The Retribution of Mara Dyer – book review

The Retribution of Mara Dyer

The Retribution of Mara Dyer is the third and final book in the intense and thrilling Mara Dyer series, written by Michelle Hodkin.

Mara Dyer has been lied to, and she desperately wants to believe there’s more to them than what there appears to be. She’s doesn’t stop to think about where her quest to find the truth might lead her. It might take her somewhere she doesn’t want to go, but finding out what has really happened is making Mara more determined than ever. Before this, Mara never wondered about how far she would go for vengeance. When loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence are tangled, and fate and chance collide…

Retribution has arrived.Read More »

The Evolution of Mara Dyer – book review

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the second frightening, yet spellbinding book in the Mara Dyer series, written by Michelle Hodkin.

Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She may think she’s a killer and responsible for her friends’ deaths, but the one thing she knows is she has no place in a psychiatric unit. Unfortunately, convincing her family and her doctors that she isn’t crazy is difficult. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend Jude seems to be staking her. The only problem is, everyone thinks he’s dead. He isn’t. And he’s out for revenge…

The only way Mara can stop Jude is if she and Noah work together. Mara can kill with her mind, and Noah can heal with his. Mara must learn to control her powers before she endangers the lives of everyone around her She and Noah must figure out what really happened on the night of the asylum collapse and how Jude seemed to know so much about her ability. But Mara must hurry… before everyone else ends up dead.

I can’t believe how much I love this series so far! This book was even better than the first one. It was scarier, had me asking more questions, and left me begging for answers. This is one of the most thrilling books I’ve ever read. It had me up until late in the night trying to solve all the mysteries in this book. Again, I was grabbed from the very first page and this book had me glued to the pages.
One of the main emotions I experience while reading this book was frustration. I was so frustrated that no one believed Mara. I was frustrated that I didn’t know whether Mara was hallucinating or whether something was actually happening. I was frustrated that Mara was considered ‘crazy’. If I felt that way, I can’t even begin to imagine how Mara felt being forced to go to a psychiatric unit when even her own mother didn’t believe Mara. I was angry that no one would listen to her, except for Noah and occasionally Daniel. I was confused as to whether Mara was hallucinating, or whether the things she saw were real. I was scared when creepy things happened to Mara. This book was even scarier than the first one. I was hugging myself, sitting in my house with every single light turned on at night, both too terrified to continue reading, yet I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages. I was trapped, wanting to know what was going to happen, but afraid I wasn’t going to be able to sleep without the light off if I kept reading. I eventually worked out that perhaps if I finished the book and everything was solved, I would feel less scared about going to sleep. It was 1am when I finished reading this book, but I didn’t feel any better or feel comforted in the slightest. Left on a massive cliff-hanger, I read the last page over and over again, hoping that another chapter was going to be there when I re-read it, saying Haha! Fooled you! Everything is going to be okay and Mara is safe and no one is actually dead, except for the people who you want to be dead! But that never happened. The closer I came to the end of the book, the more I felt like I was a big ball of emotions, rolling down a steep hill where a lake full of piranas met me at the bottom. I was frustrated, angry, terrified, and left wanting more. I can’t believe how this book ended and I know I won’t be able to stop thinking about this series until I get my hands on the next book.
Again, I loved the characters in this book. Mara seemed sure of herself and she knew exactly what she believed. She was more determined than ever to uncover Jude and prove that she wasn’t crazy. I felt like Mara was more cautious in this book as well. I guess that would be natural when your parents are constantly watching you and are willing to move you into a home of the mentally unstable and when one wrong move could mean putting yourself and your family at risk. Although Mara questioned whether she was actually crazy at times, I liked how she never doubted herself for a long time. The only thing she doubted was whether she could kiss Noah because of what she could do. I desperately hoped that this book wasn’t going to be like all the other books I’ve read where two people couldn’t touch each other because then something terrible would happen. I was pleased with how everything worked out regarding that issue. But then I started doubting Mara about all the crazy things that were happening to her. I wondered whether Jude was actually still alive. I wondered whether maybe Mara blacked out and did these creepy things, only to awake and be scared that someone was in her house. It would be really creepy if the whole time, it were Mara doing these things. Like in the first book, I was really glad Noah was in the story. Without Noah, I feel like this book would have just been depressing and I would probably have not read the second book in the series. Noah felt like an anchor in this series and I loved having him in the books. I felt like Noah and Mara have come a lot closer in this book and now trust each other a lot more. I know Noah would never do anything to hurt Mara and I know I could trust him to believe whatever Mara told him. He was really supportive. Again, I loved the conversations between Mara and Noah. They seemed so perfect together and their conversations always flowed naturally. Noah is an asset to this series.
I literally cannot fault this book. Michelle Hodkin didn’t try to be too clever with her words, unlike the first book. I loved the captivating plot and all the spine-chilling moments throughout this book. I felt a range of different emotions reading this book. I loved how this book could make me laugh at the conversations between Mara and Noah, as well as make tears of frustration run down my face. This is one of the best books I’ve read and I will be camping outside the bookshop the night before the next book is released to make sure I get my copy! I’d completely, 100% loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and I’d give it a score of 9.5 out of 10. Absolutely superb.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – book review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Haunting, mysterious, and the first in its thrilling series, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the beautifully written book by Michelle Hodkin.

When Mara wakes up in a hospital, she has no recollection of what happened. She doesn’t know how she got there, or what happened that got her two friends and her boyfriend killed and left her miraculously uninjured. Her doctors suggest that she start over in a new city, at a new school, and just hope her memories gradually come back.

But Mara is finding her new life anything but comforting. She sees her dead friends everywhere and begins to see deaths before they happen. Everyone thinks she crazy – is she? Just when Mara feels like the world is crumbling around her, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy Mara’s ever seen just won’t leave her alone. Is Noah really the boy everyone thinks he is? Or is there something sinister hiding under his gorgeous façade?

Wow. Just wow. This book… I can’t even begin to describe how it made me feel. All I know is that I really enjoyed reading this book. And that it was creepy. Very creepy. The first chapter really set the scene and gave me a slight indication of what this book was going to be like. I knew from the moment I started reading this book was that it was going to be impossible to put down. I loved how the tension was there from the very beginning and wasn’t lost for the entire story. This is definitely one of the eeriest books I’ve ever read.
During most of this book, Mara had hallucinations. These parts were really disturbing because I didn’t know that she was hallucinating at the time. I was in Mara’s head for the entire book and I felt everything that she felt. When she was terrified, so was I. When Mara felt like she was going, crazy so did I. Her emotions felt so real to me and I found myself pulling the covers of my duvet closer to me, trying to escape the horrors of what was going on. This book was really frightening. I don’t know how Mara was so calm in some of these situations because I know I would have screamed loud enough to wake the whole city. But it was these parts I liked the most. That’s because I didn’t know whether to trust everything Mara was seeing. Towards the end of the book, I was very suspicious of everything. I loved that aspect of this book.
I really liked the characters in this book. Mara was by far my favourite character. I loved the way she spoke. She always knew what she wanted to say and I loved how forward she could be when she wanted to be. I enjoyed her conversations with Noah. Their conversations were always amusing and extremely witty. Together, Mara and Noah was what made this story really jump off the pages. Their relationship was so real and didn’t seem faked at any point. Noah was a really funny person at times, other times he was deadly serious and slightly intimidating. 
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was some of the words Michelle Hodkin used. For example, she used words like candor instead of just saying honesty. She said detest instead of hate. Don’t try to be clever with me, Michelle Hodkin, because it won’t work! All she was doing was trying to show off that she could use a thesaurus. Is that really necessary? She took away from the story line because I was only focussing on how smart she was trying to look. She could easily convey the same message by using more common words. She doesn’t need to feel that she needs to show off to impress people and make them love the story. People will love the story because the love the plot and the characters and because of how haunting it is. Not because of how many long words Michelle uses. In saying that, I loved every other part of the story and I loved how Michelle could convey emotion in practically every sentence. Some of my favourite paragraphs were when Mara didn’t know whether to believe her eyes or not. I really enjoyed reading those parts because then I was unsure myself. Michelle Hodkin is a very talented author and my only criticism is to use words that convey emotion in the characters, not knowledge of a dictionary.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the spine-chilling and haunting story-line and it was definitely a thrilling read. I’d give The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer a score of 8.5 out of 10. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series!