The one thing that keeps replaying in my head is: WHY did I wait SO LONG to start this series?! I honestly picked it up a couple years ago and read thThe one thing that keeps replaying in my head is: WHY did I wait SO LONG to start this series?! I honestly picked it up a couple years ago and read the first chapter and, for some reason that I can't recall, ended up putting it right back down and didn't give it a second thought... until this year. When I started blogging I couldn't ignore this book showing up on so many lists! And so I gave it another try. And now I'm devastated that I missed out for two years.
Silver lining: there are three books and two novellas available to read with no wait.
I just need someone to do one thing for me. Okay? Here it is:
Someone draw me a map of Iléa! Because I've seriously been trying to make it make sense in my head and I just can't figure it out! I went to the Interwebs for help, but came up empty handed (I did find a super cool Pinterest board though). Yes, I'm the kind of person who is going to go totally insane trying to figure this out.
Okay, back on topic. The Selection was amazing from start to finish. I do love the idea of the selection! Of course, I'm not sure how it would work in modern societies, but I suppose all the girls volunteer, so it's fine by me. I felt like the whole process was believable and the added drama with the rebels kept me on the edge of my seat! Oh, and the characters!
You know how sometimes there are heroines who are so good they're irritating? America is not that. To me she was totally real and genuine and I totally get her (obviously Kiera Cass did a good job writing this character). I understand why she made the decisions she did regarding basically everything. I'm not sure I could have been as bold with Maxon about my intentions, but it made me like her even more! I loved the progression of their relationship and America's opinion of Maxon.
The other characters were equally easy to love. Marlee especially was so, so likable! I'm excited to see how her story progresses, but I'm predicting something less than wonderful considering her attitude towards Maxon. Oh, and the man himself! I like Maxon. I really do like him, but I'm not 100% sure I can trust him. The whole selection process is just so strange... I'm not quite sure how to feel about Aspen either. I can see where he's coming from when he first pushes America away. But if there's one thing that pisses me off it's when characters make decisions for each other because they think they know what's best. No. No you don't. Get over yourself.
I'm sure that America's actions later in the book (if you've read it then you know and if you haven't, well, that sucks but I'm not spoiling it for you) were probably totally reprehensible to some, but I got it. I mean, I could really feel what she was feeling and I'm sure there have been a lot of people who have gone through similar things.
One thing this book has going for it is that this is truly a love triangle! Sometimes it's super obvious who will end up with who, but I've really found myself unsure a time or two (even though it's pretty obvious if you look at the titles of subsequent books - not sure that was the best idea).
Okay, okay. I've said enough. The moral of the story is that this is an excellent book, I can't wait to read the rest of the series, and I can't believe I waited so long! If you've been waiting on this series like I was, stop that! Go get yourself a copy and you'll probably be hooked too.
Please excuse my severely lacking tact, but HOLY CRAP.
Okay. Deep breath. Let me attempt to do this book justice.
I wasn't planning on reading The RetPlease excuse my severely lacking tact, but HOLY CRAP.
Okay. Deep breath. Let me attempt to do this book justice.
I wasn't planning on reading The Retribution of Mara Dyer right away. In fact, I wasn't planning on "reading" it at all. I listened to The Unbecoming and The Evolution of Mara Dyer on audiobook, and that was my intention here as well. However, I ended up finding an amazing, signed copy at Barnes and Noble and couldn't pass it up. So here we are a few days later and I feel like I just got off one hell of a roller coaster.
I'm going to be honest here for a minute. I usually read for an hour or two before bed, but not during the day. I am much more likely to be binging a show on Netflix, but I couldn't do it with this book (and my husband is happy to have had the TV all to himself for a couple days). It grabbed me from page one and I had a really hard time putting it down to attend to life's obligations.
This book begins with Mara waking up back in Horizons (sort-of) and not remembering a heck of a lot. What she does remember is that Noah is dead. At least, that's what she's been told, but she can't bring herself to believe it. From there, The Retribution takes off and it's one big whirlwind. The most unlikely person helps her to escape - along with Jamie and Stella - and they proceed to wreak havoc from Florida to New York in search of answers. And Noah.
Throughout the book, Mara struggles to deal with and accept her abilities. As the story progresses, she comes to embrace it more and more, accepting it as necessary to get what she wants and to help her friends.
Unfortunately, while helpful at times, her "gift" terrifies Jamie and Stella (understandably) and threatens to push them away completely. Both of these characters are more fully explored in light of the new information they come across. Stella's full story is explained and I enjoyed learning more about her, though I did not particularly care for her character, especially following her actions later in the book. Jamie continued to be one of my favorite characters, but I found his actions at the end a little reprehensible. Maybe it's just me.
The lack of Noah's presence in the first half of the book, while completely necessary, saddened me. I really kept turning pages because I was dying to see what would happen when he showed finally up. Because, let's be honest, no one thought he was actually dead.
Again, I didn't care for the flashbacks. I understand why they were included and did like how they tied into the present day, but I didn't feel invested in the story of Mara's grandmother. I almost wanted to skip these chapters (but I didn't). This is really the only negative thing I can say about this book.
The big reveal of the big bad at the end completely blew me away!
There was no way I could have seen it coming. At all. And if you did, I applaud you. Michelle Hodkin is the queen of twists, in my opinion. I was actually a little dizzy by by the end. Mara handled the reveal much better than I would have, but she also seems to have an emotional on/off switch that I'm lacking. I'd like to know where I can get one of those.
And then there's our power couple. I've noticed that some people thought the decisions of Noah and Mara were selfish and hated them for it, but it was exactly the ending I was hoping for.
I was truly scared to turn the page because I was worried the author would change it right at the very last minute (à la Allegiant).
There's not much negative that can be said about this book. I could keep going on and on about the things I loved, but I won't because I think you get the idea. Like the first two in the series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer is amazing in every way. This series has officially earned a spot on the top of my list of favorites. Go read it. Now.