Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 23, 2012)
Series: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer #2
Source: Purchased from Books-A-Million
Cover: I don't think this cover is as beautiful as the first but it is pretty darn close. It works well for the essence of the story and I love the vivd blue color. The only thing I can't stand is the matte type of paper it is printed on. While it looks amazing, I can't stand the touch of it. So beautiful cover but I don't like to touch it.
First Sentence: You will love him to ruins.
Mini-Review: A sexy stunner that is even more unforgettable than the first!
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?Review:
I was worried about this second novel mostly because of my intense surprise and love of the first Mara Dyer book. There was so much build up and tension in the first novel that I wasn't sure if this one could live up to it. I found myself about halfway and suddenly I had more questions than when I started and I realized that every worry I had was unfounded.
I think I went through the natural progression with this novel. At first, I was really frustrated with it. Frustrated with the characters, with where the story was going and with all the things I didn't understand. But as it kept moving, I realized I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be as anger as Mara was with her family for not believing her and I was also supposed to be as frustrated as Mara was with herself for not knowing what was real and what she might be hallucinating. For understanding that something awful was happening to her on top of something else awful happening to her and she has no answers. I think Mara definitely became my favorite character in here because she made the most sense to me. She was coping with so much internally as well as externally and the fact that she held it together, that she had to hold it together, was incredible.
I also liked that she didn't keep any secrets from Noah. A lot of the time the main character likes to withhold things from their love interest for the sake of tension but I was glad that Mara was smart enough to know that she could rely on Noah. Even if he didn't always go along with exactly what she believed, he did believe that she was experiencing the things she told him and I'm glad that this bond they built in the first novel didn't get torn apart in the second one.
It was actually Noah who frustrated me more this time around. I think we were supposed to and I understood his reasoning but I still wish he'd been a little more open the way Mara was. I guess their relationship felt a little one sided. However, as the novel kept going, it felt wonderful to get into Noah's head a little bit with that journal Mara found. Hearing his thoughts and finally having him say his wishes made it a lot easier to connect with him again and made it more believable for Mara to lean on him. I was kind of angry in the beginning when neither Mara or Noah would cherish the moments they have together so I was glad when that barrier was finally removed. I also think that will make them stronger in the final novel (regardless of what the ending was).
The flashbacks and the plot had me very confused basically the entire time. But not confused because of the writing. Confused because of the narrator. At the heart of this novel, we have an unstable narrator. Mara wants to know the truth, to find the answers, but there is also something taking over her. Whether its a demon or a "gift" or a gene that runs in her family, she is changing. And those changes are making her more unreliable. So things that we think happen, that she believes happened sometimes haven't and sometimes the things that seemed the most unbelievable are the things that actually have happened. This ambiguity, this not knowing, is what makes the story so unputdownable. By the time I got about 200 pages from the ending I was killing myself to race to the end and figure out what the heck is happening. This isn't to say that the first 300 pages weren't interesting. The book just picked up and rocketed to a conclusion by the second half of the book.
As before, sometimes I would just stop and marvel in the beauty of Hodkin's prose which explains the long list of favorite lines at the bottom. I know this is an odd sort of thing to think about but I thought that where one chapter ended and the second began was placed well. It kept me reading "just one more" when I should have gone to bed. I did miss Mara's bond with her family who took a backseat to the plot this time so I hope we get to see more of them in the next novel. I also hope that if they ever find out Jude is alive they give Mara a huge hug and sob at her feet for being so right.
With the mystery of what is happening to Mara, Noah and the rest of the kids deepening as well as the dangerous situations they are finding themselves in, I found that this novel was even better than the first one. Mara definitely became one of my favorite characters ever because of how fiercely she loves her family and how strong she's become. Thanks to a plot that has more twist and turns than a dance floor and characters I'm completely invested in, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is one heck of a thrill ride from page one until the shocking conclusion.
So I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, like I was preparing to launch myself off of a cliff. In a way, I guess I was.--Pg. 18 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
"Sometimes, Noah, I feel an overwhelming urge to punch you in the face."--Pg. 57 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
"The people we care about are always worth more to us than the people we don't."--Pg. 58 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
Time was supposed to heal all wounds, but how could it when Jude kept picking the scab?--Pg. 127 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
Daniel shook his head sadly. "I hate that I never managed to persuade you to watch Buffy. It's a flaw in you, Mara."--Pg. 141 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
I felt and probably looked like a wild thing while Noah kneeled there like an arrogant price. Like the world was his, should he choose to reach out and take it.--Pg. 226 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
I'll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.--Pg. 258 of "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin
"...I would rather die with the taste of you on my tongue than live and never touch you again. I'm in love with you, Mara. I love you. No matter what you do."--Pg. of 348 "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin