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Mara Dyer #2

Io non sono Mara Dyer

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Mara Dyer sa di avere commesso un omicidio. Jude voleva farle del male, e lei si è difesa, grazie al terribile potere che le permette di uccidere con la forza del pensiero. Ma ora Jude è tornato, e nessuno le crede mentre giura di averlo visto con i propri occhi.
Quel ragazzo dovrebbe essere morto, e Mara rischia di finire i suoi giorni nell'ospedale psichiatrico in cui è tenuta sotto osservazione. L'unica possibilità di salvezza è assecondare i medici e fingere di avere avuto un'allucinazione. Così la sera è libera di vedere Noah, l'unico che ancora crede in lei, l'unico capace di sfidare i suoi demoni e risvegliare i suoi sensi.
Ma i fatti inquietanti si moltiplicano e Mara rischia di impazzire sul serio: qualcuno entra in camera sua la notte per fotografarla nel sonno e riporta alla luce una bambola appartenuta alla nonna. Mara le dà fuoco, ma tra le sue ceneri trova un ciondolo identico a quello che Noah porta al collo...

Un paranormal thriller ad altissima tensione, nella tradizione di Christopher Pike e Stephen King.
Del primo volume Chi è Mara Dyer Cassandra Clare ha detto: «Ti inseguirà come un sogno. Ti trascinerà senza via di scampo.»

460 pages, Paperback

First published October 23, 2012

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About the author

Michelle Hodkin

12 books12.2k followers
Michelle Hodkin is the author of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, which was a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling series. The trilogy, which includes The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer, was described as “haunting and dreamlike” by Cassandra Clare and “darkly funny, deliciously creepy, and genuinely thoughtful” by Veronica Roth. Lev Grossman has called Hodkin “One of the greatest talents in Young Adult fiction.” The novels were praised by Romantic Times, MTV’s Hollywood Crush, and the Los Angeles Times, and books from the series appeared on several state reading lists. Additionally, The Retribution of Mara Dyer was selected as one of TIME.com’s Top 10 YA Books of 2014. Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan, before finally settling in Brooklyn last year.

You can visit her online at:


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5 stars
47,518 (50%)
4 stars
30,131 (31%)
3 stars
12,424 (13%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,626 reviews
Profile Image for brooke.
62 reviews1,256 followers
April 13, 2023
if my future bf doesn’t push someone into a killer whale tank just so he can be admitted into a psych ward to be with me, then i don’t want him.
Profile Image for Vy.
222 reviews98 followers
October 20, 2012
Can we all just slow clap for this?


My thoughts have yet to make sense. So for now, all you have to know is that Evolution is a fantastic book that will most likely be the source of my nightmares and paranoia for the next few days.

GO PRE-ORDER NOW! I just ordered mine :)

***********updated FULL review***********

I wasn't sure how it could be possible, but The Evolution of Mara Dyer was even more intese and twisted than The Unbecoming.

Before reading: Huh, my book is signed with, "Who will you believe?" Interesting. Well I guess I'll go with Michelle Hodkin.


The Evolution goes into Mara's family history as well as Noah's. I would think that I would be able to make some theories from that, but nope. Fret not people, even though new information was tossed in, there were a lot of questions answered from The Unbecoming. I never looked at anything the same through out this book. One moment I would feel like I was finally putting the story together, but then I would turn the page and all of my theories would get burned.

There were so many "what just happened moments". At first I would try to make some sense out of it, but after a while I just rolled with it. Kind of. I started categorizing my reactions to those moments into the "my life after finishing" list, and this was what I got.

My Life After Finishing The Evolution of Mara Dyer:
Day 1: Maybe I'll just leave my lamp on tonight.
Day 2: I'll just turn ALL the lights on in my house.
Day 3: Maybe I should just not clear the fog from my mirror after taking a shower.
Day 5: Has brother stand next to me while I brush my teeth.

One of the many things I loved about this book was Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw. They just work. It is how it is. They will forever be one of my favorite couples.

I loved every moment of The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Even though Mara Dyer is the reason I can't look into the mirror after I take a shower, I will read anything by Michelle Hodkin.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
November 6, 2016
“Tell me what you see. Because I don't know what's real and what isn't or what's new or different and I can't trust myself, but I trust you.”

I am confused. And scared terrified. I am angry. I am freaked out. I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with this series. And it hurts.

“You will love him to ruins.”

When a book starts with this line, you know that things are going to get ugly. In The Evolution of Mara Dyer Mara's family is seriously concerned about her mental state and decides that severe treatment is the only way to get their daughter back. The thing is, Mara is not crazy but pretends to acknowledge that she is crazy in order to stay out of mental institutions, but she's afraid that she will lose her sanity if she doesn't get answers. Answers about her powers, the ghost from her past that seems to h(a)unt, her grandmother, some identical pendants and a creepy doll. The only person who really knows what's happening to her is Noah, but Noah has problems of his own and secrets he can't share. And their love alone is not enough.
“I was falling apart, and all my pieces were scattering to the wind.”

Helplessness, despair, anger, frustration,y ou are trapped in a whirlwind of emotions that make you grasp for breath, something that never comes. You want to claw your brain to erase the throbbing, to press your nails in your hands until they bleed, to untie that knot in your stomach. That's what The Evolution of Mara Dyer did to me. It was creepy, so creepy that I couldn't sleep without the lights on, that the concept of the monsters that lurk in the dark seemed somehow real. Michelle Hodkin found her way into my brain and into my heart, and I am scared of what she'll do with that power. And that ending left me in the verge of hysteria.

“This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster. Just like me.”

Noah Elliot Simon Shaw, you are one of the loves of my life. This arrogant, dedicated and broken boy was the only source of light in Mara's life, his love the only stable thing in a world that was falling apart. He and Mara had their issues, but together they were strong, they made me strong, strong enough to withstand the forceful attack against my sanity this book launched.
“I can't slay the dragon because I can't find him, so for now I stay close.
It's not enough.”

A beautifully disturbing book, The Evolution of Mara Dyer led to shocking events and revelations that made me want to read the final book even more desperately than before. I pray Michelle will be merciful.
Profile Image for Madita.
522 reviews19k followers
February 13, 2023
Mara and Noah are iconic.
Jamie is iconic.
This book is iconic.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,809 followers
February 6, 2023

First of all, how I am complete trash for this series at this point in my life is beyond me.

I have no explanation. I can't explain it, but I am currently obsessed with this.

I feel like this second installment gave me more questions than answers, but who the f* cares! I have one more book in this trilogy and I plan to devour it. Soon.

Sure, if you contemplate the storyline for too long, it's hella problematic, but for some reason, in this case, I couldn't care less.

My plan is to read the final book this month. Then, sadly, I will have to find a new backlist trilogy to obsess over.

Anyone else who wants to join me on the tragically delayed hype train, you're welcome.

Mara and Noah are LIFE.

Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,342 followers
August 23, 2019
Could it be any better!? This was amazing. I'm still in a shock! Well, you cannot know what is the truth because Mara doesn't. This is my favourite element of this series, Mara tells the story, however, she is not a really reliable source.
I fell in love with Noah even more, not sure how's that even possible!
And, the end of the book? What the hell! and now I'm supposed to wait for the next one so long? Poor me.
I have been years since I've read this book, but I can still remember the chills it gave me! It was simply fabulous, the dread which hit me the moment I tried to turn the page and it was just blank... Wow, speechless.

Profile Image for Anna.
51 reviews60 followers
March 15, 2017
I should probably write a real review for this. Maybe I will, when my head isn't reeling.

The Evolution is everything that The Unbecoming was and more. Romantic, perfectly paced, repeatedly punching you in the gut... I actually had to take a bunch of breaks and purge to someone during the last 100 pages because everything was becoming so intense and scary and twisted. It's 10 times worse than The Unbecoming, and it's awesome.

It also raised my standards for gore and fear. If I had to pick two words to describe this book, I'd say: Hot. And freaky.

Really, I would recommend this series to anyone who likes the intensity. It's not for the easily scared or the faint of heart. The webs of the plot just keep getting deeper and tying together in new ways, and the romance keeps evolving. I always loved the way Hodkin creates scenes that are so, so sexy, without ever being too innocent and YA-like, and without ever veering into dirty, now-I-have-to-go-shower territory. Mara and Noah are as spirited as ever, and I loved Mara's family, as usual (the mother is exempt.)

A word of warning: The cliffhanger is even worse than The Unbecoming. I'm almost sorry I read this early. Almost. But what did I expect, when The Evolution was so much more intense, so much scarier, so much more sick and beautiful and gut-wrenching?

*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the ARC.
50 reviews20 followers
December 22, 2012
Ideally, this book will include:
Noah with Mara (I <3 Noah Shaw. Love him.)
More creepy hallucinations
Noah breaking Jude's face
A full collection of perverse childrens books, penned by Noah

*after reading book*
So remember in Mara's psyche file it says:
Sarin, orig. carrier; contraindication suspected, unknown; midazolam administered

So, it's creepy that Sarin, her mother's maiden name is mentioned. But the creepier part: I googled Midazolam, and it said this:
Midazolam is given to children before medical procedures or before anesthesia for surgery to cause drowsiness, relieve anxiety, and prevent any memory of the event.

Mara's drugs could make her loose her memory of certain events.
Lost time, anyone?
Pyscho therapist Dr. Kells repressing certain memories, perhaps?

Look who's not as crazy as we thought she was.


Also, upon re-reading the Evolution, I have
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
July 28, 2016

I just finished the book and I’m totally freaking out and silently screaming obscene phrases at the air because man, that twist, that ending (or the lack of it), as picked up from the book, is batshit crazy. I’m not sure if I should applaud it or curse it. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or upset by the revelations and I guess that’s when you can say a book is really good- when it totally messes up with your head. Up to now, my heartbeat hasn’t returned to normal. It hasn’t since I started reading the book, I mean devouring it (took me only two afternoons to finish it).

In the first book, Mara Dyer is the hero/anti-hero who blames herself for the death of her best friend. She starts seeing, hearing and feeling weird things which her family and doctors dismiss as simply symptoms of PTSD. In the second book, her symptoms seem to aggravate and require extreme psychological/medical intervention. But the huge question is, is she really just seeing things or could they be products of a paranormal phenomenon or is it entirely something else? Tag along with Noah (my love) and Mara as they uncover these mysteries about themselves and more.

Still told in the extremely unreliable voice of Mara, the story is an equally riveting read as its predecessor laced with mystery, humor, sarcasm, romance and most of all, absolute creepiness (which explains why my heart won’t stay in its rightful place the entire time I was reading.)

I won’t say more because I'm going to dive into the third book because I need to know what happens and I really have to prove my existing theories true. I’m seriously hoping I’m right because if not, the third book shall incur my wrath!

Third book, I’m definitely ready!

Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,971 reviews1,177 followers
December 6, 2016

I'm at page. 255 and I want to list out a few things I wish Michelle Hodkin would write in the remaining part of The Evolution of Mara Dyer:

(1) Mara is in fact crazy.

(2) Jude, Mara's ex-boyfriend and would-be-rapist, is in fact dead.

(3)Whenever Mara thinks she's seeing Jude, it's only her seeing her imaginary stalker.

(4) Every single spooky event that has taken place in the book is either Mara's own handiwork or they taken place only in her head.

(5) Mara goes all psycho-bitch and kills Noah, her boyfriend.

(6) Mara goes all psycho-bitch and kills her family members.

If any of these things really take place, it would definitely make my day!

NOTE: I did a buddy read with Alice when reading this book.

Rating: it's a 'I can't give a flying fuck to a book which keeps refusing to make sense' negative stars.

Since there's no such thing as negative stars in the GR rating system, I had to make do with one star.

Supposedly I should feel sorry for Mara Dyer, because our Super Special Lovely Snowflake Heroine is being wrongly accused of being insane. But for the life in me, how can I feel sorry for her when she keeps acting like a psycho-bitch and talking down at almost every single mental patient in the story?

As to Mara's love interest Noah...well he is in fact better in this second book, but I still hate his cocky guts and the way he seems to think he can buy everything and everyone with his big wallet. I know, Noah is from a super rich family and he clearly has money to burn, but still.

Michelle Hodkin's writing is in fact slightly better than the first book as well; sadly the writing still isn't good enough to cover up for the massive, larger-than-life flaws which plagued the entire book, namely:

(1.) The cheesy, going-nowhere romance between Noah and Mara: Although I'm glad that there's no love triangle in the book, but I still can't see what's so deep and meaningful about two teenagers going on about "Oh you're so beautiful, I want to kiss you, but NO! I can't kiss you because it'll kill you! I want to sex you up behind your parents' back but NO! We can't do it! It's not right!"

Give me a break.

(2.) The mind-numbing boredom: There's no revelation, no plot twists, no development, until the very end.

(3.)The 'so-bad-it's-bad' attempts at create tension and suspense: I felt like I was watching a poorly made horror movie whenever Miss Hodkin tries to scare her readers with her 'spooky scenes'.

(4.)Author being greedy and doesn't know where to stop: This time, we have Jude haunting Mara, we have Mara trying to pretend she's normal, we have the drama about the fortuneteller's foretelling Noah's death, we have this mysterious, never-explained Abel Lukumi character hopping in and out at random, we have Noah's family being somehow connected to Mara's grandmother and we also have Mara's late grandmother and the spooky events took place years ago back in India and Mara having random flashbacks about it? Last but not least, we also have That's just too fucking much.

(5.)Mara's constantly making rude remarks on mental illness and mental patients: What can I say...whenever I started to think the writing is getting good, Mara the Main Character just has to start badmouthing mentally ill people AGAIN. Oh yes, she had already started it in book 1, but now in the book 2, she's at it again. For example, she calls a fellow teenage patient in the program 'a psycho' before addressing said patient as 'batshit crazy' in front of the whole group.

Rude, isn't it? It sounds to me like Mara really thinks she's too innocent and special to suffer mental illness, she also whines nonstop about other people labeling her as crazy the whole time! But our heroine still thinks it's within her right to judge and label someone else as 'crazy' and 'psycho'.

Double standards, how lovely.

And then our lovely heroine also comes up with the following line:

But with something else (schizophrenia)---this was it for me. A lifetime of psych ward and medication. No college. No life.(page. 33)


Okay, let's be frank here. No one wants to suffer schizophrenia, no one wants to be locked in a psych ward; but does it mean people who suffer schizophrenia 'have no life?' Mara, when will you stop making mental illness sounds like the most scary, disgusting thing on earth? That's fucking disrespectful, it's fucking discrimination; if you asked me.

By the end of the story, I can't believe


After this point, I just don't care about this book anymore.

Review for book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.).
401 reviews429 followers
April 2, 2016
Just one word: AMAZING

I can not stop thinking about what just happened......


This book as the first has left me wondering many things and my head is a mess! unexpected information ... WOW !!

I am pleasantly surprised honestly had my doubts about whether this book could overcome the first and really did with honors!

Michelle God! , I wish to have only a quarter of the talent that this woman possesses. It has become one of my favorite writers with only two books I have read, I would read anything that Michelle wrote.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer has had ALL!! so many emotions fear, joy, love and suspense that characterized certainly this series have killed me! (In a good clear sense)

I'm so in love with the main characters I really suffer a lot for them especially Mara she has become such a strong woman! I'm so proud of her!.

Every part of his story from his search for truth, what is real and what is not, all that mystery, even as it struggles to appear normal trying to ignore what happens is so brave, it really is a book that plays with your mind and that makes it very difficult to leave


Noah is still one of my greatest literary love of all time !!!!!!
And it remains a character no waste ;)

“If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”

Jude, Jude, Jude if it is a character worthy of hate...
It is a dark and cruel character who does not mind doing absolutely nothing to get their goal and this is not good for Mara

And that end! is that this book as the first have these incredible end just kill your head trying to understand but we can not until the next book ....

“You can't hurt me the way you think you can. But even if you could? 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.”


Oh my God! I am loving this series dying to continue it..
Profile Image for Joie.
178 reviews
December 14, 2012
The unfortunate byproduct of being a high school senior is that I don't have much time to read. Not as much as I used to, anyway. Before, I was able to finish a book in less than a week, and now, quite frankly, I'm lucky if I make it through half of the book in that time.

This book took me three days to finish.

Three days.


Insanity. I don't even remember the last time I finished a book so quickly.

So here's how it all went down....

Me before reading:


Beyond excited. In fact, I may (or may not have) done a happy dance when I finally had the book in my hands. And this happy dance may or may not have been incredibly embarrassing and performed in public...

Me while reading:

This book was an addiction. It's fast-paced and full of creepiness, revelations, and sexy times with Noah, and if you think you can just stop after one chapter, you are lying to yourself.

The stakes, suspense, and mystery are all elevated in Evolution. More than ever, you see Mara's sanity being put in question, to the point where she doesn't even know whether or not she's experiencing reality or a delusion. Reading this story was akin to playing a mind game Half the time I was trying to figure out who to believe, what the truth really was, and the other half, I was questioning everything I thought.

Unlike many YA books, Evolution really included Mara's family into what was going on. Her parents aren't absentees or idle spectators. They see their daughter in trouble and they act. And don't even get me started on the sibling relationship in the Dyer family because I won't be able to stop gushing! Mara's relationship with her brothers, Daniel especially, was just incredibly realistic and SO sweet. It definitely made me wish I had an older brother like Daniel.

My favorite part of this book, though, was seeing more of Mara and Noah's relationship. At the beginning of the series, it seemed like the only thing really tying the two of them together was their inexplicable abilities. In this book, however, it becomes so much more apparent that these two are perfect for each other! I think it's safe to say that they are both quite screwed up as a result of their respective powers, but when they're together, they make each other better (which sounds cheesy, I know, but there's really no way to describe it!) They keep each other grounded when everything around them is questionable.

I especially enjoyed seeing more of Noah's character. He wasn't exactly a flat character in Unbecoming, but I definitely didn't get to know him as much as I wanted to. Evolution did a great job of showing me more of Noah Elliot Simon Shaw and I loved it.



I'm swooning.

Me after reading:


In Unbecoming, I was full of questions, wondering just what the heck Mara was and how it was possible that she could do the things she did. In Evolution, it feels like Michelle Hodkin is finally letting you in on the big secret.... but it's all a big. Fat. Lie!!! It's like she's dangling this delicious-looking carrot of truth in front of you, making you read page after page after page, but in the end, all you are left with is a blown mind and more questions. Oh, and frustration. Heaps of that. Well played Ms. Hodkin, well played.

Rating: 5 stars

Dear Ms. Hodkin,

Book three....


Pretty please?
Profile Image for Jen.
246 reviews205 followers
August 28, 2012
Originally posted here: http://www.makeshiftbookmark.com/2012...


The Evolution of Mara Dyer has just infiltrated and plundered my brain and I can't sleep until I tell you about it.

You know that feeling that you hope and wish for every time you read a book but, more often than not, are underwhelmed? That notion where, "hey, what good is life anyway if I'm not reading this very book in this very moment?" That moment when you build up this elaborate hypothesis in your brain and you're all, "I KNOW how this should end, why doesn't the author just let me take the reins from here on out, mmkay thanks," but then you're introduced to a conclusion (or cliffhanger, such is the case) that rattles every molecule of your being to the point where you're going to lose your shiz for the next 365+ days until you get that soul-slaying conclusion to one of those most enthralling, possessing series that you've ever read in your 27 years of life?

Yeah, this book has those things.

If you were left scrambled after The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I have good news for you. You get some answers. (And OH MY GOD, Noah. He loves her so, so much. It's insane.)

But then there's an ass ton of new information that will leave you sitting there with a pen and paper, eyes darting to and fro, trying to divy up your attentions between devouring this book and fiercely mapping out flow charts to try and make sense of what mastermind Michelle Hodkin is illustrating before your eyes.

I did get a little nervous at one point that it was taking a spin towards WTF-territory. But then I learned to bask in the WTFery. I trust where this is going. I always trust the unreliable narrators. It'll all come together, through hell or high water.

I'm sleep-deprived but shameless in my love and devotion to this series and this author. If the world ends before I read The Retribution of Mara Dyer, I will be seriously pissed. Dead, but pissed. I will have no remorse for the amount of poltergeisting I will do.

Preorder. Like now. I will be buying two. (I need one where I can highlight and circle and star and draw gnarly sketches of Noah and Mara kissing, cuddling, getting married in the margins around all my favorite lines. Photographic evidence to come.)
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
July 20, 2015
4.5 stars
I found this one to be a bit slow at times but it did definitely deliver as far as the creepy twisted plot. I love trying to figure out what's going on. Also really love all the characters but sometimes I just got so frustrated wanting people to believe Mara!!!
Profile Image for Lala BooksandLala.
500 reviews62.1k followers
July 3, 2016
I really wasn't expecting this to be better than the first book!!
The action was perfect, the romance great, the side characters amazing, the plot twists perfectly done.
I think the first book was just a little too slow for me, not enough of the paranormal aspect...but now I feel it was appropriate because we needed the intro and back story...but everything about book 2 was just amazing and captivating.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
March 16, 2021
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2), Michelle Hodkin

Her second novel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and the second book in the Mara Dyer Trilogy came out in 2012, while her third novel, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and the final book in the trilogy was published in 2014.

Mara Dyer knows she isn't crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his.

Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she's not unstable and doesn't need to be hospitalized isn't easy.

The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him.

She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability...before anyone else ends up dead!

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیستم ماه فوریه سال 2017میلادی

عنوان: تکامل مارا دیر؛ نویسنده: میشل هادکین؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا سده 21م

مارا دیر میداند، که او دیوانه نیست؛ او میداند که با ذهن خویش میتواند کسی را بکشد، و «نوح» هم میتواند با ذهن خود شفا دهد؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 25/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,366 followers
October 21, 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
Profile Image for destini.
239 reviews503 followers
December 8, 2015

“I’m afraid– I’m afraid I’m losing control.” I’m afraid I’m losing myself. The idea was a splinter in my mind. Always there, always stinging, even when I wasn’t conscious of it. Even when I wasn’t thinking about it.

What did I just read? My emotions are all over the place. Just when I thought I was getting answers, Michelle Hodkin slams me over the head with some grade A mindf*ckery. But who the hell am I fooling? I loved every second of it.

*All spoilers tagged *
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?

Things pick up practically where we left of in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It's a couple days after Mara doesn't know what or who she can trust and how she can keep everyone safe from herself.
I was falling apart and all my pieces were scattering to the wind.

How my heart ached for Mara. What do you do when you can't trust those around you. When you can't even trust yourself. When people have told you you're crazy so many times that you, slowly, begin to believe it yourself. Mara is an incredibly unreliable narrator. One where I'm constantly questioning anything she says to me. Yet, I find myself wanting to believe her. Which just leads me to having more and more questions about everything and everyone.
. . . no one could protect me from myself.

Where do things stand with Noah? He's been there for Mara from the beginning. Trying to help her. Trying to protect her.
She isn't the only one changing. Every day she shapes me into something else.

Oh, how I wish I could take Noah into my arms and make everything okay. We learn more about him and his past in Evolution and it was heartbreaking. He's much more damaged than we were led to believe. I loved how supportive he was of Mara. How he always believed her. How he doted on her every whim, despite how crazy it seemed at the moment. He was dedicated to helping her, in being strong for her, and it broke my heart to see that he needed someone to be his rock sometimes.
“I must be made of nothing to feels so much nothing.”

Noah and Mara . . . *happy sigh* I ship it so hard. So hard. They are both damaged in their own ways but they make each other better. I don't think Mara or Noah would be able to survive without each other.
“I’m too selfish to leave you,” I said. Noah pulled back so I could see his smile. “I’m too selfish to let you.”

*is now a pile of mushy feelings on the floor*
“If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand years, I would want you mine in each one.”

Mara and her family . . . that's a tough relationship to put into words. It's hard to put on a fake smile and pretend everything is okay when those closest to you don't believe you. But how could she (and I) expect them to? You could see how much they were trying to help her, how they only wanted what was best, but wouldn't listen to her. And when they did, it only reinforced their idea that she was mentally ill. Which is completely understandable but still a hard pill to swallow (no pun intended).

Everybody else . . . is pretty much crazy. With a few exceptions, like Jamie, who still manages to make me laugh my ass off. Other than that, crazy. The sheer insanity . . . it's just too much to put into words.
Noah acted like he felt nothing because he felt everything. He seemed not to care because he cared too much.

Creep factor = very high. You've been warned. Some scenes literally had my heart pounding . And it was achieved by the simplest things. There were a few instances where I felt like things were a little too dramatic in order to get a reaction out of the reader. I didn't think all the writing in blood and dead animals were necessary. They were a little over-the-top for me. Other than that, I was thoroughly creeped out.
My hair was plastered to my face, and I was pale. But I looked okay. Maybe a little thin. A little tired. But normal.
Then my reflection winked. Even though I didn't.

I don't know how Mara manages . . . I would've been a vegetable by then.

The writing was flawless. Michelle Hodkin creates a story with the perfect amount of humor, angst, mystery, and horror. The writing leaves you entranced and on the edge of your seat. The witty dialogue and dry humor between the characters keeps things from getting too intense. She creates such suspense. Each chapter ending is like a little cliffhanger of it's own.
“Everyone’s a little crazy. The only difference between us and them is that they hide it better.”

This isn't my first rodeo. I read the ending of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I had to wait two years for the rest of the books to be published. With that killer cliffhanger lurking in the back of my mind.
I'm prepared for anything, I told myself.
I was not. anywhere near. prepared. for anything past 75 percent of the book.
Holy sh*tsticks.
They rattled my cage to see if I'd bite. When they released me, they'd see that the answer was yes.

Final rating: 4.5 stars
Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews863 followers
October 29, 2017

A little tally to begin:

Number of times I screamed “W.T.F!!???” out loud - 96

Number of times I was actually scared to leave my room because of all the creepy things happening – 8

Number of times I had to put my kindle down and just stare at the wall to fully digest WTF had just happened – 11

Number of times I wished I was 17 because I was SWOONING HARD OVER NOAH FREAKING SHAW- 3,857,892,357

How a book can make me afraid to leave the safety of my bed and needing to turn the lights on to do so in one chapter then have me drooling over a 17 year old in the next is beyond comprehension. But HOLY SHIT this book did. The first book in this series had me scratching my head, questioning everyone and everything, but this book….THIS BOOK has had my heart pounding, heart swooning, nerves on edge, mind reeling, and my jaw on the floor. And again questioning EVERYTHING.


I obviously cannot go into any detail about what happens in this book because that would just ruin the experience of reading the first. But I can say IT IS BRILLIANT. The webs of the plot just keep getting deeper and more twisted, and that ending?!?! I REFUSE. No. It’s not true. I will not believe it! NOPE!


Michelle’s writing is fantastic. Each scene leapt off the page and made me feel like I was there. And even though this is YA- the romance in it is JUST BEAUTIFUL. Some of the most romantic lines I have EVER read.


READ IT. Read it read it read it. This may take some people out of their comfort zone because of the genres, but it is most definitely worth the wild ride it takes you on!


*Now excuse me- I am locking myself away to read book 3. With all the lights on. And the blinds shut. With a baseball bat clutched in my hand.


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Profile Image for Daiane.
179 reviews202 followers
March 23, 2016
“I’ll walk forever with stories inside me that the people I love the most can never hear.”

I mean


I can't even start putting into words my feelings at the moment I finished this book.
This woman was able to mess with my mind. It made me surprised, confused, angry, sad, amused... I DON'T KNOW!!!

Basically this girl cannot have a single day in peace. Even when she tries to tell the true that is taking her sleep away, nobody believes her. Not even I believed her. I have to confess that if in the end she was just completely insane and everything was a lie, I wouldn't be so surprised. But right now, I can believe how the story developed. I mean, I have a lot of complains...

The first one is about her family. With everything that is happening to her, and to them, it's hard to have someone on her side.

“But when everyone tells you you're crazy and no one believes you when you swear you aren't, a small part of you will always wonder if they're right.”

And her mother... I know she is just worried and trying to help, but I just couldn't stand her.

Still, I'm really hoping that Daniel, her brother, would just discover everything and try to help her. Or at least give her the benefit of the doubt. He is one of my favorite characters over the story and their confidence in each other is so touching!

“I wish she knew that I think she’s the most hilarious person on Earth. And that whenever she’s not home, I feel like I’m missing my partner in crime. I wish she knew that she’s really Mom’s favorite, the princess she always wanted. That Mom used to dress her up like a little doll and parade her around like Mara was her greatest achievement. I wish Mara knew that I never minded, because she’s my favorite too.”

All this nobody-believes-me situation makes Mara lie to the world.

“I pulled out my sketchbook to work on an asinine project I’d been assigned: pick an emotion and draw it. I wanted to draw a raised middle finger, but I would draw a kitten instead. Normal people love kittens.”

Creating a mask separating what she meant and what she had to mean. What she was and what others expected her to be. And how free every one of us want to be and are judged or labeled as different.

“Everyone is a little crazy. The only difference between us and them is that they hide it better.”

The only person she can count with, and I'm really glad, is Noah. His character development was really thought. I still have my problems with him even though a lot was explained. I hate how sometimes I can't feel him and others he is all full of cheesiness.

"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.”
“We’re only seventeen,”
“Fuck seventeen. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”

And I still hate how he makes Mara feels so insecure and all Mary Sue. But still, he is really helpful to the story and I couldn't resist to his charm. Specially when we get to see more about his true self.

"He still looked like an arrogant prince. But only now could I see that his crown was broken."

Jamie is also back. However, differently from others YAs, I loved how here there's only the friendship and respect. There are no forced feelings and Jamie has his own demons to fight. He is not there for the purpose of destroying the leads' love story. He is truly alive.

“We are far too screwed up for a goddamned love triangle.”

And even though it's starting to be a cliche to have THE different character to get the readers to be amused about how authors are giving attention to others than blue-eyes-blondes, I still loved Jamie.

“Words have power. And I may be privileged and have a higher IQ than any of our former teachers, but when people look at me? They see a black, male teenager. And there is nothing quite as frightening to some folks as an angry young black man.”

We are also introduced to many other incredible characters that give us many secrets. Some of them are good. Some are bad.

“Sometimes, the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.”

Still, the characters were well written and some were nicely complex. Strangely enough, even though they were insane, I kinda liked them.

“It’s for the voodoo doll, It looks just like you.”
You can’t respond to a statement like that. There’s just nothing to say.

Like before, I must praise the writing style. It's witty and has a small amount of irony and comedy. It has beautiful and meaningful quotes that made me enjoy my reading even more. Again Hodkin made me doubt my mind through the unreliable narration. I really enjoyed all the mystery and twists. With all the tension and madness, this book was able to blow my mind. I seriously think that even though people talk a lot about the final book being horrible, I would still recommend this series for those who are in for unexpected turns and mixed feelings. And be prepared for lies.

"You will love him to ruins.”
All the pain I had ever felt was just practice for this moment.

Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.5k followers
March 7, 2018
you guys. what even was this book!?!?!?!??

lets just forget about mara and her issues for a hot minute. i feel like its me who needs to check into a facility because i have no idea what is fact and what is fiction anymore after reading this. i honestly dont know what to do with myself at this point.

4 stars
319 reviews1,885 followers
December 18, 2012
Have you ever seen the movie The Strangers? If so, do you remember that one scene where the woman was in the foreground of her house, panicking, and in the background you see one of the white-masked strangers inside her house, watching her? Such a simple and subtle scene, that was. There was no music, no big bang to draw your attention to the stranger - nothing. Just complete and utter silence, aside from the sound of the woman taking short, panicked breaths. The subtlety of that one particular scene, and the fact that if I weren't expecting a big bang as per usual in horror movies and looking in the background for the big shocker, I would have probably missed the stranger standing there, watching her, made that scene more terrifying to me than it would have been if there had been the big bang and the loud music drawing my attention to the background.

My whole point for describing that one particular scene in this review was to make a point that for me, subtlety in horror is more scary and effective than anything else. At times, when watching horror movies, in your face scenes with incredibly loud music do entertain me, and, at times, scare me (most notably in the movie Insidious), but usually, for a scene to linger with me and make me lose sleep, the scene has to be subtle - so subtle that I could miss it. Just like that scene in The Strangers.

And that is where I feel The Evolution of Mara Dyer took one large misstep concerning its creepy elements. There are, of course, other faults in the novel, such as the fact that I found it to be way too long drawn out in the second half and that it ends in yet another cop-out of a cliffhanger to stretch out the series when everything could have easily been resolved in this book, but I think the 'in-your-face' creepy scenes may have been the most prominent and effective detraction to my enjoyment in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. In my pre-review, I wrote that the creepy scenes in this book were like someone was banging pots and pans while screaming at me to look at something - with no subtlety whatsoever. (I'll attach my pre-review below this review, for those who are curious to read it.)

Clearly Hodkin's intention with these scenes were to freak readers out and to have them lose sleep, and it probably will freak many readers out as some of the scenes are genuinely creepy. There were times when reading this that I was a bit freaked out, but the scene(s) that freaked me out won't linger, and that's really what I'm looking for in horror - for scenes to linger with me. Of course, this is a personal issue for me with this book, and if subtlety - or lack thereof - in scenes intended to be creepy don't make a difference to you, then this will not be a problem for you. However, if you are the type of reader and movie-watcher that I am, where subtlety actually matters then I'd look elsewhere for your ideal Halloween read.

That isn't to say you should skip reading this entirely, though, because I'd definitely recommend it to quite a few people. If you, like me, were in love with the plot of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer but were less than enthused by romance completely overthrowing the plot, you will be relieved to know that The Evolution of Mara Dyer is much more plot-focused and less romantically involved than its predecessor. While I did think that there may have been too much plot, to the point where things got completely out of control and crazy, I found it to be entertaining nonetheless. Unfortunately, there are also a few negative similarities between Evolution and Unbecoming, such as the fact that both are way too long drawn out to the point of frustration, having the reader (ie: me) wondering when the book will come to an end, and more importantly hoping it will finally come to an end.

And while I did thoroughly enjoy - maybe even love - the first half of The Evolution of Mara Dyer, I found that it lost its way in the second half, leading up to a disappointing finale ending with, you guessed it, another huge cliffhanger. But this time, unlike the first, I don't have much hope for the Mara Dyer series anymore. The cliffhanger at the end of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer left me with a feeling hope that the series would eventually become awesome over time, and more importantly it made me care for what would happen next. But the difference this time is that I don't care, and I think that is the biggest thing I can say about my enjoyment in this series thus far: that I just don't care anymore.


I probably won't be reviewing this, because I've already tried and it frustrated the hell out of me, but what you need to know was that this book, like its review which remains unwritten, frustrated the living hell out of me. I enjoyed the ride throughout the first half, finding it to be creepy and mysterious, but as I hit the fifty percent mark I found myself soon bored by the cliche happenings that were just trying too hard. For things to be creepy to me, they must be subtle, and not "WHOA - LOOK OVER THERE! SOMETHING CREEPY'S HAPPENING! NO, SERIOUSLY, LOOK OVER THERE. YOU'RE GOING TO MISS THIS. GOD DAMMIT LOOK OVER THERE SOMETHING'S HAPPENING! *bangs pots and pans* LOOOOOOOK!". And that, my friends, is what The Evolution of Mara Dyer's creepy elements felt like to me. They were trying too hard to get my attention and to freak me out, and I think it goes without saying that it did not. Some of the happenings were interesting, but there were just so many of them that each time something new happened I found myself rolling my eyes. And, similarly to its predecessor, The Evolution of Mara Dyer overstayed its welcome, which is probably the main reason I was so frustrated by it. The first half was fun to read, but the second half, to me, was so boring and repetitive and never-ending that I found myself skimming pages. And all of the "creepy" happenings led up to an incredibly anticlimactic finale that, once again, ends in a pretty sizable cliffhanger.

