From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Veins of romance and spiritualism run through this taut psychological novel. In this second part of a proposed trilogy, 17-year-old Mara wakes up in a psychiatric ward, not knowing how she got there. She does not believe that her evil ex-boyfriend, Jude, died in the building collapse in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (S & S, 2011); instead, he is alive and stalking her. Thrown into the mix is Mara's belief that the building collapsed because she wished that it would. Mara's new boyfriend, Noah, believes her, but her doctors and parents think that she is delusional, paranoid, and has PTSD. The high level of suspense never lets up. Mara is the narrator, but her stints in psych wards and her regular doses of antipsychotic meds beg the question: Is she reliable? Mara believes that the bloody message written on the bathroom mirror, the mutilated cat on the patio, and the spooky doll retrieved from the trash are Jude's ways of taunting her. Is he responsible for these acts or is Mara? Tension escalates as Mara and Noah uncover clues but find no answers. Are Mara's unnerving dreams really memories belonging to her dead grandmother? The unusual charm that Noah wears on a cord around his neck is nearly identical to the one Mara finds hidden in a doll that belonged to her grandmother. Suspenseful, romantic, and spooky, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is one terrific yarn.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Library, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In spite of evidence otherwise, Mara is certain that Jude is still alive—and terrorizing her. Her certainty, along with the guilt and trauma she bears as the result of the asylum collapse and her friends’ deaths, convinces her family and mental health officials that she is suffering from PTSD or worse, delusional disorder, a possible precursor to schizophrenia. The only person who believes her—because he literally is able to see what she sees—is gorgeous Noah. Just as in the first book of the series (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, 2011), this will have readers doubting Mara’s sanity, trusting the mental health professionals, and suspicious of Noah’s intentions. Readers will eagerly await the concluding title. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn