Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Feel Differently About Now That Time Has Passed

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

This week’s topic is Ten Books That I Feel Differently About Now That Time Has Passed. A challenging topic, I’m not going to lie. I’ve checked all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads account, and here are my choices:

  1. Twilight Series: Although I haven’t read the last book in the series, I don’t have much love for this series. I was never a huge fan of the books. They were all tolerable, but I only really liked one book and that was New Moon. I tried re-reading Twilight, and I couldn’t get past one hundred pages. I put the book down, and ever since then, I have not touched it. If I were in middle school, I know I would would have found it more enjoyable. As an adult, I can’t physically force myself to read the books. (I know a lot of people will have this series on their Top Ten Tuesday, I have a hunch).
  2. Mara Dyer Trilogy – Don’t even read the books. It’s one of those series that has an interesting premise and beautiful covers, but there are so many plot holes and Noah Shaw is written to be too perfect. He’s rich, he’s British and American and something else, and he hardly has any flaws…The overall series was horrible, the only book that was the “best” one was the sequel.
  3. Red Queen – Why did I give this book a three???? The more I think about Red Queen, the more I realize how much of a terrible book it was. Frustrating protagonists, and I should have seen that plot twist coming. I’m not even sure I’ll read the sequel at this point, but who knows if the second book is better.
  4. The 52nd – Even though the synopsis sounded cool, I hated it. It’s another book that I gave a three, but it really deserves a 1.5. The secondary characters had better relationship with their partners instead of the protagonists. The protagonists had a love-hate relationship that was not cute at all.
  5. This Is How You Lose Her – A collection of short stories that centers around Yunior…one of my least favorite male protagonists. There is no redeeming factor to him. I gave donated this book. When I read this, I thought it was okay, but as time went by I knew I couldn’t keep this book on my shelf.
  6. Love Letters To The Dead: When I first read it, I thought it was great. I rated it a four out of five, but thinking about it now, I don’t like it. I even gave the book away to a friend. The main character was terrible.
  7. In Real Life – The story could have been expanded, but it was too short and rushed. The animation style is still beautiful.
  8. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Watch the anime adaptation instead of reading the book. It was too short, and not memorable. If only it were longer. Also, unnecessary second short story that had nothing to do with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
  9. Brave New World – Initially, I hated this book. I couldn’t get passed several chapters without giving up. It was always recommended to me when I was younger. When this book was assigned for my english college class, I had to read it, there was no way getting out of not reading this book. I had no excuses. After finishing Brave New World, I liked it much better. It’s not amazing, but it’s good.
  10. Bras & Broomsticks – I’ve forgotten about this book, but what I can vaguely remember is that it’s not one of the best books I’ve read about witches. Nope. It was suppose to be hilarious and filled with hijinks, but I didn’t find it funny. I found it okay when I first read it. I don’t find it amusing at all currently.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

“An angel sat on one shoulder, a devil on the other. Both of them wore my face.”

It’s been such a long time since I’ve completed a trilogy. Today I finished the last book to the Mara Dyer Series. It’s not my favorite series, but it was an entertaining at some parts and frustrating at other parts. I read all three books on my kindle, but I would not buy the physical books as beautiful as the covers may be. Many of the booktubers I follow loved the series, but I really tried my best and I did find it a tad overrated. I’d like to apologize in advanced, since this review will have spoilers, so you have been warned! Let’s get on with the review!

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

  • What I liked:

    – This book was gruesome and Mara was like an assassin!!!
    – Mara, Jaime, and Stella breaking out of Horizons together
    – That whole road trip to New York
    – Dr. Kells having the mutation G1821, but she was not an active carrier.
    – Daniel finally believing Mara. It was one of the best moments when Daniel realized that his sister was not crazy the whole time.
    – Finding all that evidence of Dr. Kells experiments. I liked how Jaime, Daniel, Mara, and Stella all teamed up
    – Learning about how many boys Dr. Kells had to kill in order to get results. Jude was the only one to have survived the tests while others died.
    – I thought Jude was dying in the beginning of the book, did not expect him to show up again near the end. He really made the book interesting.
    – Reunion with Noah
    – Chapters with Noah’s perspective
    – Mara and Noah finally being with each other, despite what anyone said
    – I love Jamie and Daniel; they are my favorite characters in the whole series.

