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

Book Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Mystery
Series: Book Three in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
So I was told, right before I started this book, that it was much different than the first two. I went into it not knowing what I was about to experience. 

By the time the 2nd book ended, I no longer trusted Kells, who worked at Horizons Treatment Facility. She had proven to be untrustworthy and when book 3 starts, almost immediately, I remember why I don’t trust her.

“Pain is just a feeling and feelings aren’t real.”
That quote stands out to me big time now, since I finished the book. Given everything that happens in this final book, that quote is really more of a manipulative statement that borders on foreshadowing. When I first read it, though, I got angry. Angry that someone would imply essentially, that pain wasn’t real.

Kells further proves her jerkiness by telling Mara that she can’t be fixed, she can’t be helped. No matter what Kells does for her, she is helpless. Kells mentions that she has spent years trying to help patients like Mara, but the significance of that statement wasn’t clear to me until I kept reading and learned more about Kells’ past.

I don’t think I even mentioned Jamie in my review of the first two books, but I quickly grew to love him in this book. He was a great friend and super funny to boot. Jamie’s response to swimming to a boat was priceless.

“Not it. Sharks, first of all, and second of all, sharks.”

Perfect response, and it’s a response that I myself would have had in the same situation. I don’t do sharks. Neither does Jamie, apparently.

We get more Stella too, which excited me. I enjoyed getting to know her better throughout this book. We find out what exactly are Stella’s powers when she is held captive by a man who has made his intentions to rape & kill her very obvious. That scene was incredibly intense, and I found myself biting my nails while reading.

I loved watching Stella and Mara talk about girly things like periods and tampons in front of Jamie. He made it so clear that the conversation was not enjoyable to him. Poor guy wanted to put the kibosh on it ASAP.

As uncomfortable as Jamie was with the period talk, he was perfectly fine with discussing sex. I’m guessing that’s just a guy thing, but anyway, he wanted to know if Mara wanted to have sex with Noah, and if she did, why hadn’t she done it with him. This is where Mara confesses that she’s afraid of hurting him. Not emotionally, but physically.

As this book continues, we learn Kells has a connection to both Jude and Claire. A connection I never saw coming. This connection stopped me dead, and I had a minor freak-out for about 5 minutes before I calmed myself down enough to keep reading. We also learned the truth about what happened that night at the asylum. Did Mara actually kill them, or was it someone else?

While all this is going on, we’re also seeing flashbacks to what happened previously to make everything happen in the present time. We learn more and more about what happened to Mara’s grandmother, and we find out what her role in all this was.

In the present time, we learn who else was a part of this crazy scheme and I cannot say that I was surprised by who it was. I had suspected it for awhile, even before I grasped the full truth of what craziness was actually happening. Up until this point I wasn’t sure what was going on or who else was involved.

It was words from Noah’s mother that actually hit me the most. She had some glorious words of wisdom that practically knocked me off my feet. Words that I think are important to all of us.

“Do not find peace. Find passion. Find something you want to die for more than something you want to live for.”

Mara also had some very interesting quotes that I thought were important to remember.

“The choices you make will change you.”

She chose to love Noah. Love is a choice, and despite knowing what she was and what he was, she chose him anyway. Choosing Noah before had already changed her, and choosing him again, would change her again.

There really wasn’t enough Noah in this book which was definitely a disappointment. I had fallen in love with Noah in book one and I had never stopped rooting for him and for Mara to be able to work it out despite all the odds.

“I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I’d belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I’d want to make you mine for each one.”

I didn’t love this book as much as I loved the previous books. I wanted more with Mara’s family, particularly her mom. So much was made about the connection between Mara and her grandmother. I couldn’t imagine keeping such a secret from my own daughter. It was difficult for me to understand that part. I will give this book 4 stars, as it was enjoyable, and I did enjoy how everything unraveled.

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

Book Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published Date: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Mystery
Series: Book One in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer believes life can’t 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 strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. 
She’s wrong.

Disclaimer: This book was a gift.

Review:
Holy, freaking, crap. So. So. So GOOD!

I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. I was sure I was going to love it. Right off the bat, I was hooked. It started with a letter by Mara and then we dove into her life, both before the incident and after the incident. It was a book that kept me guessing all the way through. I never knew what to expect every single page.

Noah, holy crap he was adorable and hot. He was nothing like he was originally portrayed. He was sweet, kind, swoony and he deeply cared about Mara. I was worried that he was going to be an asshole, especially once he found out what she was hiding. I didn’t want to stop adoring him, and I hoped that it wouldn’t come to that.

Mara’s family was great. I loved that she had a close knit family that seemed to actually care about each other and be reasonably normal. So often in YA books we get dysfunctional families and while that’s not a big problem for me, it’s nice to read about families who have stuck together and whose parents are still married.

There are so many things that I want to talk about, but they are spoilery things and while this book has been out for awhile, I still don’t want to talk spoilery things for this book. So this book was awesome and everyone needs to read it. It was a bit slow in some parts, and that’s the only reason I’m giving it 4.5 stars.