The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer, #2). | My copy: Hardcover, 527 pages, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division), 2012. | Source: Library. | Read my review of Book #1, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, here. | View The Evolution of Mara Dyer on Goodreads here.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is even darker, creepier, and scarier than the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I liked Evolution much, much more. Mara is almost completely alone in facing her nightmares, and it’s quite unsettling and saddening to read as things get progressively worse and worse.
This book focuses on Mara’s ex-boyfriend Jude, who allegedly died in the building collapse predating the first volume, but who Mara knows is actually alive. Jude wants something from her and he is mentally torturing Mara in a host of disturbing ways. Her family sends Mara to a mental care facility, though, because they’re afraid she’s a danger to herself and is suffering from extreme guilt and PTSD (you’ll need to have read Unbecoming to know why). No one believes Mara’s story — except for Noah. Brilliant, charming, caring Noah, who I remember not being a huge fan of in the first book, but who I now really, really liked. And the romance was very hot here, if I do say so. It was not the focus of the book, which was nice, but the few steamy scenes were so wonderful and full of tension. Mara and Noah have great chemistry.
Similar to Unbecoming, there are “flashbacks” in Evolution, but these are slightly different. I am not someone who usually likes these kind of abrupt scenes in stories, and I will say that, sadly, Evolution didn’t change my opinion. These memories felt random and were confusing at first and I feel like the story wouldn’t have been any different without them.
That being said, I did enjoy how Mara and Noah’s family secrets started to surface and be explored. It was interesting seeing how the two of them were linked somehow in all the craziness, and there were barely any answers, if any, that we got by the book’s end concerning their families. I’m intrigued for the third and final book to explain!
Character-wise, Mara was a difficult protagonist. I felt for her and liked her enough, but there were still so many times when I wondered if what she was perceiving was real or not. I wouldn’t say Mara was an unreliable narrator, but the fact that she hallucinated, sleepwalked, had visions, and seemed to notice things others did not made me on edge and wonder if she really was insane. I liked Noah. I think I mentioned that already. Jamie was a puzzle, and I found him annoying almost 100% of the time. Daniel, Mara’s brother, was such a kind, smart person, the rock of the family, who really could be anyone’s dream older brother. But Phoebe, though, whoa, that girl was demented. She creeped me the hell out. Sadly, I think we’re not done seeing her…
Overall, The Evolution of Mara Dyer was a fantastic sequel, even better than than its predecessor, which was really good, too, but had its slower parts. I am so excited to finish the trilogy. I want Mara to have a happy ending (as happy as possible) and for all her demons to go away and for Jude to just die already. I highly recommend this series. Just maybe don’t read it late at night before bed because there are definitely some super disturbing scenes. And that climax… wow, that was intense. This book was definitely hair-raising! You have been warned! ♦
So tell me…
Have you read The Evolution of Mara Dyer? If so, what did you think? If not, would you want to start/continue with the Mara Dyer series? And what’s the last psychological/supernatural thriller you’ve read? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!