Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

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The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer, #2
Publication date: October 23rd 2012
by Simon & Schuster BfYR


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?

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

Well wasn’t this a pleasant surprise! After being hugely disappointed with the way the first book turned from fabulously creepy to annoyingly romancy, I did not hold very high hopes for its sequel–even though I was (obviously) curious enough by the ending to still be looking forward to it. As you can tell, I had a very up and down relationship with that book. Fortunately, this sequel rocked it way harder than I could have hoped for!

From terrifying hand-made dolls (Dolls. Are. Terrifying!), to dead crows dropping from the sky(!!!), to mental hospitals (the ones with the freaks!), The Evolution of Mara Dyer puts the creep in creepy! <–Win! I mean, someone watching her sleep! That has to give you the heebie-jeebies! (Hear that Mr. Cullen!!?) This part is was I enjoyed the most from the first book and was doubly glad to see again in an even higher degree in this sequel. The pacing was a great match as well with the perfect amount of spine chilling happenings that kept me positively glued to it all. To balance it out, we get some fantastic humor that made me burst into laughter more than once! I especially adore Jamie's sarcasm! Even Noah made me laugh – which is in high contrast to my initial reaction to him. And this time, the romance did not give everything else a back seat. It's still largely present, but, surprisingly, I even enjoyed that part!

The romance in the first book completely threw me off. I didn’t like the love interest; I got annoyed by Noah’s perfectness coupled with an arrogant attitude. But worst of all, a deliciously creepy plot was forgotten for this uninviting romance. So colour me surprised when I found myself pleasantly enjoying the romance in this installment. Not only did I not remember why I didn’t like Noah at first–which I’m sure helped a ton–it is kept a part of the plot, not squashing it. Plus, Noah’s character has clearly grown, he’s good to Mara. He grounds her when she’s feels she’s falling off the brink of insanity; I really liked that about him. I also thought the chemistry between the two was absolutely electric.

Another disappointment in the first Mara was the whole non-answer to her “power”. She just was. It felt so bland after all the scenarios I had been wildly imagining. I shouldn’t have come to such quick conclusions, however, as we delve into some very intriguing and super interesting plot development that gives a much more satisfying answer to that part of the story. Although we didn’t get all the answers in this one either, but at least I know there is one better than “just because”.

Aside from some blatantly obvious “twists” where I cursed Mara for not having put two and two together sooner, I highly enjoyed this sequel and I’m incredibly happy I gave it a try after my less than enthusiastic response to book 1. For fans of the first, you will love it I assure you, for non-fans of the first, you will more than likely love it too!

4 Hot Espressos
The Mara Dyer series:
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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37 Responses to “Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer”

  1. Megan K.

    I have to admit that TUoMD disappointed me a little, too (it was mostly the romance, really), but I’m so glad you found the sequel better! And wow, MARA DYER #2 puts the ‘creep’ in ‘creepy’? Awesome! Now I can’t wait to get started on it.

    Amazing review, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Aditi Gupta

    I just read a teaser from the blog tour of this book, and if that was not enough, your review totally pushed me into ordering this book!!
    I love creepy plots! And yes, looking at someone while they sleep is shiver-inducing!!
    Fantastic review! 🙂

  3. Aylee

    Ohh, excellent, so glad to hear this!! I felt the same way about the romance and Noah in the first book (I actually thought I was the only one considering people seemed to LOVE Noah), so I can’t tell you how nice and refreshing that is to hear! It is exactly what I was hoping to hear and now I am more excited than ever to get to this one!! YAY!! Thanks, Giselle!

  4. Amy

    AHHHH I need this book!! I have been like dying for it for months!! I actually really liked the first one. I’m so glad this comes out next week, though I think I am going to force myself to wait to buy it. I don’t have any time for it until December anyways. Great review chick! You have made me really want to get it and read it right away.

