Monday, October 22, 2012
ARC Review: "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
From Goodreads: "Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
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 is admittedly a bit jumpy and erratic, but I figure that fitting for "Mara", no? ;)
Admittedly I was quite on the fence about "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer"- while I on the whole enjoyed the first 3/4 I didn't enjoy the last 1/4 near as much, which I think is attributed to the genre. I had been under the impression that TUoMD was a contemporary thriller of sorts, however, a speculative fiction story line was also thrown into the mix, which, at the time, was anything but what I wanted. That being said, while reading this book I really enjoyed the speculative fiction aspect of it, which is partly attributable to having had quite a bit of time to process it and thereby come to terms with it and also because I believe that it was ferreted out much better than in its predecessor- questions were answered with answers, not with more questions (which seems to be the trend in YA).
I don't know if these books are the most genius thing I have ever read before or the most cracked out- from flashbacks to India, to a creepy doll, to residents at a psychiatric hospital. At any given time I admittedly only understood between 27.8% and 43.4% of what was going on. But what I do know is that these books are utterly addicting. It becomes evident that the books biggest weakness is also its biggest strength- in not knowing exactly what the book is about the reader feels the need that they HAVE to finish it (and finish it quickly, after all, the quicker you finish it, the sooner your burning questions will be answered).
That being said, prepare yourself... This book not being as much of a 'kissing' book than the first was, an aspect which I think that we all enjoyed (as I can recall I described Noah as 'sex-on-legs' in my review of "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer"). However, it is still enjoyable without all of the obvious romance. If I had to describe Noah and Mara's relationship in this book I would say that it is beyond romantic (despite said lack of kissing), but on the other it was utterly dysfunctional- Noah is willing to do anything, even risk his own sanity, to save Mara's. Either way it truly is the cherry on the top of this book.
Aside from Noah and Mara's relationship another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the reintroduction of Jamie. I was a huge Jamie fan in the first book and therefore was devastated when his time was cut short in TUoMD, however in this book we not only see a lot of him, but he plays a hugely instrumental role.
All in all, it becomes evident that Michelle has grown tremendously as an author between this and TUoMD- this is truly a keeper, I will be adding a finished copy to my shelves! Therefore I obviously cannot wait to see what Michelle has in store for us in the third book in the series, "The Retribution of Mara Dyer" (especially with the ending of this book which rips your heart out- I'm going to suggest that you have a box of Kleenex on hand)!
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.