    What I disliked:

    – No epic fight between Mara and David Shaw
    – David Shaw just disappeared as quickly as he appeared in the books.
    – The pregnancy test
    – Some parts were slow.
    – Why did Stella have to go? Why?
    – Noah appeared way to late in the book.
    – Dr. Kells died to soon, it would have been cool if she had escaped Horizons and then battled Mara later on in the book.
    – Mara’s “death”, though I like Mara and Noah as a couple, I would have loved the book much more if Mara had died. It was really sad when Mara chose death in order to save the ones she loved. It was such a heartbreaking scene, and I thought that was going to be the end of the story. I feel that she would have died as a hero if she stayed dead, while Noah would have continued to live on.
    – I wish the epilogue took place years later instead of a couple days later

Final Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about the series. I loathed the first book, the second book was the best, and the final book was a bit exciting, but definitely better than the first book. I was more excited to read about her grandma and how the past and present sort of merged together. Mara was much more violent in this book, but she had to do what she had to do. She tried to get rid of her villains, but she did not have to rely on her power. I was not expecting Mara to become physically violent, which was a bit alarming. She was not the same girl from the second book. During the whole journey to New York, I thought Mara was becoming mentally unstable since she was weak and she would listen to her reflection. When Mara decided to cut her stomach, I seriously thought she was ill, but it was revealed that two small drugs were stuck in her stomach thus making her feel weak and stopping her from using her power. For the climax, I thought there was going to be a huge fight near the end of the book when Noah’s father, David Shaw finally made an appearance. It was revealed that David was the one responsible for hiring Dr. Kells and funding her experimentations. I was not that surprised to know he was the one behind everything, I had a feeling since the second book that he had to be the bigger villain. I really did enjoy seeing the flashbacks of Mara’s grandmother. Again, I did have a feeling that Abel Lukumi was the professor and the grandfather of Mara. I do like his power, which I believe is immortality. After the whole Mara “dies” and Noah “dies” scene, I really wanted to finished the book and not in a good way. It took me a while to get to the end of the book, but I finished. I liked the last sentence of the book: “My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something”.

Final Rating: ★★★☆☆ 😶

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: Book Review

“Everyone is a little crazy. The only difference between us and them is that they hide it better.”

Hello readers, I just finished the second book to the Mara Dyer trilogy. I really had low expectations of the book, but I was wrong about this book. I am currently reading the Retribution of Mara Dyer and I will post my review of the last book once I finish reading!

 Cover: Lovely cover!

Goodreads Synposis:

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?

Characters:

Mara: I really like Mara. I felt bad for her in this book. She kept trying to get better and pass off as “normal”, you could really tell that she loves her family. It was heartbreaking to know that she was seen as psychotic and broken, even though it’s revealed to the readers that she’s not. She was stronger in this book than the first book. Though Jude kept torturing her throughout the novel, she managed to overcome many obstacles. It was heartbreaking reading about her struggle to overcome her past demon. I still love Mara’s family. They are really supportive of her and try to do what is best for her, even though they don’t know she’s different from them. I did like how the author had two Maras in the book, one being the protagonist, and the other being her grandma who happened to have the same power as her. I hope more of her grandmother’s past gets revealed in the final book.

Noah: I grew to love Noah in the second book, and he didn’t come out as too over the top for me in this novel. He really loves Mara and tries to help her whatever way he can. I felt really bad for Noah whenever he blamed himself when Mara got hurt. If Noah weren’t there for Mara, I don’t think that she would be strong enough to overcome her guilt and remorse. I did enjoy the moments he and Mara shared; they definitely grew stronger as a couple. In the first book, he really annoyed me and I couldn’t stand his character, but now, this book changed my perspective of Noah. Before reading the second book, I had low expectations for Noah and I was wrong. Lastly, Noah can’t be dead. He just can’t. I just have to wait for the last book to know what happens! This is my favorite Noah Shaw quote (I can’t believe I actually have one): “If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.”

