Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Jami's Review

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the coveted second installment in the Mara Dyer trilogy. At 544 pages, it is a monster of a book but it flies by once you get into it. It’s impossible to put down! 

Recently, Bryson and I got to meet with and talk to Ms. Michelle Hodkin. She spoke about her inspiration for Mara Dyer which Bryson expands on in his part of the review, and she took the time to sign each book individually with personalized messages (she even put a quote from Jamie, one of my favorite characters, since we share the same name). 

The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Now, about the book. It is the sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, which I suggest you re-read if you  haven’t read it since its release in the fall of last year. I read it early this spring, but I was still a little bit lost starting out the second book about some of the events they were flashbacking to. I had to do a quick read through of the last few chapters of Unbecoming, but then everything came flooding back. The plot in this second installment took some amazing and unexpected turns. While the paranormal aspect seemed a bit rushed in the first book, it really got fleshed out in this sequel. So many new questions arose and very few were answered. Evolution really holds your attention throughout. Each chapter ends in a major cliffhanger that leaves you desperate for more. 

The characters, to me, grew so much in this book. The reader still can’t be 100% positive that Mara isn’t truly insane like the other characters seem to think she is (aside from Noah, of course). The way the book is written leaves you gasping and crying along with Mara, laughing with Jamie and his obnoxiousness and quivering in fear of some new (and old) characters that make huge appearances. Noah is still the most amazing literary boy ever created with his sweet words, bad habits, and overwhelming need to protect Mara. He’s so real to me, and he really just jumps off the pages at you. Mara has all the right reactions to things going on in her life and just resonates with you, making you feel happy and sad and exhausted and terrified with her. 

The ending of this book just left me with so many emotions. The last ten chapters or so were so strong and suspenseful that I literally had to stay awake and finish reading the last 150 pages or so. I could not put it down at all, and I know Bryson had the same reaction when he reached the end. And then, of course, we had to talk about it. This book is a great book for reading groups or even just as a challenge read between yourself and friends. I know three others who have read this book and we are all anxiously awaiting the third and final installment in what I’ve already decided will be one of my favorite series of all time, right up there with the Hush, Hush and Harry Potter series. Bravo, Michelle Hodkin. If you read this, you know where you can find a beta for Revolution. 

Bryson's Review

First off, I’d like to start out by saying that I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Hodkin at YALL Fest this year and she was absolutely amazing. One of the coolest people I’ve met. 

[Michelle and I.]

Secondly, I’d like to mention that this is the HIGHLY anticipated sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. If you have not read it, do so. Now. However this review will not spoil anything for those who have not read Unbecoming. 

Evolution pretty much kicks off right where Unbecoming left off. Mara still has no answers, and she still may or may not be crazy. The book really holds your attention. I’d like to classify it as a thriller, and a psychological thriller because we really don’t know if anything Mara sees or does is in fact real. This is also due to Michelle’s great writing style. It’s clean, crisp, and witty, which I love in a good book.
[Jami and Michelle.]

The plot grew even more complex from the first book, but carried over untied ends from the first and then tied them together. If any of you are wondering: ‘Will we get answers?!’ Yes, my sweets. You will. But don’t expect ALL THE ANSWERS! Expect more edge-of-your-seat questions.

I still love the characters; they’re original and different. Jamie is still an amazing smartass. Noah is just as appealing and English. And Mara is still powerful and confused. All of these characters make the story stand out. At points I was laughing and at times I wanted to cry.
[My signed copy of The Evolution of Mara Dyer.]

As for Noah and Mara, all I have are three words which Nike said best: Just Do It. For those of you who have read it, you will understand. Is anyone else with me on this?! Thank you, Michelle, for writing a fictional boyfriend who doesn't annoy me.

Michelle, again, has wrapped us up in a blanket of what’s-going-on?! keeping me highly entertained and scrambling to turn the next page.

Would I recommend this novel, YES! Yes I would! It's an amazing sequel that won't let you down. And after the last ten pages, I’m dying for more. But I also recommend that if you have not read Unbecoming to do it now. And if you ever have the chance to go meet Michelle, do that too. She’s great.

One last thought before I wrap this thing up: I want to point out that Michelle never wanted to be a writer. She was a lawyer, and this series is based off of a certain event she experienced. And for a non-writer's first start in this career, she’s done an amazing job. So if this book sounds interesting to you, go forth and find it at your local library, indie bookstore, internet, or where ever books are sold.

On what Jami said on betaing: Ditto. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review guys I loved it:) now to go out and buy it:)