  5. Annette

    I feel like I missed something in the first book. I just didn’t think it was that earth-shattering, and didn’t think her “power” was all that surprising. I was surprised by the shocker ending, and I do want to read the second one someday. I’m glad you liked it better–it gives me hope. Thanks!

  6. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    I’m glad that this book turned out to be better than the first. I was so put out by it that I ended up not finishing the book, but now I might go back to it just so I can read book two and know what’s going on! 🙂

  7. AmyG@YA-Sisterhood

    I actually loved Noah in the 1st, but I like those type fictional boys! (not real ones though) But, I’m so glad you think this one is better than the 1st! I tend to not like 2nd books in a series, so this makes me super happy!!! I just bumped this up on my TBR!

  8. Christina

    Bahaha, blatantly obvious twists. I hate when that happens. I remember reading City of Ember and the kids spend like half the book puzzling over something that I figured out immediately. *headdesk*

    I have a copy of Unbecoming, which I hear I’ll hate, but I guess I’ll need to give the sequel a try too, since it’s apparently better.

  9. Soma Rostam

    Oh, I would love to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
    But sadly, there are no bookstores in Iraq that sell it, so I just have to wait for the summer holiday.
    I think that these two books are really creepy-looking and I love mysterious stories.
    Hope this one is my cup of tea.
    GREAT review, Giselle, as usual.
    Your constant reader,

  10. Sam

    I’m glad to hear some of the creepy is back! Dolls make me shiver. 😀 I actually really liked the first book so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too. Lovely review, Giselle.

  11. Sarah (saz101)

    GISELLLLLE! So excited you loved it, but OMG. SO JEALOUS. I want this book so badly it HUUUUUURTS.

    You know, I REALLY loved book one, but I’m intrigued about the points you made (Noah, etc). Mmmm… SO excited you enjoyed this! ♥

  12. Lyns

    I loved The Unbecoming! And I’m incredibly excited to read The Evolution! Reading your review, I’m even more excited and anxious! Great review!

  13. Renae

    Like you, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Unbecoming, so it’s absolutely fabulous to know that you liked The Evolution so much better! I’m really excited to get to this one now. Thanks for sharing, Giselle!

  14. Candace

    That’s awesome! I loved the first one so I’m pretty sure I will love this one too. But I’m glad that even though you didn’t love the first you gave this a shot and loved it!

  15. The Teen Book Guru

    OOOH OOOOH OOOOOHH GISELLE! How did you get an ARC of this?? And WOW 4 espressos??? That’s saying a lot, especially since I know how much you didn’t like The Unbecoming. I can’t wait to find out what happens next with Noah and Mara and oh my goodness gracious dolls are creepy, right?! And OMGOMGOMGOMG Jude… 0.o Anyway… great review, Giselle! SO happy you liked this one better than the first book! <3

  16. lalaine

    I just finished this book just awhile ago and I enjoyed it too. I am dying for the next book! Great review Giselle! Im glad you enjoyed it than the first book. x

  17. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I love the covers of these books. I had seen The Unbecoming on for $5.99 at Chapters, but I didn’t get it because I had read so many negative things about it. Now I want to go back and get it just so I can read the sequel. It seems like the second one is definitely worth the read. Great review!

  18. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    I’m currently reading the first book for Book Twirps read a long and so far, I’m loving it! We’re about halfway now and I need to get onto this weeks reading. Every time I pick it up I end up reading the whole section in one sitting. I love the creepy parts so I’m glad to hear there are even more in the next one! You’ve gotten me all excited to finish to get my hands on this one now!

    Great review!

  19. Karen

    I have been avoiding starting this series because so many sequels leave me wanting these days but everyone seems pretty happy with this one so I might just take the plunge.
    Great review.

  20. BecAlora Walker

    I’ve really wanted to read these books because of the psychological aspect to them. You’ve really hyped up this book and I’m now resolute in my decision to read them. Excellent review. It definitely made me laugh with the shot at Edward Cullen!

    Rebecca @ Vicariously!