Original review posted on Books and Swoons
Reading that synopsis, I was automatically intrigued. Right off from the beginning we are introduced to three girls, two of whom have some huge dislike toward each other, playing with an Ouija board. We meet Rachel, Mara's best friend, and Claire, who hates Mara. Now, I don't want to give anything away, but I do admit that by the end of that first chapter, or "Before" as Mara calls it, I was hooked. I had to know what happened next.
Unfortunately, we don't know all the details since Mara is just waking up from the accident and doesn't know herself. All we know is that Rachel, Claire and Jude (Claire's brother and Mara's boyfriend) are dead and Mara is the only one that survived.
Afterwards, Mara asks her family if they could move and they end up in Miami. On Mara's first day of school we meet Noah Shaw. Now, he's an ass in the beginning. According to the high school rumors, he is this cocky guy that gets all the girls and I was turned off from that but I figured, I needed to have some patience and wait and see if he redeems himself. But I quickly realized that, yes he definitely redeems himself. And as he redeems himself, he bring on the funnies and the swoons. This is one of their first conversations:
"My God, you're like the plague."
"A masterfully crafted, powerfully understated, and epic parable of timeless morale resonance? Why, thank you. That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me," he said.
"The disease, Noah. Not the book."
"I'm ignoring that qualification."
I love Mara's and Noah's back and forth quips. I can feel the attraction they feel towards the other. And for the swoons?
'I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o'clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear, "He was doing it wrong." ' *flails* Guh.
Also, "Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever." Noah's eyes held mine. His stare was infinite. "I was made for you, Mara."*swoooooonnnssss*
Now, the only issue I had with book was the fact that I felt like Mara forgot about finding out why she was the only survivor and really only focused on the Noah. No matter how swoony he may have been, I believe Mara was more infatuated with Noah and how gorgeous he was than to go out and find out what in the world was happening to her. (Although I can't really judge considering I spent the whole time swooning over Noah right alongside with Mara. I mean, you read that last quote, right??) Also, for that reason, the last half of the book felt sort of rushed for me and it one of the reason why I gave the book a 3.5.
My one other critique was that I had a hard time deciphering when Mara was hallucinating and/or dreaming or when something was actually happening. But so did Mara, so I guess you could just take it as good storytelling Ms. Hodkin's part.
Now, I had heard about this novel but I did not know it was series! And the second book comes out later on this year so I guess I'll be adding The Evolution of Mara Dyer to my to-be-read pile and in the Upcoming Releases for this year!