The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin (Review)

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, and my Goodreads page

My Review:

“So everyone thinks your ‘protagonist’ is crazy,” he said, making air quotes with his fingers.

Everyone does seem to. “Pretty much.”

A smile appeared on Daniel’s lips. “But she’s an unreliable narrator who happens to be telling the truth?”

Seems that way. “Yep.”

“Okay,” he said. “So what’s really happening to you–I mean, her?”

“She doesn’t know, but she has to find out.”

“Why?”

Because she’s a murderer. Because she’s losing her mind. Because she’s being tormented by someone who should be dead.

Mara Dyer knows that Jude’s alive, even though everyone says he was killed by the accident that cost Mara her friend Rachel and Rachel’s friend Claire. But Mara saw him. In the flesh. At the police station. And now, because she freaked out, she’s back in the hospital, in four-point restraints. No one believes her…no one but Noah Shaw.

And it doesn’t help that now Mara’s lost the credibility she’d started to build with her family. She’s allowed outpatient treatment, but only if she pretends to the outside world that Jude truly is dead. But if he isn’t, and Mara knows what she saw, what she felt when he bumped into her, then she’s got to know: what does he want with her? Why did he let everyone think he was dead? Now even stranger things are happening; her grandmother’s doll appears in the middle of her room, she finds pictures of herself on her camera taken while she’s sleeping, and there are notes written in to her in blood on her mirror. It’s scary enough when she finds the dead cat on the porch, but Mara knows nobody will believe her, and worse, they’ll think she’s doing these things. But when a note appears in her bag, courtesy of one of the most unbalanced patients in her program, Mara knows she allow herself to be afraid. She still has Noah, though he’s been acting strange around her lately…is he finally starting to doubt her, too?

When Jude almost runs her and her father off the road, she knows she must find him, and figure out what he wants. But will it be too late? No one believes Mara…and she needs Noah more than ever.

When I arrived on the beach, Noah was flawless. Now his tie was loose, his cuffs undone, sand and sea had ruined his five-thousand-dollar suit, and his hair had been ravaged by my hands. His gray sapphire eyes were blazing and his velvet lips were swollen from mine.

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

Just like me.

Sigh. That’s the kind of man I’d like to meet.

Is it Classroom-Appropriate?

This one is a little “rougher” than the first book. As I said with the first book, there really is no academic value to reading this in the classroom, so it’s better as an outside reading book. But as Noah and Mara’s relationship heats up, it reminds me that it is more appropriate for AT LEAST Sophomores and up. So while it’s not in-class material, I don’t see a problem letting young adults read this at home to encourage reading in multiple environments.

Age Range:

Lexile.com says this book is close to the first, with a score of HL590L. So its complexity is approximately the same. They suggest 14-18 again (and up, obviously), but I think on this one I’ll stand firm at 15. Lots more swearing and intimacy and 14 just seems a tad too young,

End Result:

I read this in, what, a day? All 527 pages. Because you want to understand what’s happening to Mara, as well as the tangibility of Jude, you just can’t put it down. I’ll have a forced break while I wait for book three to come into the library, and that might be what I need because this book is INTENSE. I give this one ★★★★★ as well, especially because it kept me riveted. I still don’t have the answer to the burning question:


Bit hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

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19 thoughts on “The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin (Review)

  1. Wow! That’s intense, but also shows how amazing the book was if you read all 527 pages in one day. I always fall in love with characters in books… It’s always the worst knowing that you may never find someone like them! Nice review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! Yes, it pulled me under and I HAD to finish it!! It’s like, you’re waiting for a climactic moment, the moment someone is going to jump out and scream, “BOO!” but it never comes, because it’s dropped at the end and you have to continue. I’m going mad just waiting for the library copy to ship to my location!!

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  3. I largely skimmed over your review because I haven’t read the first book yet and I don’t want to risk any spoilers for when I get started on the series. But from what I did read not only did you really love this book but you read all 500 odd pages in one day! That is really impressive but it’s a sign for me that not only do I need to start this series but I need to start it soon! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was what I was afraid of doing in this book: but I tried to keep it spoiler-free. The one advantage is that most people who haven’t read it won’t understand my review!
      But I don’t want to spoil anything for you…but I hope you do read it someday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Granted you probably didn’t include spoilers but I still didn’t want to risk it. After I’ve read the first book I’ll definitely come back and read your review for the second so I can get a better idea of what you thought of it.
        Hopefully I’ll be able to get around to it soon! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, I totally get it. Another blogger friend is reading the book too, and she’s probably going to read the third book before I get to, so I’m not going to read her review until I get it read myself. Completely understand, darlin!
      But thanks for stopping by 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m really tearing into them. Already started After The Beginning, and will post a Currently Reading for Review post on it. Trying to get them all done before I start school on the 29th, since I’ll have school reading to do!!

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  4. I had this book on my TBR a while ago and then dropped it to prioritise others, but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have – it sounds good and mysterious and pretty engaging, if you’ve read it all in a day. I hope that when I get to it I’ll enjoy it as much as you have. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of people are saying that…I wonder if the first book turned everyone off, and then by the time the second came out, people were just like, “oh, that craziness? No thank you!” If I had to wait for another installment, I’d be turned off, too. Mainly because it leaves so much open. Luckily, I started it when the other books are available, so that’s probably why I’ve continued it. 🤔

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