But the thing is, I don't really care anymore. The cliffhanger at the end of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer had me caring about what would happen next, even if I didn't like the entire novel. The ending of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer made me have hope that the series would get better and more plot-related. And while I can say that The Evolution of Mara Dyer is an overall stronger companion to Unbecoming, I just can't bring myself to care anymore. I know a lot of my friends will really enjoy this, and some already have, but it frustrated me with its repetitiveness, its overly long drawn out stay, and its shoddy attempt at adding another installment with a cop-out cliffhanger when everything could have been resolved in this book, or even the first. But the difference is this time I won't be suckered into reading the next installment.

First half: 4.5 stars
Second half: 2 stars
Final verdict: A very unsure 3 stars (don't go by my rating, go by my review, it's more accurate)

Profile Image for Kristalia .
383 reviews612 followers
January 5, 2016
Final rating: 3.5/5 stars

This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster.
Just like me.

The last 20% were so worthy of 3.5 STARS.

I don't know if it is a standard for Michelle Hodkin or if i always get bored until i reach 70% of the book? Because it is the deal with me and Mara Dyer series. But, this time, i got some answers. But! I got confused as hell! And i loved that! Can you imagine? I actually loved this book. More than the first one anyway.

Now that i had idea what was going on, i started to suspect a lot of things and to have my theories, but i don't think i have guessed them. i was close but i didn't see that coming in the end. That ending... everything there is suspicious, because Mara didn't witness it so it doesn't mean it actually happened, so i don't believe it. It was a massive cliffhanger, but surprisingly it didn't affect me in any way, because i could have seen it coming.

Once again, the problem i had with this book is the longevity of it. It is always unnecessary long, some may not agree, but there were many useless parts which i didn't find amusing or dramatic or anything. They were just boring.

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But the story this time surprised me, with some plot twists and turn arounds, and i was quite immersed into it.

I won't reveal much about the story, since i don't know how i would write the synopsis but it was creepier, weirder and definitely better than The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. But those India flashbacks were quite annoying because i don't understand their point. Or i just couldn't care less.

But the worst thing: i need the answers because now i feel like i have been given more questions than answers! And it's making me lose my mind!



"You can’t hurt me the way you think you can. But even if you could? 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.”
My breath caught in my throat. No matter what. The words were a promise, a promise I didn’t know if anyone could keep.
“We’re only seventeen,” I said quietly.
“Fuck seventeen.” His eyes and voice were defiant. “If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”


The best way to describe Mara in this book would be obsession: obsessed about Noah, obsessed about her feelings, obsessed with her fears, obsessed with everything that has ever happened to her. But, she was kind of better in this book than in the last one and i kind of liked her too. But she was still annoying sometimes, sadly. Other than that, she is not a bad character at all.

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The thing about Noah is that he is way to secretive. He wants to help, but he barely says anything about himself and his situation. And all the money stuff is getting on my nerves :( Somehow in some scenes he didn't felt believable enough. But it didn't stop him from being still the same cocky arrogant idiot.

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Everyone else :

I am split opinion about Mara's parents. They are supportive of her, but what irritated me is that they never listen to her. They never give her the chance to say the whole story. But in the normal situation, what they did, would probably every parent do.

Noah's parents on the other hand were ... absent... they didn't have any point except to tell us how Noah feels because of them.

I loved Daniel, he is just so freaking adorable and awesome, and i must say that i loved Jamie too, though he should give chances sometimes instead of reacting.

Other female characters were either crazy or bat*hit insane, or just wrong. I don't think there was any normal girl aside from Mara...if she can be considered normal anyway.

Jude... sadistic bastard would fit. And i have so many questions about him that i need answers.


Not a bad sequel, i liked it and enjoyed it, but like i said before, i had problem with it's size. But this series has interesting story, it was just not so well executed but who knows what will third book give us? Hopefully more answers.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...
Profile Image for Jess.
446 reviews596 followers
October 26, 2014
THE SCIENTIFIC THEORY: aka I’ve scoured the net, and yet none have mentioned the following theory pertaining to The Retribution of Mara Dyer
(edited to include A Clockwork Orange--found at the bottom.) (October: edited to include the Daniel Myer theory)

This all links back to Biotechnology. Otherwise known as David Shaw, Noah Shaw’s father.

Noah’s father owns a megacorporation that all stems from research in biotechnology. According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Act 2, biotechnology is:

“any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”

In essence, Noah’s father dabbles in the field of genetic modification (or so I think that he does. I’ll be honest with you, I did absolutely no science subjects in my senior studies).

In The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Mara’s father says a passing comment about David Shaw’s company:

“There were some federal indictments handed down a year ago for the executives of one of his megacorporation’s subsidiaries—Aurora Biotech? Euphrates International […]”

Noah’s father is by far the most enigmatic character mentioned in the passing. If he was just Daddy Warbucks, why have all these constant, and consistent insinuations and passing comments about his father’s involvement in biotechnology. We know from the above quote that something shady is cooking up in his research.

This oddity comes up once again when Noah mentions that his father needs security. Why? It would seem that the biotechnological work that his father doesn’t isn’t so simple. Once again, the company is insinuated to dabble deeper in something that is not quite…moral.

“A euphemism for ‘playing God,’ according to the religious and environmental groups that hate his subsidiaries.”

Quite odd, that is. David Shaw is implied to be a person who enjoys manipulating natural forces, a man “playing God” .

Let’s diverge a bit and jump to the medical transcript at the end. What struck me as out of place were the words on both Lowe sibling transcripts: “artificially manifested, Lenaurd Protocol, early induction” . Why artificial? When you think artificial, one would think against nature--as though someone defied the natural world, played God as they say. Not to mention the Lenaurd Protocol. The word protocol is commonly associated with experimentations and programs, one that could potentially military.

But the most significant part was “early induction”. Jude desperately wants Claire back—but why? Why not his family? Why not his old life? What is his endgame? When questioned by Mara, his answers always come full circle—back to Claire.

“ ‘What about your family?...
‘Claire was my family.’ Jude’s voice was different now. Less harsh.”

This naturally got me thinking. Why would he give no care to the wellbeing of his mother and father, who mysteriously evaporated upon the deaths of both siblings? Why of course! Unless Claire was his only true family. Early induction--whatever experiment they were entangled in, they were in it together. Either both were orphans—related or not, I have no answer to—or were both joined together in the origins of this “artificial manifestation” . Could they perhaps be the first byproducts of a genetic mutation? I’m thinking that the two either originated and were artificially formed, or were experimented on, so as to encompass the G1821—genetic experimentation that defied nature and defied God. A couple of you have mentioned the link between the genetic code and Jude and Claire’s address: 1281 Live Oak Court. I think this cracks onto something. If Jude and Claire truly identified with this experiment—G1821—then perhaps this is reflected in their address. If they had no one else but each other then 1821, or it reversed, would, to them, be like home--a place of shelter, and a place of cultivation.

