Genre: Romance, Horror, Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
The Mara Dyer trilogy is a masterfully written story that borrows from the Horror, Science Fiction, and Romance genres. It incorporates the best aspects of each genre to create a truly immersive and engaging novel that you will not want to put down.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the perfect introduction to the story that readers are about to embark on. It introduces and fleshes out the key characters while also setting up the mystery. Hodkin’s ability in creating an unreliable narrator who readers cannot help but believe and root for is impressive to say the least. Mara is sure of herself and her surroundings, independent, and relatable. It’s an absolute pleasure to read from her perspective.
“I twisted my arm to curl him behind me and he unfolded there, the two of us snuggled like quotation marks in his room full of words.”
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the signal to readers that the story is diving deeper into the Horror genre. The tone is darker that than its predecessor and deals with depression and suicide head on. This book is not for the easily triggered. I myself had to quickly read through some parts because it was making me squeamish.
“We are far too screwed up for a goddamned love triangle.”
The Retribution of Mara Dyer goes full dark, no stars from beginning to end. As the title suggests, Mara is out for blood as secrets begin to slowly unfold. I absolutely loved Mara is this novel. She’s become a completely different person than she was in the first novel. She’s fierce, vicious, and aggressive. The ending of the trilogy is satisfying and unsatisfying simultaneously. The story is concluded with no loose ends or unanswered questions, however it ends abruptly making the reader thirst for more time with the characters.
“As I was saying. He could never use you. You own him. You should’ve seen the way he was looking at you while you were out”
I smiled a little. “How?”
“Like you’re the ocean and he’s desperate to drown.”
Mental illness is a large focus of the trilogy. In the first novel Mara is diagnosed with PTSD and suffers from anxiety while Noah suffers from depression. Hodkin showcases mental illness in a genuine manner. Mental illness is not used as a means to an end or as a catalyst for the plot or character development. I also enjoyed the way Hodkin used mental illness throughout the novels, especially her use of Carl Jung.
Another aspect that makes this trilogy so well written is the characters’ voices and actions. They speak and act like teenagers. They make mistakes, they swear (probably my favourite thing about these novels), and they think in exaggerations. However, like John Green, these characters are more intelligent than the average teenager. This is what makes Hodkin’s writing stand out, especially to older readers like myself. There are a lot of references to classic novels or obscure literature that I did not understand the first time I read these novels. So, just because this trilogy is labeled as Young Adult doesn’t mean that it’s written solely for that age range because it is most definitely not.
Overall, the Mara Dyer trilogy is one of my all time favourite trilogies now that I’ve reread it. The blending of genres creates a truly unique story that will keep you glued to the pages. Noah Shaw doesn’t hurt either.