The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The basics

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer


Series: Mara Dyer #2

- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (September 2011)
- The Evolution of Mara Dyer (October 2012)
- The Retribution of Mara Dyer (November 2014)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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?

Read a full summary of The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Evolution of Mara Dyer and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

Jude is alive and Mara still thinks she’s going mad. She has visions of India, presumably of her grandmother, and Jude kidnaps her and she finds out that she has special powers, along with a bunch of other teenagers. That was a tiny summary. I’m proud.

what happened in The Evolution of Mara Dyer?

  • Mara wakes up in a psychiatric ward where she has been involuntarily committed. Dr. West explains that Mara has been telling everyone that she caused the asylum (from the beginning of book one) to collapse, and that she killed her friends along with her ex-boyfriend, Jude.
  • Mara is convinced that Jude is alive. She tells her brother, Daniel, this and he’s like “nah, your hallucination had hands but they found Jude’s hands in the asylum ruins”.
  • Mara’s mother tells Mara that her mother – Mara’s grandmother, for those of you following along – suffered from a mental illness and killed herself when Mara was three days old. Her grandmother was suffering from hallucinations, nightmares, etc. etc.
  • Noah goes to see Mara in hospital, and then sneaks out.
  • Mara is allowed to go home. It’s all going very well until she wakes up one morning to find “FOR CLAIRE” writtin in blood on the bathroom mirror. This is after she finds a dead cat outside her back door. Was there any need?!
  • Mara goes to HOP – Horizons Outpatient Program – and is surprised to find her friend Jamie there. They have a meeting, and a slightly creepy girl called Phoebe hands Mara a photo. It’s of Mara, in bed last night, and her eyes have been scratched out. NOPE.
  • Mara is given some pills, which I’m not sure was a good idea, and Phoebe admits to scratching the photo.
  • Dr. Kells starts to interrogate Mara on the night at the asylum when Jude assaulted her. Mara blacks out.
  • Mara has a flashback/hallucination about India. Then her grandmother’s doll, which Mara now has, disappears, because it’s creepy as fork and is probably possessed.
  • Mara goes to Daniel for his opinion on the entire situation, although she pretends she’s asking questions ~for a friend (for a character that she’s “writing about”). Daniel concludes that the character (i.e. Mara) is possessed because she played with a Ouija board and that’s when all the weird stuff started happening.
  • Mara and Daniel go off on a double date with their other halves. Noah and Mara discover something about a church and a priest. On the way home, the car hits a crow. Then a bunch of crows (a murder of them, ha) fly off into the distance.
  • Noah stays over the night, but in a separate room. Mara sneaks into the guest bedroom to sleep with him. Totally innocently, mind you. Much to everyone’s disappointment.
  • Mara falls asleep and has another of her weird flashback visions. A girl, whose family seems to have adopted ‘Mara’ (who seems to be Mara’s grandmother… this is getting very complicated), gives her a doll. Mara sees an old woman who starts screaming Mara’s name.
  • Noah wakes Mara up because she’s sleepwalking. Mara decides to go outside and throw out the creepy doll because NO ONE WANTS IT IN THE HOUSE. When she wakes up, she finds it inside again. Mara tells Noah that she thinks Jude put it there. Noah is like “DUDE YOU GOT IT YOURSELF I THOUGHT YOU WERE AWAKE BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU MADE A MISTAKE OHMYGOD” and all the readers are like “I AM GOING TO CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP TONIGHT”.
  • Mara decides to burn the doll. THANK YOU JESUS. In the ashes, she finds a charm that matches Noah’s, which he never takes off. He found his in his mother’s things. There was also a bit of paper but they let it burn.
  • Brooke at HOP asks the outpatients to take out their journals. Mara doesn’t remember receiving one, so she uses a notebook. In her sketchbook, she finds a note that says “I see you”. Phoebe admits to putting it there, although she didn’t write it. Her boyfriend did. Allegedly.
  • Mara and Noah find a photo of Noah’s mother and Mara’s grandmother. WELL.
  • Noah suggests that Mara might have special powers like telekinesis. She tries to move a pill bottle with her mind. Obviously nothing happens because Noah’s theories aren’t very good.
  • They go to a fortune teller at a carnival. Madam Rose tells Mara that she must leave Noah, who is destined for greatness, or she “will love him to ruin”. Whatever that means. Mara cries and Noah goes to Madam Rose – Roslyn – and bribes her to tell him what’s going on. Apparently some other tall dark and handsome guy paid Roslyn to say it, and then not to say anything.
  • Mara sleepwalks again and wakes up in the kitchen after having a dream about holding Noah’s heart in her hand. Literally. Noah looks a bit freaked out, which is understandable because Mara has likely been doing some creepy stuff.
  • Mara finds Noah’s notebook and reads his theory: Mara can manipulate events like Noah can manipulate cells. It also says that Mara was holding a knife and smiling like a creepy thing in the kitchen that morning.
  • Noah gives Mara a jewelry box and they have a cute date and also an argument but mostly a date.
  • Dr. Kells wants Mara to go on a HOP retreat. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to me but whatever.
  • Mara has another vision where she needs to free some animals. She is an animal version of Spartacus.
  • Mara finds her missing HOP journal in her brother’s room. She has written “Help me.” in it. She calls Noah to tell him. Then she is casually watching some footage from the asylum when she is kidnapped by Jude. He takes her to the water and then cuts her wrists – horizontally, not vertically, which means he doesn’t want to kill her. The water is full of dead fish. Ew.
  • Mara is hospitalised. Again. She’s taken to some compound. Noah gets himself put in there too. Mara is meant to meet him but she sleeps through it. At 4AM, she and Phoebe, who is now her roommate WOOHOO, go to the bathroom. In the morning, Phoebe screams and accuses Mara of trying to hurt her.

