Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer (#3) by Michelle Hodkin

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Mara Dyer had no idea that it would end like this.
She desperately wants to believe that there’s more to the lies she’s been told and doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She never gave much thought before to how far she would go for vengeance, but with loyalties betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and when fate and chance collide it seems the time for retribution has arrived.

Wow, this book was a mess. It left me so unsatisfied and confused. I had mixed feelings about the series so far, but I enjoyed the second book a lot more than the first. I was still feeling good for the first half of this one too, we seemed to be following a good, linear narrative leading us in the right direction. Mara was on a quest, a road trip. It felt structured and I was really enjoying the plot alongside the creepy vibes. And then it all…went to crap.

I can’t even begin to describe how much this seemed to jump around. It was almost as if the author latched onto an idea only to discard it a couple of pages later and mess up the plot completely. It really got on my nerves after a while, honestly.

Everyone’s a little crazy.

The best part about this book for me was the friendship of Stella, Jamie and Mara. I really thought they made a great ‘found family’ and enjoyed reading about them a lot. Their friendship felt real and close. I also can’t deny this book really made me emotional a couple of times, if slightly annoyed at the same time (you’ll know which scene I mean if you’ve read it!), so the author must have been doing something right.

It’s a shame the plot let this book down so much, because so many other elements I did quite enjoy! I just can’t overlook how messy and undecided it felt. I was left with so many questions and loose ends that felt like they should have been tied up earlier.

Some people just hide it better than others.

Overall, I’m glad I managed to read this series before Halloween, the creepy scenes were perfect and I really enjoyed them. These books have also been super quick to get through and the last one was no different – I definitely won’t be picking up the Noah Shaw spin off, though!

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (#1) by Michelle Hodkin

13547135

Goodreads | Waterstones

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can 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 mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

Firstly, I’m so glad I decided to save this book for spooky season. It was absolutely perfect for a Halloween-y, fall read. It is deliciously haunting and creepy. But that’s….kind of where the good stuff ends.

The first thing I realised about this series is it did not age well. If you’re wondering how different a book can be in just eight years, choose one set in a private high school with every 2012 trope and cliche going. Welp. Some of the sentences in this book (for example, one along the lines of ‘what an overdramatic thing to commit suicide over’) made me want to throw it at a wall. I almost DNF’d it multiple times. I’m pretty sure this stuff wasn’t appropriate even back in 2012. So, why didn’t I just put it down?

Thinking something does not make it true.

I can’t deny this book is gripping. It made for a super quick page turning read. I flew threw 100ish pages a day, which is pretty good going for me. In places, it is spine tingling, and once I got through the first 200 pages, I found I could overlook most of the problems and mostly enjoy this book for the cringe-fest it is.

I expected to hate Noah, but in fact I struggled with Mara herself more. She’s just kind of annoying. And I get it, she’s broken, and the story would be boring if she just….got the help she needed. But like most of this book, her temperament is another thing to overlook at times.

Wanting something does not make it real.

So overall, this book was okay. I’m giving it 3 stars for now, but it’s definitely a low 3. I got through it quickly and I will be carrying on with the series, and I am intrigued by where it will lead. If you think you can overlook all the cliches and tropes of bad boy, broken girl and high school drama for the haunting undertones, you just might enjoy this book.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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