Monday, December 10, 2012

(Review) The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #2
Published: October 23, 2012 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Rating: Stay Up 'til 2 AM
Format: Digital ARC from publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!)
Summary: 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?

*Warning: This review contains mild spoilers for the first in the series. Do not read unless you have read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

What a tremendous in second installation in the trilogy! Although I was captivated by the first book in the series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, it fell short in some ways for me. Evolution, however, exceeded my expectations. It was slightly less creepy, which I appreciated, but still just as thrilling and intense. (Seriously. I was alone in the house, curled up into a breathless, tension-filled ball on the downstairs couch for most of it. When I did finish it, my bladder was about to explode, and it was 2 hours past my normal dinner time. Talk about unputdownable!)

Interestingly, I liked almost all the characters better in this book than the first one. Noah was definitely the biggest one. I really tried to like him in Unbecoming because I kept seeing people talk about how amazing he was, but although he had some redeeming qualities, I was less than impressed. In Evolution, though, I grew to love him a lot more. He finally had some depth as a character and acted a lot less like a boy I'd like to punch in the face. I also liked Jamie more in this book; he annoyed me before.

The relationship between Mara and Noah was developed in a way that made me root for them. Although they displayed some codependency, which is popular in YA novels and always annoys me, they were also in nowhere near normal circumstances. Therefore, I could excuse it. They also had some pretty darn swoon-worthy scenes and sexual tension for a YA book, too. Loved it!

Story-wise, this book had some crazy twists and turns! There were some I saw coming and still jumped when they happened. If Hodkin excels at anything, it is writing jaw-dropping, hit-you-over-the-head, OH-MY-GOD-DID-I-REALLY-JUST-READ-THAT-RIGHT scenes.

If the trilogy keeps improving like this, I cannot wait to see what is in store in the concluding book, The Retribution of Mara Dyer (out WAY WAY FAR AWAY D: Summer 2013)!

Random note: I did not notice #213 in this book. I wonder if all the uses of it in Unbecoming were just coincidence, or if it is going to come into play in the next book?

How about an Obi-Wan slash Gandalf slash Dumbledore slash Giles?

Sometimes the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.

Just because you can’t prove something doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

“We’re only seventeen.”
“Fuck seventeen. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”

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