Summary: 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.
Final Rating: ★★★★
I devoured and adored the first book. It had everything from gushy romance to comic relief, to just the right amount of mystery and leaving-the-lights-on-at-night kind of horror. So, it’s safe to say that I expected a lot from this book, yet I did not expect it to be better than the first in the series. It was.
Again, everything was moderately presented in the right amounts. It had me on the edge of my seat, and I finished it within 40 hours (with university, assignments and quizzes, mind you.) I loved every second of it. There wasn’t a boring word in the novel, and I cannot possibly wait any longer for the third and final book.
The story was captivating. Everything that happens subtly, and other times very explicitly, leads to the next event. Every event plays an essential role to the narrative. Again, I stress my point that there is humor, romance, paranormal happenings, mind-games, horror, suspense, thriller. Name it- this book has it. You’re on the edge of your seat, flipping pages, unaware of the time because the plot is so fantastic. Complete with flashbacks (or are they?), visions, dreams, hallucinations, memories, Hodkin weaves a complex, yet easy to hold on to, narrative. It’s stunning.5/5
Set in Florida, unlike the first book, this is not primarily set in a high-school setting. The book revolves around Mara’s house and a hospital. This is all I’m going to say. Yes, some other locations come into play, but the aforementioned are the primary ones. I feel that the sign of a good novel is that the setting plays an important role in the narrative. There are certain sections of the book set in the rural areas of India, and they’re believable. You get to visit a carnival. But even though most of the book is set in Mara’s house, you don’t get bored because the story progresses so effortlessly within its setting. I was hoping for a more high-schooly setting, but I was pleasantly surprised with how things played out. 4.5/5
This is where I stop pretending that I’m a book reviewer and become a teenager. UGH, I CAN’T EVEN. I am usually so annoyed by the protagonists in Young Adult novels (with the exception of kick-ass female-warriors that defy the system *cough* Katniss *cough*) but Mara is fantastic. She’s obviously going through a tremendous amount of — pardon me — shit in her life, but she manages to lace it with humor, with wit, with the brighter side. She cares about her family deeply, like any normal person would. Another thing that gets me about YA novels is that when a male lead comes into play, or a romantic figure comes into play, the protagonist lose control and completely stop caring about their families. Their families stop existing. This wasn’t the case in this book. Daniel is a strong, three-dimensional, funny, lovable character. So is Joseph. So are Mara’s parents. Jaime is yet another strong character. And don’t even get me started on Noah Shaw. Difficult to understand, brooding, dripping with charm and sex appeal yet completely smart, slightly aggressive, temper-problems but so sensitive. He’s perfect but has his imperfections, and he’s absolutely fantastic. Ugh. I can’t. 501205015/5
See, when people complain about YA novels, saying that they’re excuses for bad writing and unnecessary love triangles, this is one of the books I’d gladly slap them in the face with. Michelle Hodkin adeptly weaves emotions and action, suspense and utter horror in her words. She has a way with the way she writes intimate scenes, and the way she writes blood-curdling, absolutely terrifying scenes. She switches moods in the snap of a finger, and it’s not off-putting- it’s actually FANTASTIC. This woman could write a freaking 700 page paper on thermodynamics and I’d read it and love it. 5/5