Word Spelunking

The Evolution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin 4.5/5 StarsWith its deliciously creepy atmosphere, irresistible humor, and enticing romance, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer quickly became one of my favorite reads last year, and I've been eagerly and anxiously awaiting its sequel...and thankfully the wait as been well worth it! While I'll admit that I loved book one a wee bit more than book two, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is a superb sequel and fantastic literary feat all on its own.This book picks up a few days after the climactic and cliffhangery events at the end of book one, and Mara is in a fragile emotional and psychological state as she struggles with what's real and what may just be in her head. Mara finds herself placed in a program for teens with “issues”, watched like a hawk by her parents; brother; and therapist, and the target of a creepy and deadly stalker. She and Noah search for any answers regarding their apparent abilities but what they find is something they never saw coming.Once again, Michelle Hodkin has weaved a gripping and oh so addicting psychological thriller with the perfect blend of mystery, chills, humor, and romance. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is, in my opinion, a phenomenal story that is almost impossible to beat, so while this second volume may not have matched book one in its supreme awesome epicness, it most definitely delivers.Hodkin is a masterful storyteller and her lovely, almost lyrical, and always impressive writing talent is undeniable. The Evolution of Mara Dyer paces a bit slower than book one, but it has an enjoyable and seamless flow. Like its predecessor, book one is told from Mara's first person perspective, creating a captivating and intimate atmosphere, but dispersed among the book are chapters that take place in India sometime in the past and are narrated by an unknown (but easy to assume) person. These Before chapters add even more layers to an already complex story and bring readers and Mara that much closer to real answers.Hodkin definitely doesn't scrimp on the chills and creepiness in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Toss a seriously deranged stalker, a group of misfit, possibly cray-cray teenagers, dead birds just falling from the sky, and a freaky doll that just won't go away into a storyline that is already deliciously dark and awesomely spine-tingly, mix it all together, and you've got a wicked cool story that grabs you and doesn't let go (and you won't want it to!). I love that the psychological aspects are actually explored in this book and aren't just simply explained away by any supernatural abilities. The psychological, emotional, and mental issues/disorders are very real for many of the characters, whether or not they're the cause of or an effect of any supernatural ability, and these issues are given the attention, respect, and exploration they deserve.In book one Mara and Noah's abilities weren't really explained, which I didn't mind so much but some readers did, and those readers will be happy to know that book two answers a lot of questions that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer created. Some of these answers I didn't see coming (I had plenty of “WTF” and “Oh no she didn't?!” moments) and some were easier to decipher. Either way, I enjoyed unraveling the twisted mysteries with Mara and Noah. And I enjoyed just being back in this world again with Mara, Noah, Jamie (love him!), Daniel, and some intriguing new characters. I didn't realize just how much I missed Jamie's humor or Mara's snark or Noah's cheekiness.Of course, among all the chilling, creepy, craziness, we have the steamy, eyebrow waggle inducing, makes you wanna sing “Let's Get It On”, yet somehow also incredibly sweet, honest, and palpable romance between Mara and Noah...hot? Check. frustrating? Check. completely alluring, enticing, and believable? Check Check Check...good times y'all...good, sexy times ;)And the story wouldn't be complete without a helluva ending to give us ALL THE FEELS...*whispers* So. Many. Feels...Hodkin has definitely set the scene for an electrifying and explosive conclusion, and I for one, cannot wait to be electrified and e'sploded by book three.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Michelle Hodkin is the queen of masterful and beautiful mind-fuckery, and The Evolution of Mara Dyer mind-fucked me in the most awesomest of ways. Lovers of book one will be pleased by this second volume and I think those who weren't wow'ed by The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will be pleasantly surprised by volume two. So, if you loved book one then you MUST read The Evolution of Mara Dyer and if you didn't love book one then you MUST also read The Evolution of Mara Dyer...basically, I'm saying READ THE BOOK!!!

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