Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Mara....

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Release Date - November 4, 2014
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 470 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**


Here is the 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.
Dear Michelle (and Mara)...

I sat down to write this review many times, and everything I wrote felt wrong. Unworthy of your brilliant story. I realized immediately what I wanted, and that was my own way to say goodbye. Instead of a review, I am writing this letter instead.

Retribution has arrived, and with it a bittersweet ending to the story that began with an unbecoming. You put Mara through hell and back, and sent her back again during this series. I love that she always crawls out fighting though, no matter what crushing thing happened to her. It's inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, this series, especially after this installment, is incredibly inspiring. You talked a lot about owning yourself, and accepting yourself in various ways during these three novels. This message is kicked up a million notches in this final chapter in Mara's story as she embraces the bad girl within her.

This amazing internal speech she gives left me breathless...

'I'd wasted so much time wishing I could be different, wishing I could change things, change myself. If given the chance, I would've shed myself and become a different girl. Slipped on a name like Clara or Mary, docile and gentle and smiling and kind. I thought it would be easier to be someone else than to be who I was becoming...'

I wanted to highlight this passage, put stars around it, and underline it for good measure. Girls are often told to be docile and gentle. Don't be too opinionated. Don't cause a scene. Here you (and Mara) are saying CAUSE A SCENE AND ENJOY IT IF YOU WANT TO. Don't hide who you are, and don't change who you are. You're responsible for your own happiness and part of that is being happy with yourself. A million trillion thank yous for such a positive, electrifying message.

Noah. Noah. Noah. There is so much to say about him, but as I do not want to give spoilers, I'll simply say that you've raised the stakes in terms of book boyfriends. He is one of the most stunning, swoon worthy, and interesting love interests I've read, and I am pretty sure the entire YA fanbase thanks you for creating him. Now if only we could make him real and clone him. Many were, understandably, upset with the events at the end of Evolution, but I knew that whatever Noah's fate that it would make sense for the story (and it does).

I expected to be an emotional mess about one of my favourite series ending. I really did. Even knowing that I was unprepared for the amount of emotion this novel made me feel. You had me laughing at Jamie's brilliant one liners, gripping the novel in apprehension, and flat out bawling during one scene (you know which one, Michelle. You know exactly what brutally cruel scene I am referring to, and it was brilliant). As each layer of Mara's story is revealed, and we find out the whys to things that have been building since the beginning, the biggest feeling was a sense of awe. You had tied everything together perfectly and packed in a few surprises even with the clues you peppered in along the way.

Lastly I just want to say thank you. Thank you, Michelle, for writing this series. Thank you for dedicating this particular chapter to the bad girls (and the boys who love them). Thank you for the inspiring message of owing yourself, being happy with yourself (especially if that self is different), and mostly for the most perfect ending to Mara's story. It could not have ended any other way. As bittersweet and tragic as the story is, I think her story needed to end the way it does. I like to imagine what comes next in her story, and I know that even if it's horrible, she's been left where she should be. She's on the path that she should walk.

I cannot wait to read whatever comes next, and meet the new characters that will steal my heart, and captivate me.



p.s. A last thank you for this delicious piece of writing that sent shivers up my spine and left me with goosebumps...

'{Retracted for spoilers} kisses me and it is sugar on my tongue, and champagne in my blood'

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