Kat Kennedy's Reviews > Marked

Marked by P.C. Cast
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Sep 18, 11

bookshelves: books-that-deserve-painful-death, kat-s-rants, just-plain-bad, kat-s-book-reviews
Read from September 14 to 17, 2011

When I went to read this book, I first checked out the reviews to see what I was in for. I was led to believe that this book was going to be bad by the sheer number of people who came to commiserate with me. Few books have ever drawn such a crowd of victims to console one another. And can anyone wonder why when this book reads like a thirteen year old's badly executed wetdream?

I have a theory though. Bear with me. I think we've all been reading this book wrongly am I'm willing to prove it.

It seems, on the outside, that this would be the story of an insipid, selfish little bitch who is becoming a vampyre and has to go to a new school.

I would never have stumbled upon the truth if it hadn't been for Edwina Wren, the narrator. Listening to her bumble through this mess (her attempt to impersonate a cat was particularly inspiring) put me in the mindframe of a psychopath - and that's when it hit me - that was exactly what I was listening to! The world according to a teenage vampyre with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Allow me to extrapolate:

When we meet her, she immediately introduces us to her bestfriend and ex-boyfriend. Her friend is characterised as shallow and stupid. Her ex-boyfriend is a brainless drunk. Of course, Zoe is nothing like her friends. She is special and she expects us to think better of her for putting up with these lesser mortals.

Zoe is marked as a vampyre and when she returns home, we meet her mother. Naturally, Zoe is innocent, reasonable and rational in all of her dealings. Any anger or temper she displays is completely understandable. It is her mother who is stupid, weak and foolish for marrying again and Zoe has NO CHOICE but to run away or her religious step-father will likely cause her death out of his own ignorance and stupidity.

Yes, we see a definite pattern here. Zoe is always good. People she doesn't like are always demonized to the extreme - which is a hallmark of Borderline Personality Disorder. The only person Zoe likes is her Cherokee Grandmother - possibly because this makes Zoe appear exotic and mystical. This version of Zoe's grandmother likes Zoe better than her own daughter and constantly tells Zoe how special she is - feeding her delusions of grandeur. Zoe's delusions and need for approval quickly spiral out of control from this point on. The stress of becoming a vampyre clearly taxes her already overwraught mental faculties.

Zoe's mark is apparently different, making her much more special than the other Vampyres and Zoe believes she's had a spiritual encounter with the goddess Nyx - who places her unique mark upon Zoe because she has singled her out as her own. "You are wise beyond your years, Zoe Redbird," the goddess explains.

Now we definitely know we're dealing with Zoe's psychosis! There’s no way this is Kansas anymore!

When Zoe arrives at school, we see a pattern. Those that Zoe likes are those that immediately single her out as special. These people are all wonderful, kind, faultless friends who exist only to bolster Zoe's already inflated self-esteem and need for attention. Her friends all strictly conform to Zoe's idea of who they should be - never deviating from the carefully laid out script or showing signs of more complicated personalities. Her bumpkin friend is always a bumpkin. Not a single interaction with her gay friend occurs in which we are not reminded of his gayness - as if that is his most identifiable and important personality trait.

Those who don't immediately identify with Zoe and feed her ego are, like her family and old friends, demonized. This falls to the lot of Aphrodite and it is in this character that we see Zoe's strongest BPD symptoms. Consider her every interaction with Aphrodite.