Then one would begin to think, Jude and Dr. Kells seem to be in it together. Dr. Kells mentions a blind study. But studies must be financed. This study went through a hell of an effort to conjoin all these counterparts together, one must stop to think:who is funding it?. And the only person that I can stop to think of now with that kind of cash is Daddy Warbucks, a.k.a the lovely David Shaw.

I’ve also come to convince myself further that biotechnology is involved. In the beginning of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Mara implies that the following events are told following their occurrence. She states that she is in New York City.

“I’m afraid David’s in New York at the moment”

That’s right. Guess whose papa heads an office in NY: Noah. The note forewarning the series has Mara mentioning her “lawyer". Why have a lawyer, and why, pray tell, would she also be in NYC. Unless, we get a hopeful conclusion. Or unless she’s suing the hell out of a certain biotechnology giant for unlawful, unmoral, unethical genetic mutative experimentation.

But then you begin to wonder, what does David Shaw get out of this? What could possibly be his endgame? Now I couldn’t possibly tell you that, but I’ve sure as hell had a long think over it. Here is when Granny Mara becomes a central figure.

Granny Mara went to Cambridge. Granny Mara went to Cambridge and studied at Darwin College. Darwin College was a tribute to Charles Darwin, the one and only Darwin who penned the literary genius and scientific work of art, On the Origin of Species . That’s right, this was the very work that explored the idea of natural selection and genetic superiority, one that has aided in the segregation of the weak from the strong; an evolution of society. What are the odds? Genetics, once again. The Mara Dyer series deals with kids who have advanced abilities, ones that have left them superior to the rest of the human race. Darwin College is graduate-only, and it assumed to be the place where Granny Mara did her PHD. It is established that Granny Mara knew Noah’s mother, but it is also suggested that perhaps she could have known his father as well. But father remains an enigma:

“ ‘Can you ask your dad? Maybe he remembers this.’ …
‘He won’t talk about her.’ Noah’s voice went voice went flat. “

Granny Mara was at Cambridge for her PHD, and yet she never finished.

“She was in school for her PHD, but she never finished. I think that always bothered her.”

If it bothered her, then what could have been so detrimental that it stopped her from completing her doctorate? Granny Mara also then becomes very, very paranoid, but what could have induced such a thing?

“…when she went inside to pay, a man asked me for directions…And just as he got back in his car and drove away, your grandmother ran out. She wanted to know everything—what he wanted, what he said—she was wild”

Perhaps she was running from something, from someone. A man? What if, in her liaison with Noah’s mother, and possibly his father, she became entangled in a genetic experimentation? But entertain this thought: what if it went wrong, if she got cold feet and if she realised its ethical implications? Cold her paranoia be induced out of a fear of David Shaw?

Now if we labour under my theory here and assume that Dr. Kells is under advisement from David Shaw, then it would explain why she was at the asylum, recording the video of the building’s collapse. If Granny Mara became paranoid then she must have had something to hide. But this something could just as easily have been a someone. If she was involved in any form of genetic experimentation, especially in the field of study genetic superiority and genetic anomaly, and her genetics were central (esp when comparing Granny Mara, Noah's mum and his father, Granny would be the oldest of the group, perhaps making her genes more "original" then the others) then for anything else to continue they would need a descendent from Granny Mara. Someone who possessed the same genetic mutation. Her own daughter did not exhibit any special abilities, and she was very cautious of this, but what if she recognized Mara’s ability, and as a precaution, decided to cut all links of association between herself and Mara, to keep her safe. There is little to link Granny Mara to Mara in the first place. Granny Mara refused to have photographs taken and Mara’s last name is her fathers. So what if Jude and Claire, the mysterious brother and sister, were charged with infiltrating Rachel and Mara? They would not have been sure that Mara was the correct descendant of Granny Mara (a seemingly original carrier of G1821). I think the asylum collapse was a setup—a test of Mara’s ability. One she passed, but at a cost. It would validate Jude’s anger, because perhaps Claire was not meant to die. They underestimated Mara’s power, and perhaps Claire was a cost—one that now fuels Jude’s retribution.

You guys are probably thinking if David Shaw is so central to the plot then why have Noah in the way. But think about—Noah’s supposed death has eliminated him from the chessboard. He has been eliminated from this chase for Mara. When probed about what David Shaw thought of his son’s relationship with Mara, Noah replied:

“He thinks I’m a fool”

That can be taken with several meanings, but the one I like to think is he’s a fool, because now he has become central to the plot. David doesn’t want his son mixed in with this, and thus he is eliminated from the game.

Despite everything, I still think science is so integral to the overall endgame. Why else would it be mentioned so much. We, the audience, are so occupied by the supernatural shenanigans, the impossible and the love component that when science sneaks it’s way in, perhaps we just don’t regard it as much. It is so minute, yet it is the minute details that count.

“ ‘It’s science—‘
‘It’s madness,’ he said.

“ ‘Why do you keep reaching for science?’
‘Why do you keep reaching for magic?’”

These are just some thoughts to think about. I’ve rambled and this is the length of an essay now. An essay of incoherent thoughts. Brilliant going Jess.

Ps. This may be edited from time to time, purely when I think of new things or if I’ve realised that I’ve left a particular thing out.

PPS. There's more, kids. I'm just rolling up to 3am and pretty much too exhausted to piece together coherent sentences.

The first of many forthcoming edits: A Clockwork Orange edition

In the preview of The Retribution of Mara Dyer cork board, a particular image caught my eye.

(Click here for said image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0PY4ZEG2oqs...)

That image right at the centre bottom, a cog eye. Now that struck me straight away. I don’t have a photographic memory and what a blessing it would be if I did have one. Instead I remember semblances of certain things, and in my mind I can link them back to certain places, or locations, of where I’ve seen them (tangent, I know, but essentially it’s like if you asked me for a definition of a concept I wouldn’t remember, but I would remember the concept you want to find and remember it’s location in a book, eg. on the right hand towards the top of a page in the first third of the book). I had one of those moments. Now of course I’ve seen that image. It’s the cover of the controversial A Clockwork Orange.


How odd, it would seem, to include the image of such a book, but then I did some research. In the introduction to the 1986 publication of the novella, Burgess wrote the following:

“By definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State. It is as inhumane to be totally good as it is to be to ally evil. The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.”

Notice in particular the line “He has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God” . Jude’s appearance depicts a character who is seemingly “harmless”—an All-American boy. He is the orange. As we’ve seen him, Jude seems only capable of performing evil deeds. He has been a one dimensional character, only slightly vulnerable at the mention of his sister Claire. In that way, it would seem that Jude is a clockwork orange—at the mercy of being “wound up by God” (and let’s reiterate, who likes ”Playing God”? David Shaw). There are times where Jude’s speech is described as being ”mechanical” almost as though he has no control over what he does. Seeing how impassioned Jude is, motivated by his sister, one would think that he would want simple retribution—Mara’s life for Claire’s. So why is he insistent that Mara has the capability to bring Claire back to life? Jamie’s medical transcript states him as “manifesting, induced”. Mara’s has a simple “manifesting”. It would seem that whilst both have shown signs of abilities, Jamie may have had his limits and ultimate capacities induced, whilst Mara is in the process of being induced—as though this is all a test.

