Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Kindle edition, 546 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: October 23rd 2012
3/5 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13643567-the-evolution-of-mara-dyer

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.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?


Review:

I find it hard to write a review about this book. This book is so twisted and intense. I don’t know how is this possible, but this book is so much more creepy, twisted, and intense than The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. This book is so fucked up. This book fucked me up so badly, that I don’t know what to think about this book.
This book goes to Mara’s family history. The story of Mara’s grandmother. And Mara also had visions about a girl in India. I think that girl is Mara’s grandmother, and the visions are memories. But, in this book, you can’t be sure. One page you felt sure with your theories, but when you flip the page, you’ll doubt them.
I really hate it when the main character goes crazy and paranoid because it made me fell trapped within my own mind. That’s how I feel mostly when I read this book. Trapped. I wanted to scream, but I can’t. I felt Mara. I felt trapped, paranoid, afraid, and confused.
Some things are so obvious in this book (like Phoboe’s boyfriend and Daniel’s keys) and Mara didn’t even notice them.
Speaking of Jude and Phoboe, they’s both extremely psycopath and delusional. Nuff said.
Thank God for Noah Shaw. Noah amazing-perfect-hot-british Shaw. He’s very supportive towards Mara during this whole thing. I have to admit that he’s kind of psycopath (he almost burn the asylum!!!) but he truly loves Mara. He accepts her. When Mara talked to him, I can feel that Mara (almost) forget about all her problems. Almost.
And Jamie. Jamie is back yay! And Jamie is having the same problem with Mara. (which one? which problem? I’m not telling you!)
The ending kills me. No, I refuse to believe Noah is you-know-what. I’ll curl my self, refusing to believe the ending, and wait until November 4th 2014 for The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

Book Review: Unhinged by A.G Howard

Title: Unhinged
Author: A.G Howard
E-book, 400 pages
Published: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Amulet books
Rate: 3.5 stars
http://theliteraryhuntress.blogspot.com/2014/07/book-review-evolution-of-mara-dyer-by.html

Summary:

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Review:

In Splintered, Alyssa came to the netherling realm.
In Unhinged, the netherling is coming to Alyssa’s world.
Now, Alyssa is a netherling queed, and Red’s army are coming for her.

This book mostly happens in the human realm. I love the way A.G Howard bringing the netherling to our world, how easy they blend into our world, waiting to pop out as our worst nightmare. I kinda hate the plot because most of the time, something weird (netherling alert!) would happened, and Alyssa didn’t want to believe they actually happened. She thought the problems will disappear if she ignored it. Well, newsflash: they never disappear, they only get worse. By the time she made her move against Red, things had become so much worse. I know she wants some normality, enjoying her time in high school, being with Jeb, protecting people she loves. But she also has duties to wonderland. She’s a queen after all. But in the end, she only made things so much worse.

Morpheus isn’t exactly trustworthy, he sent Alyssa to dangerous situation more than once. But it was all to save his realm. He never actually left Alyssa alone, he’ll always be there to save her. He won’t let anything harms her. He challenges her, bringing out the best and the worst of her netherling side. He’ll always want her netherling side more, but he also accept her human side, he even gets affected by it. In this book, we’ll see that Morpheus is truly, madly, deeply in love with Alyssa.

Jeb. I think he’s okay at the beginning of Splintered. Then he came to wonderland, met Morpheus, and had this whole trust issues with Morpheus (bc Jeb is jealous), which I think is ridiculous because, admit it, Morpheus is Alyssa’s best chance to survive in wonderland. Morpheus knows everthing about wonderland, he knows how to fix things, he guides her. Jeb is Alyssa’s knight in shining armor, but he know nothing about wonderland. Now, after he regained his memory in Unhinged, the whole same trust issues is back. Can he atleast respect Morpheus a bit? Morpheus never shows it but I know he have respect for Jeb.

Anyways, I think Jeb is too controlling and protective when it comes to Alyssa. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t trust him. Don’t come back to wonderland. Alyssa is not some damsels in distress. Alyssa is a netherling queen, and her experience with wonderland and Morpheus have made her stronger. She can protect herself. And he kind of abandoned Alyssa for his career. Sure it’s for London, but are you really that busy that you don’t have time for your girlfriend?

Alyssa has been with both Morpheus and Jeb from the beginning. But I really wish Alyssa would stop being so clueless about Morpheus feelings. She always puts Jeb first, and I think that hurts for Morpheus.

There’s a lot to discuss about the romance, the whole Morpheus vs Jeb issues because it played important part in this book. They represents two different element of Alyssa. Human vs netherling. Safety vs chaos.

I hate the cliffhanger! I really want to get my hands on Ensnared ASAP, but that book come out in 2015! I have to wait for a year to read it. But I really love seeing Alyssa embracing her destiny, and her netherling side in the end. Her acceptance will make her stronger.

Book Review: Splintered by A.G Howard

Look at that eye catching cover

The end paper
Title: Splintered
Author: A.G Howard
E-book, 287 pages
Published: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Amulet books
4/5 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16087070-splintered

Summary:

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


Review:

Alyssa Gardner is the descendants of Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. For years, generations of women in the Liddell family (since Alice) has gone insane. Even Alyssa’s mom is in the asylum. And Alyssa is next.
When a visit to her mother had gone wrong, Alyssa found out that wonderland is real which mean the curse is also real. The only way to stop the curse is to fix the mess Alice left behind in wonderland. 
With her long time mortal crush Jeb and her dark netherling guide Morpheus, Alyssa must travel to wonderland and fix Alice mess. But what if the real Wonderland really different from Wonderland in Lewis Carroll’s book? What if the real Wonderland is a dark and twisted place?
Splintered is, hands down, one of the best fairytale retellings ever. Splintered takes us down the rabbit hole, into a dark, magical, disturbing Wonderland, a totally different Wonderland from the one we know, but still feels familiar. The description is really detailed and vivid, that I could imagine myself in the twisted Wonderland.
Overall, this is one of the best books I read in 2014. This book could be a stand-alone, but instead A.G Howard decided to make it a trilogy. The second book, Unhinged, is already out. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a book that’s different and unique, and if you’re a fan of dark-gothic novel.