Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Mara Dyer Trilogy By Michelle Hodkin

The Mara Dyer Trilogy 
Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer


Amazon / Goodreads / Click HERE for the review

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)

Amazon / Goodreads / Click HERE for the review

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

The Retribution of Mara Dyer


Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

This is the story of Mara Dyer.And you.


You walk into the crumbling facility. 
It was a stupid dare. Just a stupid dare.
'Go and stay in the old Horizons building. It's not too hard for you, right?' Ellis's sickening voice fills your mind.
You squeeze your eyes shut, reminiscing about your pleas. 'No,' you cried. 'I don't want to. You can't make me.' Your fear was palpable, and Ellis knew it. He knew exactly how to push your buttons.
You stride through the myriad of decrepit halls with your flashlight's beam flickering. You bite your lower lip, eyeing the structural support nearest to you with fear. 
"Go on. Keep going. We need to find a safe room to sleep in," Hana calls from behind you. She agreed to come with you after you begged Ellis for a companion. Ellis let Hans come, knowing you two were an inseparable duo of fire and ice. Water and earth. Stone and diamond.
'How cruel...' you thought miserably. 'The two of us suffering when she did nothing.' 
You turn the corner, almost smashing into a doorway as you drown in your thoughts. Hana gasps from behind you, spotting the doorway before she even turns.
"Look! What is that?" she cries. "How is it standing?" 
You offer only a weak shrug as you place your hand on the rusted handle. Your stormy eyes widen as the door creaks open, the handle dissolving into a fine powder beneath your fingers.
"Whoa," you whisper.
"Let's go explore," Hana crows, pushing past you and barging in.
You smile weakly as you follow, aiming the flickering beam of your flashlight into the room spread out before you.
"What's this?" you murmur as Hana plants her butt on the rickety, metal table.
"Looks like some examination room," she replied, patting the metal next to her. "Sit. We can stay here." 
You shake your head, your fingers running over the edge of a outdated computer screen. Your finger skims over a button, starting the monitor.
It hums to life, making Hana yelp and making you jump in pure shock.
How could it still work?
A female with eyes filled with sadness appears on the screen. She is wearing a thin, floral sundress with her shoulders bare and exposed.
"This is the story of Mara Dyer," the girl on the screen says, her voice warbling and sweet. "Prepare yourself for a ride."


I honestly don't know what to say about this series. I really don't. It's complicated and convoluted. 
If asked to describe this trilogy, I wouldn't know what to say. It's a wild ride. Action. Drama. Romance. Fiction of the magical sort. 
But I know one thing.
This series, in one word, is intriguing.
It's like a drug. Pulling you in then spitting you out. It's a wild ride. 


You watch as she explains in her sickly sweet voice about what you'll hear.
"Her story? Who is this? We should go," Hana murmurs. She jumps down from the table. It collapses after she releases her weight. She gasps as it clatters to the ground.
Taking a step towards the door, she holds out her tanned hand. "Come on." 
Those two words make you glance up from the scree as the girl continues her mad ramblings. Your eyes fill with longing.
"I can't," you reply. "I want to hear her story."
Hana just groans. "I'm leaving. You'll have to leave soon enough. I'll wait for you by the dock," she says before dropping her hand and promptly leaving.
Your eyes return to the screen. 


Mara's change is amazing. She becomes someone else entirely. If you read the first book and then the last, you wouldn't be able to recognize her. 
You see her transform into a new person. She is no longer afraid. I feel like...she was afraid in the beginning. Of what happened. Of what she feels and sees and hears. I feel like the PTSD took a toll on her. I feel like that made her more human.
Because, the power to kill makes her superhuman.
Mara is a good character. She has backstory. She has depth. I feel like she really surprised me. I didn't expect Mara to be this girl. Broken. Torn. Confused. Angry. Powerful. I didn't expect the last word. I really didn't.
But wow. That was amazing. How she grew into her power. How she transformed. Not that I particularly enjoy reading people kill and mutilate...
But wow.
Talking about characters...
I love the character Jamie. He was hilarious without trying. He made jokes. He was the best. I love when he just blurted out jokes. He kept people calm. He kept people laughing. In situations as dire as Mara dying, he tries to help. He cracks jokes to keep the mood elevated. I would love to have Jamie as a friend. Mara's lucky to have him. 


The girl on the scene finishes speaking about these...people. She talked about a boy with the power of heal. A girl with the power to read minds.
You shake your head. 'This is impossible,' you think. You feel the need to leave, to join Hana.
But you can't stop watching.
You look at the watch clasped around your wrist.
You have time. Right? 


The realistic elements drew me in. Definitely. I, unlike some, enjoy the realistic elements. The real world problems. The cutting. The self harm. The suicide. The psychological problems.
Call me what you want. They just interest me.
These things aren't typically written about. They're avoided unless you dive into the dark side of the contemporary young adult world. I don't typically read those books. And these things are things that are near and dear to my heart.
I like reading them. And how these people are helped. A hospital? A psych ward? It changes from book to book. It's fascinating really. These people aren't the crazy ones really. They might seem that way.
Cutting your arm open might seem crazy to you. But that's their release. That's how they feel. It's wrong to say that. And I don't condone it. But that's how those people go through life. They wake up every day hoping to die. Hoping to find something to help them.
I love how this book weaves these elements in. Side-effects of the disease but not truly involved. Mara has to seek help. Not herself but in general. She has to do drastic things. She feels things. Sees things. Illusions painted in her mind.
That's what I like about realistic elements. They show the world, a world of ignorant people, the truth.


You look at your fingers, wiggling them slightly. You've been standing here for a while. You purse your lips, glancing around the room to find a chair.
"If you're looking for something to sit on, go down the hall. Turn left. You'll find a room with plush chairs. I'm not sure what condition they are in...but still. You can't be standing throughout the story. Sit. Sit," the girl says.
You gulp nervously. How did she know? You slowly slip out of the room into the darkened hall with your beam of light guiding your way.
With a plush chair in your arms, you walk back, dragging the wooden chair behind you.
It scrapes against the floor.
"You're back? Good. Let's continue..."


The action and the drama. 
Wow. Just wow. 
The action in the third book made me jittery. I want to know more. I want to see more. I want Mara to do more. I don't enjoy reading about people killing. I truly don't. The authors sometimes go into gory details that make me...sick.
But the action in this book. The fighting. The scalpel-turned-weapon. Mara is a natural fighter it seems. (Not that I would have guessed...) 
The drama too. Man. It was edge-of-your-seat. You wanted to know more. I could barely stop reading the third book. I blazed through it, reading page after page. I want to know. You always do. As a reader, there's a curiosity that you don't necessarily have for other things. 
You want to know what happens next. Does Mara live? Does she find Lukumi? Where is Noah? (All questions from book three.) You can't help asking. You can't. And you want to know. You have to read to know. And knowing is everything with this book. Who knows what determines what power they might hold over the other characters. (Ehem. David Shaw. Ehem.) 


You sigh softly. The girl has stopped to take a sip of water, her eyes blinking slowly. She watches you as if she was a live stream. You sigh again as she places the bottle of Aquafina on a table next to her armchair.
"Where was it?" she asks softly. You know it's a rhetorical question as she furrows her brow, trying to remember her place. "Ah. I finished telling you about the drama that came. But I didn't say anything about the romance. No?" She smiles. "Ah. A whirlwind romance  it was..."


I didn't like the romance. general...I don't like romance.
You might know that depending on how many of my reviews you read. (Not being insulting. Just mentioning a common dislike.)
The romance...I didn't like it. I didn't see the purpose until the last  book. (And man...what a purpose!) I do think Noah and Mara had chemistry. I feel like that wasn't enough for me, though. They like each other because...archetypes? Hm? I'm confused. Why is that the reason? Noah is attracted to her because they were 'made' that way. To be opposites?
I feel like this relationship could be better. This seemed a bit general of a relationship. A typical young adult relationship. They like each other. They fall in love. Gifts gifts gifts. Kiss kiss kiss. Sex. Life-threatening decision. Wait! What? I'm sorry, but making Noah choose is annoying. The typical and a bit cliche 'who are you willing to kill?' scenario. I'm not a big fan. Really. 
I feel like these two need to develop more on their own. Mara's a good character. But Noah? What's he got? Good looks? Dark past? Realistic problems? Yeah. I know the realistic problems is a character boost, but I feel like he's...too...mysterious. I would prefer to know the answers to my questions. (Hint hint, Noah Shaw.) 


You frown slightly, remembering your past relationship with mysterious bad boy Kent. He wasn't the best boyfriend nor was he the worst. He bought you gifts. He took you to the movies.
But it was all fake for Kent to get to Hana. (And that didn't work.) 
You twirl a strand of your hair around your index finger.
"Hm...bored now? Sorry. The romance...I get swept away. I apologize," the girl says softly. She gives you a weak smile; you offer only a shrug. "Well," she begins again, patting her cheeks lightly, "I'm going to tell you how this ends." 


The ending for the entire series isn't great. I felt like it was too...happy for Mara. I expected her to die. Or Noah to die. Or for both to die. I'm not sure I like this happy ending. I feel like there is something sinister lurking behind it. I feel like this isn't the ending she deserves. 
Not to be rude or anything...
I feel like this could have been better. But I also feel like we need more on Lukumi. I hope there's another series to follow-up with the fabulous doctor. (Sarcasm.)
Overall...this wasn't a bad series. I will not say I loved it. I will not say it's my favorite. It was okay. There were a lot of things I really liked. Really truly liked. But, at the same time, I didn't adore it.


"No. That can't be the ending," you cry. You jump up from the plush chair. "No. She doesn't...doesn't deserve the happily ever after!"
"And...happily ever after. The end."
The girl smiles coyly on the screen.
"What do you think?" She pauses. "Ah. Me too. I liked it. I did. I liked telling it to you." She winks and gets up from her chair. She smooths out her sundress, patting her thighs gently. "Let me tell you think," she says as she runs her fingers through her knotted and tangled hair. "She got her happy ending because someone else didn't. Equal, you see?" The girl smiles. "But you might not get a happy ending." 
Your eyes close. Your chest rises with each breath.
A crash rings in your ears. You hiss in surprise. 
"Hana? Are you there?" you whisper. "Hana?"
You feel a gust of wind on your neck. You stiffen in fear, your hands balling into fists.
"Who's there? Tell me!" you cry in fright.
"She's one of us," the girl on the screen says calmly, smiling. "Join us." 
The power cuts out, darkening the screen to nothingness.
Your eyes flash open. Heavy pants escape your lips, leaving you dizzy and confused. "W-What's going o-on?" you stammer, choking on your words. 
A shadowy figure appears in the reflection of the screen. An outstretched hand. A kind smile.
You whirl around, your eyes wide with surprise.
The person just smiles at you, placing a gloved finger over its plump lips.
"Come with me. You'll be with your friends. You don't belong here," it says.
You reluctantly place your shaking hand in its larger one. It clutches your hand, the skin around its eyes wrinkling.
"You're one of us. Mara."

No comments:

Post a Comment