Essentially A Clockwork Orange deals with the ultimate question: is mankind better off being “evil”, but at their own free will, or being conditioned to be good? In Mara Dyer, the essence of this is kept, but it is twisted and played around with. A Clockwork Oranges inaugurates the notion that perhaps the chosen evil is the lesser evil, purely because there was a moral choice. Jude seems to have lost his moral choice—the thought death and destruction doesn’t keep him awake at night. Without moral choice, a human ceases to be anything but mechanical. Mara, Noah and the rest represent the “natural man”, born “unlimited, unrepressed”, and perhaps they hold the key to where Jude went wrong. If he has been artificially manifested, should he not be conditioned as good? He is a double whammy of defiance, an experiment gone wrong, for he has not moral choice, and yet has chosen evil. This perhaps may be why they are so desperate for Mara. There may be something in her genes that hold the key to artificially inducing superior genes, without the mechanical cost. I don’t know if I even make sense, but I must come back and think a bit deeper about this point.

Oh hey, I didn't forget about this. I've been thinking in the AMs lately and I've deduced something fishy about Daniel Dyer. So have this edit.

Now I understand that I may be hitting a sore spot for many here. I tread lightly when it comes to sibling accusations. But after relentless badgering from a friend, it seems that I can’t deny it any longer. There is something off about our dear Daniel Dyer.

Hints. Clues. Details. That’s what my life has been surrounded by. My mind reads a sentence and it catches the most minuscule insignificant detail, because that’s just how it works. Sometimes I think “maybe if I hoard this away, it’ll come in hand” (in reality this hardly plays out, in the fictitious world, it’s a skill that comes in handy).

The position Daniel plays in all of this? I think he’s her watcher. It’d make him feel significant. Life has always revolved around Mara (at least in the recent years) and for a child with the brilliance of Daniel’s capacity, that can hurt. A lot. Jealousy brews terrible things. It drives loved ones against one another. It causes betrayal. It fractures worlds.

Daniel’s jealous of Mara. Read between the lines. What seems to be a sibling comforting the other could be interpreted completely differently. Case in point:

“I wish Mara knew that I’m jealous of her.”

While we’re on that topic, Daniel is quite the expert when it comes to lying. I would find y’all the excerpt but this extra edit is coming at a time when procrastination is highly attractive, but not attractive enough to spend an hour looking for a needle in a haystack. But have this instead:

“...but as Daniel entered the room he expertly masked his concern.”

“I said, unable to help my smile. Daniel flashed one of his own—a real one, this time.”

So he’s a master at emotions. What differentiates the real Daniel from his facade? Which one is the facade?

Daniel also comes to have ownership of two things: New Theories in Genetics and Mara’s crazy journal. Despite being mysteriously elusive, Mara’s journal ends up in Daniel’s room of all places, jacked up with evidentiary support for her supposed hallucinatory state. But why Daniel’s room?

This question is left unanswered because we jump from one shock finding to another. Before we can process the journal, it turns out Daniel has New Theories of Genetics in his possession as well? Why? It seems a tad odd to store a book in your closet of all places. Daniel explains that he wants to separate what’s his from what’s hers but who stores things in their closet (apart from clothing) unless they don’t want it to be found (I’m so sorry if you do. No judgement here, guys.)

And then there’s the matter of 1984. Call me paranoid. Whatever. But since Orwell made a mark on me early on in my teenage years, I can’t help but shake the image, the metaphor of Big Brother. Big Brother is always watching. What I’ve deduced is that Mara has a watcher. She’s being taped inside her own house. Sure, Jude could have been the one who installed it (hell I can’t remember that scene anymore, forgive me if it’s been explained), but who else has better access than the occupants of the house. Is it a coincidence that Daniel’s keys are the ones that go missing?

“Daniel had kept a big-brotherly eye on me ever since”

Sure, that could mean that he’s a fantastic brother and I’ve just slandered him (sorry), but who knows? Big Brother, to me, has been tainted. Could he be watching her? Detailing her every move? Who knows, kids. I’ve been thinking lately (and also sleep deprived). The mind does funny things. We’ll find out, soon enough.
Profile Image for Sylvie .
634 reviews821 followers
October 17, 2019
3.65 out of 5 stars.

I stayed up till 3:00 am to finish this book, and it was worth it.

I never thought I would say this, but I really enjoy this installement. It was darker, more intense, makes you question every single thinks and most importantly less cliché than the previous book. One of the main issues with me in the first book was that the characters were so typical and some of them kind of annoying, especially the mc, the plot was the only thing that kept me interested in the series. One of the things that bothered me too in the first book was the romance, but it really grew on me in this book, even Noah started to grow on me, and I also realized that it's impossible not to love him.
I also liked that this book focuses more on Mara's hallucinations and figuring out what her ability is.

I'm glad I decided to continue the series and although this took me more than a week to finish it, but mostle it was my fault cuz I was kind of in a slump. This was filled with shocking moments, (predictable) turns and twists and a better plot.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
August 13, 2016
OH MY FREAKING- WHY DO YOU LEAVE ME HANGING LIKE THAT, WHY!? I just *sigh*.... Can it be October already, please?
Profile Image for shre ♡.
355 reviews622 followers
January 20, 2013
The Evolution of Mara Dyer was an absolutely thrilling sequel to the brain-wracking first novel in the series. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was enchanting and exciting, but this one was ADDICTING. There are more twists and turns and exciting parts in this book then there are on a roller-coaster ride. One thing is for sure, once readers put this one down, they'll definitely need some time before picking up any other book.

Mara in this book, was let's just say, funny and in a way messed up as she was in the last book. If you thought her life in the was mind-wracking, confusing, and weird, then her life in the second book just got a whole lot crazier. There are ex'es stalking her, crazy dolls appearing everywhere, nervous and paranoid parents, and a bunch of other voodoo-istic/creeptastic events transpiring in her life which she seems to have lost control over. But then again, she does have her amazing and totally drool-worthy hunk of a boyfriend Noah Shaw to keep her sane and grounded. The one most important thing I loved about Mara was that, even though her life just decided to spiral towards cookoo-ville, she remained strong, optimistic, loyal, (insert many other synonyms), and stayed true to herself.

Okay, I've decided that I'm going to dedicate an entire gushy paragraph to Noah Shaw just because this boy deserves it! Seriously! Mara is the luckiest fracking girl in the world to get a guy like him. Number on, he's loyal, insanely loyal. So much so that even when Mara tries to shrug him off (for reasons which will be explained when you read the book), he says that he will stay by her side and no matter what consequences are thrown at them. He always stands by Mara and is there when she needs him. Number two, although he may not seem it at first glance, he is actually extremely sweet and kind. Meaning, romantic dinner dates, security guards, 24/7 availability, and just...ARGH! Perfect I say! LOL. Number three, HE. IS. FUNNY. WITTY. AND A COMPLETE HEART-STOPPER (Ok, that might've been more than three things, but who's counting?). Without him, this book would not have been complete in the least.

Overall, the plot-line was crazy, twisted, unexpected, and a hell of a marvelous ride. Pieces of information were thrown at you one after another and sometimes, even though it was hard to keep up with, Miss Hodkin made it possible. There was drama, intrigue, action, craziness (which I will keep repeating because this will never stopping recurring when it comes to Mara Dyer books), humor, and an amazing romance. I'd love to go back in time to experience this journey once again.

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