Giselle's Reviews > The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
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's review
Oct 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc, ebook, paranormal, mystery-thriller
Read from October 12 to 14, 2012

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!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
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Reading Progress

23.0% "Oooh this is good! Though I said that at about this point of the first book, too."
28.0% "EEEK a creepy doll! *drops book in terror* ... *backs away slowly*" 1 comment
31.0% "Crows!!! Falling from the sky!! *hyperventilates*" 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Kereesa (new)

Kereesa If memory serves I remember you not liking the first one? Is the sequel supposed to be better?

Giselle Well, I actually really liked the creepy factor and the ending is a big interesting cliffhanger, but the romance and love interest was what I disliked and caused the 2-star (very Edward Cullen-y). I was also expecting more from it, probably bc of the hype. Anyways, so yeah, I'm a masochist and got an advanced copy of this so here's hoping O_O It's out in October and no idea if it's better or not I haven't checked out reviews yet.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooooh can't wait to see what you think, my fair muffin!

message 4: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Oh wow that's awesome, I'm so happy you liked it, looking forward to reading it. Great review!

Ikhlas Great review, Giselle! I actually really enjoyed the first one, but similarly was annoyed by the dramatic and twilight-ish love triangle that appeared in the book, taking away from the really creepy story, so I'm glad the creepy is back in the next one!

Plus, those covers are just gorgeous!

Ali *The Black Heart* Good to hear, I was confused by the first one and didn't love it but the ending was intriguing...maybe I'll give this one a shot.

Giselle Thanks ladies. I wasn't expecting to like it at all so it was a nice surprise! And no love triangle in this one at all! :)

Blythe Now I'm looking forward to this more than ever! I'll definitely be dropping everything on the 23rd and read this. Great review, Giselle!

message 9: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah really! :)iliked the first book but i too found it slightly creepy! i happy to hear the sequel is better :)

Giselle Oh Blythe I'm curious to see what you make of this one! It's definitely much better than the first!

@Bekah: and this one is even creepier! :)

message 11: by Krys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Krys It surprises me that you would bother to read a sequel to a book you didn't care for. I don't.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Giselle does. I do. Lots of bloggers do, particularly when the ending was a cliffhanger and you want to know what happens even if you had problems with the story.

Everyone reads differently. We need to respect that.

Giselle @Krys: That's too bad that you don't. I do, and I would have missed out on a kick ass sequel if I hadn't. I did have issues with the first but I still really liked some parts. Which I mention in the review of it.

message 14: by Krys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Krys Kara wrote: "Giselle does. I do. Lots of bloggers do, particularly when the ending was a cliffhanger and you want to know what happens even if you had problems with the story.

Everyone reads differently. We n..."

I'm sorry if that sounded accusatory, I wasn't meaning it to. More curiosity than anything. I am glad you enjoyed the book, Giselle. I preferred it to book one myself.

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