Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer
(Mara Dyer #2)
Published By: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date:  October 23, 2012
Page Count: 544
Source:  Book Purchased by Reviewer
  Audience:  Young Adult - Paranormal 

My review for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) 

I cannot fathom how a second book in a trilogy or series with so many questions left unanswered can still count as one of my top reads for this year, but sure enough, The Evolution of Mara Dyer did just that!  In fact, I loved the second book even more than the first, which isn't very typical of that middle book.  While some questions from the first book were answered, there were more mysteries introduced as the plot got even thicker with its sequel. 

The second book picks up soon after the events of the first with Mara dealing with the repercussions of her guilty conscience and being totally blind-sided by the appearance of someone from her past who should be dead.  Of course, if you've read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, you know who I'm talking about.  This sets Mara and Noah up to solve the mysteries of what she thinks she saw while still figuring out their abilities and grappling with what is real and what might be delusion.

Mara continues to be one of my favourite heroines.  Her dialogue is consistently real and honest.  I always look for character growth in a great protagonist, and Mara hasn't disappointed me yet.  She is not perfect but she continues to grow in confidence and in the security of what she and Noah have with each other. While I don't always agree with the decisions she makes (only because I, as the reader, have the vantage point of seeing the bigger picture), I understand why she acts upon her instincts.  She admits to being selfish where Noah and her family is concerned, and I could never hold that against her. 

Mara is worried about losing herself, but I don't think she needs Noah to remind her of who she is.  She never acted out of character despite all the craziness in her life...she never did anything that left me scratching my head or planting a seed of doubt that she's losing herself.  For example, and in the spirit of not being too spoilery, Mara does something that might be construed as breaking a trust, but she immediately owns up to it even when it's obviously not going to be the easier road to take.  I admired that in her.  Mara's actions were always relatable and understandable given the extraordinary situations she finds herself in.

Another aspect I loved about this second book is that we learn a lot more about Noah.  There's many more layers to Noah than what Mara sees on the surface.  The author cleverly gives us, and Mara, a glimpse into Noah's thoughts and inner-workings without mechanically changing points of view.  We learn a little bit more about his back-story and how he feels about Mara, even when he seems distant towards her.  As much as Noah is strong, he is human and has his insecurities as well.  And as Noah's feelings for Mara develop, so does his protectiveness of her grow with it...and unfortunately, his vulnerabilities and the guilt he feels when he believes he's failed her.  Despite all of Mara's baggage, she is still the bright spot in his life and he'll do everything in his power to keep her safe.  He continues to be a favourite fictional love-interest!

I admire Noah's convictions too.  Despite his prior reputation, he refuses to give into temptation when he and Mara begin to turn up the heat...but not until she is free of her demons first.  But let me tell you...these two certainly put the ZZ's in SIZZLE without doing much more than kissing.  The chemistry between these two is off the charts!  There is no lacking in that department.

Noah's faith in Mara never seems to waver, and I never got the sense that he is blindly in love with her.  He knows exactly what he's getting into with Mara.  They compliment each other and ground each other.

There is so much I love about this story thus far, one of which is that Mara and Noah didn't go off in different directions fighting the same cause.  They fought the very people and circumstances trying to force them apart...together. 

I still adore Mara's family despite their being oblivious to the fact that there is something apparently supernatural going on...they remain very supportive and concerned (understandably) in Mara's well-being.  One of the most touching scenes I read thus far in this series was when Daniel, Mara's older brother, shared his thoughts and feelings about her in her group therapy session.  I wanted to hug him.  Mara really needed to hear that.

And another aspect I loved about this book was that another love interest wasn't introduced, because if he were, it would have just cluttered this story unnecessarily and bring it down.  The story remained tight and fast paced while still being deliciously creepy and engrossing.  The plot kept my brain constantly grinding out theories concerning the mysteries behind Mara's and Noah's abilities and the origins of those 'gifts' and how they interconnected.  It's one of those books that's hard to put down and dinner might have been late a couple of the nights while reading this one in particular.  Michelle Hodkin did not disappoint with this second book.  I was utterly captivated and sucked in.  The last 30 intense pages absolutely blew my mind, along with another cliffhanger that left me screaming for the next book!  As haunting and suspenseful as its predecessor, it packed a powerful punch, loaded with tons of sizzling romance as well.  I couldn't ask for anything more...except the next book...in my hands...right now!


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?



18 comments:

  1. I had no urge to read this series before but this book sounds like it might be as good as or better than the first so I think I'm going to take the plunge.

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    1. I seriously hope you do, Karen! I loved it even more than "The Unbecoming..."!!

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  2. I'm so glad you like this book- and I'm beyond relieved that there is no new love interest introduced. That would have bugged me. I loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer partly because I loved reading about Noah and Mara. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I forgot about this series for a while but as soon as I saw this post I realized how much I need to read the sequel. So thanks for the review!

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    1. Hey P.E.! I'm so glad that your coming across my review spurred your interest in reading its sequel! I don't think you'll be disappointed one iota! It was fabulous as you could tell! ;) Let us know what you think when you do read it!

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  3. It's been a while since I read the first book, so I can't remember all the details, but now I'm definitely intrigued to refresh my memory and check out this second one!

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  4. I cannot wait to start this one. I hope to get to it before the end of the year...gah!!! I loved the first and have heard nothing but great things about this sequel.

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  5. It is hard to remember the details with these books...but I won't mind rereading! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. This is a captivating series!! What I adore is the characterization and the creepy stuff:)

    Lovely review:)

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  7. Ah! I haven't read book 1 yet. I need to buy both of these immediately- I've been meaning to read them for months. Great review, even if it reminds me how far behind I am with some things :P

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  8. Loved the first books and have to get started on this one soon. Isn't the cover too good for words...

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  9. The Mara Dyer books ARE a little creepy but really awesome...and very involving! I'll be rereading these before book 3 comes out for sure!

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  10. I loved the first book in this series. It was dark and creepy. And I am so excited about reading this second book. I can't wait to hurry up and get it in my hands already. Especially now after your review!

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  11. I ADORE this series so far!! It IS dark and creepy too! Delicious!

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  12. Thanks for the review. I haven't read the first book, but seeing as this isn't a sophomore slump, I may go and purchase it.

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  13. I am in love with this trilogy (And Noah). I actually finished this book last night and it was incredible. I could not get enough of Noah. I love that he didn't lose faith in Mara and he stuck by her side no matter what. Sigh, I need the next book too.

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  14. I want this series in my collection! I like the story and it is creepy. My kind of book!

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  15. Thanks everyone for you great comments! And I hope you enjoy this great read when you do get to it!

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