-When we meet Aphrodite, through Zoe, she is forcing a blow job on the future object of Zoe's desire. I can't find a statistical formula for how many boys have refused blowjobs from their girlfriends, because one doesn't exist yet, but this was when I first solidly began to believe my assertion about her BPD was truly correct.
-Everything Aphrodite has eventually becomes Zoe's. Her position as leader of the cult, her boyfriend, her popularity – even her dress. This all happens within a few days.
-Zoe, single-handedly ruining this girl's life, is portrayed as being Zoe's Holy mission from the goddess. Of course! It's not that Zoe, out of jealousy, set about to become Aphrodite! It's that she HAD to because she's so SPECIAL and set-apart by Nyx! She's performing justice, not a hostile take-over!
-Everything, even the most innocuous things done by Aphrodite are seen as slutty by Zoe who fixates on Aphrodite's sexuality as only someone deeply jealous and bitter truly can. From Aphrodite's dancing, clothes, smile - even her gestures are slutty!
-Zoe comes to believe, through gossip and the most faulty logic ever used, that Aphrodite is abusing her gift of foresight and not revealing all of her visions. She has no proof of this. One could argue that someone who sees the future and keeps some of those visions to herself might have a very good reason to do this! She sees the fucking future! Maybe she’s seen that there’s some danger in revealing all she knows to the aloof and mysterious vampyres? Just a thought…
-Everything associated with Aphrodite is bad. Her friends are bad, the cult under her leadership is bad, her clothes even LOOK better on Zoe - such is Zoe's desire to be an improved version of Aphrodite.

We see this most strongly in Zoe's justification of what she would do differently when she becomes the leader of the Dark Daughters. That’s right. Zoe even fantasies about taking Aphrodite’s place in the world instead of carving out her own.

Aphrodite is talking about a boy, Eliot, who has just died. She calls him weak and prays that none of the Dark Daughters would be weak like that. Zoe twists this to believe that Aphrodite hates humans and is genocidal. Of course.

In Zoe's own musings, she discusses how she feels nothing for Eliot's death because he was ugly and annoying. A normal person might reflect on the briefness of life, feel sad that the dead person is gone, that they didn't know him better, that there will be people who liked him who are sad, that it wasn't fair, that his death was senseless and tragic, that it was cruel etc.

What does Zoe think? That she won't be mean about dead people...no matter how insignificant or ugly they are.

Because this boy was a stranger to Zoe, his entire existence is classified as insignificant. Nobody will mourn him and his death meant nothing except to cause Zoe to reflect on her own mortality.

Yes. We can definitely confirm that Zoe's mind is an alternate reality machine. Due to mental health reasons, she can't comprehend her surroundings and other people like a sane person would. This crippling disorder tricks her mind and perceptions into altering her consciousness and reception of the world.

Instead, the world exists to either love her, or abuse her. People are no more complicated than either being very good, or very bad. Those who have what she wants are merely bugs to be squashed on her way to power. Friends are nothing but mindless parrots - existing in a positive state, as long as they please her. She can lie to them, yell at them, manipulate them but that doesn't matter. They only exist to be her friends.

No. Despite what Cast wants you to think, this isn't the story of Zoe Redbird, unique new girl at the Vampyre finishing school.

This is the tale of Aphrodite, whose world is cruelly crushed by a monster set to destroy her and steal everything she has. Everything is snatched from her. Vilified and crucified for being in Zoe Redbird's way.

The Shining
The parallels are astounding!

This is Zoe Redbird's Apologia. Her manifesto of evil. This is the world according to Zoe – translated so that a sane person can see through her eyes as if there were wearing Zoe Glasses and it's a really, really scary place!

It’s rather brilliant when you think about it!

But it still only gets one fucking star.
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Reading Progress

09/14/2011 page 2 "A crescent moon on her forehead!? IS SHE GOING TO BE SAILORMOON??????" 2 comments
09/14/2011 page 3 "Nope... false alarm."
09/14/2011 page 4 "I might die or turn into a vampire...meh! I'm a cool, disaffected, apathetic teenager. Relate to me!" 7 comments
09/14/2011 page 25 "Turning into a teenage vampire - Have to go to new school, friends don't understand and my lame, religious parents think I'm the devil. #FirstWorldVampireProblems" 1 comment
09/14/2011 page 50 "That's right, Zoe, you've totally got Cherokee wisdom and magic. I can already tell that. You're so speshul it hurts."
09/15/2011 page 200 "No, just... fuck no." 11 comments
09/15/2011 page 220 "So this is what "going postal" feels like..."
09/15/2011 page 230 "I don't know how I'd manage to live my life without these PSA announcements concerns oral sex, homosexuality and drunken pashing." 6 comments
09/15/2011 page 260 "That's right, Zoey, everyone else is just jealous of you."
09/16/2011 page 290 "Oh my goodness! Listening to the narrator impersonate a grumpy cat: priceless"
09/16/2011 page 420 "This book has been going on forever. It feels like it'll never stop...life no longer feels worth living..." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 92) (92 new)


message 1: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Oh my God, why are you doing this to yourself, Kat?!


