The Unbecoming/Evolution/Retribution of Mara Dyer– Michelle Hodkin
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
RATING: #1 – ★★★★★, #2 – ★★★★✩, #3 – ★★★✩✩
This series, as a whole, was seriously good. It’s a shame that my fondness lessened as the series went on but my overall judgement towards the trilogy is positive. As a brief summary for the first book, Mara Dyer is a teenage girl who has recently moved away from her home town after experiencing a traumatic event that really shook her but the most frightful aspect is that she can’t remember it at all. The story follows Mara adapting to new life as she slowly uncovers what happened that night and more is revealed about her character. While adjusting, she meets a boy named Noah Shaw who, on the surface is a player and arrogant teen but, in reality, has a connection to Mara that is remarkably unimaginable.
I read #1 and #2 quite a while back so decided to re-read them in order to familiarise myself with the characters once more and I’m so glad I did or I would have been so lost in the third book. What Hodkin does best is leave great big massive cliff-hangers at the end of each book so it’s pretty difficult to resist immediately picking the next one up when it’s nearby. It’s difficult for me the describe the final book because anything I say will be ridden with spoilers but the one thing I can say is that it is distinctly different to the other two. I felt like Retribution had no clear plot and I was becoming bored at certain points throughout. As a paranormal novel with supernatural aspects, I know it sounds silly to call the last book ‘unrealistic’ but I do believe that Mara and her friends got away with a little too much and sometimes parts seemed too convenient for my liking. I can’t quite pinpoint my issue with the last book but I think my disappointment is heightened by the fact that the book is the resolution of the series so I had quite high hopes that just weren’t met in my eyes.
One thing when I started the books that I didn’t expect was how scary I found them. If you’re easily frightened by the supernatural or paranormal activity then this isn’t the book for you. Let’s just say, I opted for colouring over reading when I was home alone on some nights. But the fear-factor took nothing away from the book, it was always necessary and worked successfully at intensifying my intrigue. In #1, I simultaneously loved and hated how Mara would learn more about that night every 10 chapters or so, in and amongst her every-day life. Each time, the chapter would end on a cliff-hanger that made it hard not to skip over the next few chapter to find out more. I seriously commend Hodkin for her ability to keep readers speculating throughout right up until the resolution in book three.
Throughout the series, I really loved Mara and Noah. Their characters, though not in exactly the same way, show what it’s like to be a teenager with so much certainty in a skeptical world which can be just as easily applied to real life. However, about 2/3rds into the third book and my opinion on Mara lessened. Anyone who’s read the series knows that Mara transforms substantially in the last book and, at a very specific point, I realised that I cared for her character far less that, I’m sad to say, made me less connected to the resolution and almost indifferent to what might happen. But by the epigraph, my love for the characters had restored and, all in all, I was content with the ending.
Although I feel less fondly about the last book, the series is a definite must-read. I would suggest to only read the first two to save yourself any of the same disappointment I felt for the final book but, as I’ve said, the level of suspense is off the charts so I highly doubt that would be possible! Nonetheless, a good series that is perfect for anyone wanting a slightly unorthodox love story, shall I say? Anyways, if you read them, do let me know so we can discuss because they’re some seriously awesome books to get your teeth stuck into.
Seeing as I re-read the first two, only The Retribution of Mara Dyer count towards my Reading Challenge this year so…
– – – – – – – – POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Update – – – – – – – –
A New York Times bestseller ✓
Happy Reading Bookworms!