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Mara Dyer Books In Order

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Publication Order of Mara Dyer Books

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mara Dyer is the protagonist of the renowned Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin, which is a New York Times best selling trilogy. Dyer’s life has most captured the hearts of readers because of its mysterious nature: indeed, much of it is mysterious to herself! The trilogy opens with the sixteen year old Dyer in a hospital bed, aware that she has been in a terrible accident that killed several of her friends, but completely unable to remember what actually happened. The books’ journey of discovery is thus as much Dyer’s as it is the reader’s, as Dyer attempts to piece together the events that lead up to her hospitalization, as well as undergoing several new romantic and perilous adventures as she does so. We witness her growing up into womanhood, falling in love, and negotiation complex, and often deadly, relationships with her family.

Mara Dyer’s story is in fact loosely based on a true story, which the author heard after a chance meeting when she discussed a legal case. Hodkin is a successful barrister, and she writes that she got the inspiration for Dyer soon after passing her bar exams and starting to work on her first cases. Focussing on issues such as Dyer’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), her troubling amnesia, and her unexpected discovery of romance and love along the way, the Mara Dyer trilogy is a gripping and inventive look at a young woman taking back control of her life. The three book series will be completed in November 2014, with the much awaited finale, ‘The Retribution of Mara Dyer’. This book is set to resolve all of the questions that have arisen in the previous novels. And with her reputation for creating exhilarating cliff hangers, Hodkin surely has her work cut out here.

The trilogy is set in the USA, in a recognizable community of young adults as they get to grips with life, death, friendship, love, family, and romance. In the early chapters of the trilogy, Dyer’s main love interest is a young man named Noah. Noah is the most popular and handsome boy at school, and he has a reputation for being a heart breaker. The action mainly takes place in Miami and other parts of Florida, and the author has been praised for the sharp and realistic depictions of these different locations. This is perhaps unsurprising given that she grew up in Miami: the nostalgic and vivid way in which these region is described will ring true for everyone who has visited the city, and will help to bring to life for people who have yet to set foot there. Dyer’s world is that of the present day, and she moves through a contemporary landscape that feels as fresh and modern today as it did when the book was first written.

‘Mara’ is the Hebrew word for ‘bitterness’, and (though we are told early on that Mara is not the character’s real name, though the latter is never revealed) this suits the twists and turns of the character’s initial misfortunes. The earliest book in the series, ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’ sees her experimenting with Ouija boards, losing her best friends, and having a large chunk of her life seemingly obliterated from her memory. The first book deals mainly with this perplexing and fascinating series of events, and takes the reader into Dyer’s life and into her mind as she tries to carry on after the devastation of the accident. The second book, ‘The Evolution of Mara Dyer’, depicts Dyer attempting, with varying degrees of success, to break free at last from her traumatic past. The mystery, and the poignant aptness, of the name ‘Mara’ is just one more aspect of the general mystery surrounding this character throughout the trilogy.

There is also a supernatural element to Dyer’s life, and to the trilogy of books as a whole. Her dreams, hallucinations, and fantasies about the people around her dying soon start to turn into reality. Dyer is both terrified at what seems to be her power over the fates of others, and ever more determined to get to the bottom of what has happened. The mesmeric quality of these episodes draws its power from the fact that often we cannot quite tell whether these aspects of Dyer’s personality are symptoms of her PTSD, or whether she does truly have supernatural powers that enable her to incite people to murder others, or to die in seemingly freak accidents. We wonder, too, whether the games with the Ouija board with which the trilogy opens may have unleashed some malevolent force from beyond the grave.

The Mara Dyer trilogy of books is classed as a Young Adult series. The first book in the series, ‘The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer’, has already been made into a film, which was eagerly anticipated by fans of the book, and which garnered even more fans for Mara retrospectively. Needless to say, lovers of the Mara Dyer trilogy hope that the second two novels will also be turned into films, featuring the same task, so that the story can continue. Many people have argued that this trilogy has a very cinematic quality in terms of the way in which characters and events are described, and that this means that it is perfectly suited for the big screen.

As might be expected, Dyer’s fan base is composed mainly of young adults of the ages that she is in the trilogy (16 plus). Dyer experiences the ups and downs of young love in a way that many young adults will surely empathize with. And she also has the added thrill of being involved in some life or death decisions, and in a supernatural world that is not entirely in her control. But she has a strong adult following too. This is surely due to the nuanced and captivating, and above all (despite the terrible things that she seems to be causing to happen around her) likeable way that the character has been drawn. And of course, Dyer’s biography is an extremely exciting one, with new revelations awaiting her at every corner.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Mara Dyer

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