Jude: There is only way I can describe Jude, he’s just insane. He was creepy throughout the novel. He kept trying to make Mara seem insane and kept haunting her. I really did not like Jude. He kept trying to avenge his sister, even though it was impossible. I had a feeling that he had a power like Noah and Mara. He was terrible, but he was a pawn and was being used. I still don’t feel sorry for him, because he made Mara suffer mentally and physically. I didn’t like that he lied and used Phoebe as a pawn in his revenge plan, but then again, I didn’t like Phoebe.

Dr. Kells: I knew something was off about her. I did not see that twist coming at all. I thought she was a bit creepy, but I did not expect her to know that Jude was alive nor aid him in capturing Mara. Secondly, I can’t believe that she lied about the program to Mara and her parents. The twist really threw me off, but it made the second book so much better. I like her as the villain and I can’t wait for the final installment.

Why I liked it: Yes, this book was over the top, but it still had its elements of surprise and creepiness. Mara tried to be normal and things were looking up for her. Her family was starting to not worry as much for her, but the events that took place didn’t allow for that. I did like that part of the book where Mara gets her fortune told and I do believe what the fortune teller told her was true: “You will love him to ruins.” Secondly, I loved the doll and the background story. It made this book super interesting. I wanted to know why Mara’s grandma and Noah’s mother had matching pendants. I hope I could get answers to how those two are connected. Then there’s Abel Lukumi, how did he know what hospital Mara was at? Was he a hallucination? (I doubt it, but I hope he returns in the final book). I had a feeling Stella was going to be unique, but I was surprised when reading that Jamie also carried the same gene as the others. I want to know Jamie and Stella’s power. Lastly, I can’t wait to read the last book.

My final rating is ★★★★☆. 😌

P.S.: I feel this song describes the book perfectly.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something. A pseudonym. A nom de plume, for all of us studying for the SATs. I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me —it’s the most normal thing about my life right now.”

I really expected this book to be thrilling, fantastic, and amazing. Many people have praised The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I felt it was overhyped in my opinion. I don’t hate the book, but even though it is the first book, I will continue to read the series just so I can find out more about Mara’s powers and if there are others like her. Hopefully the other two books are better, I’m crossing my fingers that they are. Lastly, I appreciated that there was no love triangle in this book! ^^

The Cover: It has to be one of my favorites.

Goodreads synopsis:
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can 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 mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

The plot really interested me. It was very psychological. I had to reread many chapters over again because at times I couldn’t tell reality from her “hallucinations”.

Characters:
Noah Shaw: He was too perfect, and that’s the problem I had with him. First of all he’s incredibly rich, knows six languages, he’s a heartthrob, and a bad boy, not to mention British…like I said earlier, too perfect. I started to like him near the ending of the book, when he finally revealed to Mara that he has powers to heal.

Mara Dyer: I wish I knew her real name instead of the alias, but oh well. I liked her. I really felt sorry for her and the traumatic events that happened to her. Her life was turned upside down because of her power to kill people. She had no idea that she was the one to cause the accident of her friends and her ex-boyfriend. And I don’t blame her for the accident either, after it was revealed that her ex-boyfriend, Jude, tried to rape her. I am excited to continue to read the series just to find out if she can control her power in the other books. Mara’s family was lovable; they really tried to help her out throughout the book. It was heartbreaking to read that she tried to be “normal” in front of her family and peers.

Jude: I was lost for words when Mara saw him in the police station near the end of the book…he’s alive! And I’m guessing that he has powers like Mara and Noah too.

Why I disliked it: For some reason, this book reminded me of a Spanish telenovela. There were some moments in the book that were too over the top for me. For example, Jamie explaining to Mara the reason why he dislikes Noah is because Noah slept with his sister for revenge just because Jamie was falling for Katie (Noah’s sister). Then Mara asks Noah if what Jamie told her is true, which it is, and then Mara accepts Noah and moves on…ughs. I felt that Mara fell in love with Noah too quickly. I would have liked to see their relationship slowly developed, but that did not happen. I found Noah to be too aggressive and dominant over Mara. Most of the time I was shaking my head when reading this book, and other times, I would stop reading and ask myself “What am I reading?” It was not as fun as I thought it would be, but it’s the first book in the series. It can get better!

My rating is a 2.5 out 5 stars. :/