Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

8 Feb 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer 
by Michelle Hodkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012 (US)/February 2013 (UK/AUS)
Format: Paperback, 544 pages

Mara Dyer knows she isn't crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she's not unstable and doesn't need to be hospitalised isn't easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability...before anyone else ends up dead!

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is quite literally, the definition of “creepy”. I used to think ghost stories were scary, especially when terrifying, murderous spirits are involved, but nothing prepared me for this type of “creepy”. I enjoyed this immensely, even more than I did the first book (which, by the way, I LOVED) and now? I NEED THE RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER!!

I’ve always been easily frightened by psychological thrillers. Whether it be movies/TV Shows (think The Sixth Sense, Pretty Little Liars) or books (Choker), I usually get pretty freaked out and end up sleeping with the lights on. But Evolution? It surpasses their creepiness. Think dolls appearing out of nowhere, murder of dead crows falling from the sky, seeing the dead out in public and a mad, vindictive stalker taking photos of you in your sleep. *shudder*

I felt so sorry for Mara throughout the entire book. No one, with the exception of Noah, believed anything she said…and I felt like banging all the psychologist, doctor and even her family’s heads against the freaking wall because they all thought she was crazy. I was so annoyed at the psychologist that I actually started wondering just how many patients admitted to mental institutions actually need to be there. There’s absolutely nothing more frustrating than reading about certain ‘professionals’ adamant on diagnosing a perfectly sane person. I don’t know how Mara handled her life so well…even though no one believed her, she still kept her cool and persevered. I greatly admired her courage and being to keep ‘sane’ (ironic, I know) even with everything going on.

I must praise Hodkins for not turning the storyline of Evolution, or more accurately the relationship part, into the typical ‘boy-leaves-girl-for-her-own-good’ scenario that appears so often in YA fiction. No, Mara and Noah (who, by the way, I’m loving more and more!) remain together throughout the book. They don’t have an easy relationship by any means, but at least they can work everything out in rational manner. And it’s good because there’s enough going on in the book without the added drama of relationship problems. I can’t wait for more Mara & Noah in Retribution! There needs to be more steamy scenes..*cough*Noah shirtless*cough*

The ending is kind of cliff-hangery. Scratch that. It’s a cliff-hanger. It’s just I’m not too affected by it BECAUSE I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END IS TRUE. I refuse to accept it and I know it’s not true

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is a sexy, dark and unnervingly gripping page-turner; it’s the perfect addition to one of my favourite series!

A massive thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a copy of The Evolution of Mara Dyer for review! 


  1. AHHHHHHHH SHIRLEY!!!!! WASN'T THIS BOOK INSANELY AWESOME!!! There's nothing more terrifying that a mental institution because once they think you're crazy, everything you do only serves to support their belief even if it couldn't be further from the truth. *shudders* Poor Mara indeed. AND NOAH! *dies* I love him so very much:):):):)

      heheeee I LOVE NOAH SO VERY MUCH TOO! :) Can't wait for more of him in Book #3!

  2. Shirley why do you keep doing this to me?????? I can't read this review as you probably know why I haven't read the first book yet *looks away sheepishly* but I actually have it down for my tbr challenge next month, so as soon as I'm done I will be harassing you with my thoughts on Noah! So glad you loved this! Btw when will your review of Unravel Me be up? honestly just writing I <3 Warner and chapter 62 I think will suffice! ;)

    1. LOL You should go read Mara IMMEDIATELY. Ooohhh YAY! Can't wait for you to meet Noah :) Harass all you want....I can't get enough of him :)

      I haven't written my review for Unravel Me thoughts are all jumbled and incoherent right now!! THERE'S TOO MUCH WARNER LOVE THAT I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT! Hopefully I'll get it written & posted soon!<3

  3. I haven't actually read these yet, but I love that Mara and Noah are such a strong couple and that he believes her and supports her when no one else does. It certainly makes for a nice change after all the drama-filled romances we usually get in YA.

    I'm not crazy about cliffhangers, I admit, but I suppose I could live with it if the rest is good enough.
    Fantastic review, Shirley! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I haven't read any in this series, but glad you like it.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. oh boy, EVERYONE is in lOVE with this series!! ugghhhh I NEED TO READ THE FIRST BOOK!!! *cries* I never have enough time.. :( Great review Shirley!!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  6. I have to admit I am in the minority because I didn't care for the first book, but I'm very glad you enjoyed this, especially since it's the dreaded "middle" book! I hope you love the third one just as much. :) And those covers are still so, so beautiful.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. Lovely review, Shirley! I absolutely loved the first book and I can't wait to get my hands on the second one even though someone (unintentionally) spoiled the ending for me. Still, I'm pretty excited for this one! :)

  8. Great review, Shirls. I didn't like this, I think the ending was ridiculous because I doubt anyone believed it, so I think it was a bit of a stupid way to the end the book. But, I hope you get your steamy scene in book #3! ;)

    1. Thank youuu! :)
      Yeahh I agree with you on the's pretty obvious what happened wasn't real which is why I wasn't too affected by it!

  9. I have to hang my head in shame and admit I haven't read the first book yet, probably because I read tons and tons of negative reviews for it. That really put me off. :( However, after reading your wonderfully persuasive review for its sequel, I could kick myself many times! I want to get my hands on this series now!!!

    I am dying to meet Mara and Noah. They sound like a rock solid couple and I love how Noah supports Mara the entire time, even when many don't. So sweet :')

    Thanks for sharing your review with us, Shirley!

    Jessica x

  10. I had some issues with the first book so I wasn't real enthusiastic for the 2nd. You've changed my mind, Shirley. I love that Noah and Mara don't split up, which as you say, is a common plot device that drives me nuts. I am a little hesitant to pick this up if she's in a mental hospital throughout the story, though. I don't know if I'd like that setting. Lovely review Shirley. :)

  11. I need to read this series, creepy ghost story, good romance, but ugh a cliffhanger. I despise them. Maybe I will wait until we get closer to the release of book three!

  12. I keep changing my mind about whether or not I want to read this, but seeing as though I have a copy, I'm sure it couldn't hurt to give it a try. I did really like the first book, after all. ;) It's so great to hear that Noah and Mara are still together here. You're right when you say that second books tend to go for the opposite approach, romance-wise. That usually drives me insane! Anyway, brilliant review as always, Shirley. :)

  13. OH THANK GOD. I absolutely hate it when guys do the whole "I know better and I'm doing this for you" crap! So excited to read this. TBD just needs to release the book already! *rage* Very curious about the ending. Very mysterious.. Great review, Shirley - glad you loved this! :D

  14. Just found your blog and was going through the entries and found mara, i really want to read this but i dont want to start this until the last book is out then i can read them all together. :)


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