“Can we become other than what we are?”
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
All the creepiness I was expecting from The Unbecoming actually manifested in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. Now under psychiatric care, Mara has a thinner tightrope to cross. Earlier, it was just the possibility of more than PTSD that was making her put on a brave smile for her family. But now that the ‘truth’ about her seeing Jude is out, and the fact that no one but Noah knows about this, girl is hella stressed. Which is not good for her abilities, because stress seems to acerbate it. Meanwhile, Noah and Mara are also figuring out the boundaries of their relationship – she is convinced, thanks to a dream/reality in the earlier novel, that she might kill him for real, while he doesn’t care what happens to him. Noah is pretty much the model supportive boyfriend in this book, something which Mara needs because the weight of her abilities is threatening to crush her. She is afraid of what she can do, and spending time in a place where they are watching her every reaction and analyzing it is hell for her nerves.
The thriller part also escalates in this book, with Jude leaving threatening messages for her that she cannot prove came from him. Added to that the newer vision like dreams she is getting of her grandmother, and the fact that all roads lead back to the asylum, and it is a recipe for a psychological suspense. It is disorienting in a way because she is such an unreliable narrator – is it her dream? did it actually happen? who knows? The possibility of others like her and Noah also then opens up in the second half, when the secrets of their rehab center start coming out. The limited freedom they have when she is shipped to the inpatient center, along with a possibly psychotic room-mate start playing with her head. Even though she is trying to become better, it seems she is being led to her fall.
As a sequel, this is a wonderful addition to the series, and it amps up the thriller, fantasy and creep factors. The mystery of Mara and Noah are still incomplete but the plot sure does promise more.