion of this series over the course of the first two installments and I need to read the third to really solidify my thoughts.
That being said… I will likely reevaluate my rating of this book after I have completed the series and devote a post/review to the series in its entirety. So bear with me as I sort through my scattered thoughts….
After reading the description and reviews, I told myself for months that I did not read to this one. The Twilight years have come and passed and I’m wasn’t sure I wanted to turn back. However, I kept hearing mixed reviews and I always like to make my own judgement, so I decided to give the series a ‘go’.
I would hope that if you have not read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1), you would not be reading a review for the second installment, but hey, you never know… so I will warn you now of spoilers for the first book in this series.
When we left Mara at the end of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she was standing in the middle of a police station in complete shock over the sighting of her (supposedly) dead ex-boyfriend, Jude. When we join her story again in The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2), she is waking up in a psychiatric ward. Obviously things did not go well after the dead-ex-boyfriend-sighting.
Unsurprising to readers, Mara’s family and doctors believe that her sighting of Jude is another side effect of her PTSD following the traumatic events that caused the death of her best friend Rachel, Jude, and Jude’s sister, Claire. This is completely understandable, as Mara has been experiencing increasingly paranormal, strange, and unusual events throughout the series thus far, causing her family’s concern for her emotional well-being has reached new heights. I mean, we are talking about an event where biological evidence of Jude’s death was found at the scene of the event… This wasn’t a questionable death with a lack of forensic evidence.
Things continue to get WEIRD from this point on…
Bloody messages on mirrors. Dead animals. Strange memories in the form of dreams. Mara can’t catch a break and Noah, her boyfriend, is doing all he can to help protect her. But will it be enough? Does Mara have problems that are beyond the reach of Noah’s need to fix things? Is there an explanation for their peculiar abilities?
Yes, this storyline gets down and dirty in the realm of unrealistic. I understand this is a paranormal novel with touches of horror and psychological thriller. Yes, it paints a picture of all the YA stereotypes that we have seen over and over again. Yes, Noah is a little too Fifty Shades meets Edward Cullen for me. However, you can throw all the want… this book is without-a-doubt a major page-turner. I sit with my brows furrowed, confused and bewildered, sometimes shaking my head at the absurdity of the events… But I cannot for the life of me put the book down. Hodkin has a way of roping you in and not letting go. It’s weird and I love it.
My biggest complaint is that the “twisty-ness” of the ending is not as neat and cohesive as I would like. I love when there is a shocking turn-of-events in a novel and I can go back to the beginning and see signs that I totally missed and brilliant, seamless stitching that the author used to piece together that big “GOTCHA” moment at the end. I just didn’t feel it on this one. No, I wasn’t expecting the ending. I wasn’t expecting that turn-of-events. But I also felt like it was some-what pulled out of thin air and the author just made it work.
And yet I soldier on….
I did not even question whether or not I would be reading the third installment. No question. I will finish this one out, because MH is an entertainer for sure and I’m interested to see where she goes with this.
I will revise my review and update my thoughts on this series after I have read the final chapter.
..catch you on the flip side.