how did The Evolution of Mara Dyer end?

Noah and Mara break into Dr. Kells’ office and go through her files with Jamie. Dr. Kells has been recording Mara for weeks, and there’s a recording of Jude in Mara’s room. EW.
Phoebe is found dead in her bed. Noah and Mara try to get out but the doors are all locked. All of the adults seem to have disappeared, along with most of the teenagers. Noah and Mara go outside, and find that Jude has tied a bunch of the teens up. He starts to torture Stella to provoke Mara.
Stella can read minds. She tells Mara that Jude thinks that she (Mara, I told you this is complicated) can bring back the dead. Jude has been trying to provoke her to do it. Noah attacks Jude and hurts him. Mara figures out that Jude can sort of suck the life out of other people to heal himself when he is in pain. Mara says she’ll go with Jude, although she also says she can’t raise the dead.
Mara starts to leave with Jude and then sees Noah and changes her mind. She brings the building down around her. She feels Noah next to her, but she blacks out. She wakes up drugged with Dr. Kells. Dr. Kells shows her a chart with all the teenagers with a special gene that gives them special abilities. Noah’s chart says he’s deceased. HAAAA YEAH OK STOP LYING. Dr. Kells tells Mara that she has been given truth serum. Mara vows to create hell when she breaks free. AW YEAH.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

Other recaps for this series:


  • So helpful. I was seriously like ‘What the eff happened in Mara Dyer 2?’ This just saved my life.

  • kristy1504 says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! This post was a lifesaver! I just started the third book and was a bit confused after 2 years 😛

    • Happy to help! 😀 I definitely didn’t want to start the third book without recapping the second because I had no idea what happened haha

  • Tari says:

    Thanks for the recap! I’m just starting with Retribution and realised I didn’t remember much of Evolution so you helped a lot 🙂

  • Kla505 says:

    Thank you so much! Can’t thank you enough for your recaps 🙂

  • This is amazing! And so funny too. Love your recap, girl. Thank you so much. (Or THANK YOU JESUS!)

  • Luisa says:

    Thank you so much!! About time dart book 3 and this was much needed. Hella funny too 😂

  • I haven’t yet read the 2nd book in the trilogy (spoilers alert.) However I am too inpatient to wait till I can buy the next book to find out if Jamie makes a reappearance in this book. Please could someone let me know?

  • This is literally the best (and funniest) thing ever! Thank you soo much for saving me from rereading the entire book before starting #3! Using this site every time from now on!

  • pusang gala says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve read the second book like 2 years ago and now I want to read the 3rd. Good Job ♥

  • Nanda says:

    Oh Lord! Thank you so much for the recap. I have Mara Dyer book 3 in my shelf for an year! And now I’m starting to read and I was in chapter 3 like: WTF IS HAPPENING HERE. WTF IS ALL OF THIS? Of course, we fell like this all the time we’re reading MD but this time my mind was completely empty. So, thank you. (Oh and I love your comments during the recap so much)

  • Nikki Cline says:

    Okay so can someone explain to the meaning of the flashbacks in books 2 and 3

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