Kat Kennedy Not the Lolz this time. One of my friend's younger sister was MORTALLY offended when I said this and Blue Bloods was crap.

She asked if I'd read them, to which I replied no. Well, how can you know if you haven't read them?

Apparently, "How do you know you're a mortal if you don't die?" and my laughing at her for ten minutes straight wasn't a proper answer.

So here I am.


After this^^ conversation, she agreed to read two books off my awesome YA lit list if I would read two novels she thought was awesome. Since I'm seeing her tonight and will need to give a progress report (and ensure she is is ALSO keeping up her end!) I'm trying to finish it.


message 3: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Well, at least you're getting something out of it. I usually read these kinds of...books...for the pure lulz.


Amazon80 Did you agree to read the whole series to date? I pray you don’t b/c these (and Blue Bloods) get progressively worse. And forget the love triangle; it was like a love hexagon when I stopped reading.


message 5: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Wow Kat. This is brilliant. You have given me new inspiration to finish editing my novel.

Your interpretation = win. I could not get past the first chapter.


Mariya one of the first series I've ever read and now that I've read 1000x more/better books I don't even know what I saw in this series. Honestly it's horrible now. each book has gotten worse and worse.


Steph Sinclair It’s rather brilliant when you think about it!

But it still only gets one fucking star.


^ This made me laugh so hard, I almost woke the boy up. Lol.

Please tell me you don't have to read the entire series. It gets worse and worse! Which two books did you pick out for her?


message 8: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa Great review as always. I like your interpretation much better than the general interpretation. Too funny.


-k The Lady Critic Oh this review was amazing. I never looked at the books this way but it completely makes sense!
I really hope that if you can stomach reading the next 100 books in the series (ok, it's like 10 or so but they feel like they're never going to end) you review them like you did this one.
Honestly though, this is about as good as the novels get. It's all downhill from here.


Kat Kennedy Haha! Everyone, I have absolutely NO intention of reading anymore of these books... Ever!

Thanks, though! I'm glad to know my interpretation isn't too obscure!


Hannah I liked the book but I can totally see where your coming from, your review probably pointed out things I didn't want to notice.


Kizi180 Yeap, is true but most of it change in the 2nd book. Still yeah is a Zoe-Apocalypse


message 13: by Fabiane (new)

Fabiane Abreu I couldn't get past the second chapter. Kudos for you for finishing it!

Your review made my husband come over to see if I was okay from all that laughing. lol


message 14: by Steph (new) - rated it 1 star

Steph Sinclair Zoey is the most annoying Mary Sue you will ever encounter in YA. She's so perfect, everyone loves her, and every boy in the series wants to sleep with her. I think she has like 3 boys going on in every book.


message 15: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Stephanie wrote: "Zoey is the most annoying Mary Sue you will ever encounter in YA. She's so perfect, everyone loves her, and every boy in the series wants to sleep with her. I think she has like 3 boys going on in..."

(view spoiler)


message 16: by Lina (new) - rated it 1 star

Lina You pretty much summed up the story of Aphrodite. I swear, is it a trend now to have the real protagonist hidden as a secondary? (Leah, Isabel, Aphrodite..)


message 17: by Steph (new) - rated it 1 star

Steph Sinclair Mello wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Zoey is the most annoying Mary Sue you will ever encounter in YA. She's so perfect, everyone loves her, and every boy in the series wants to sleep with her. I think she has like ..."

Oh, indeed, can't forget about that! It's not the least bit disturbing, totally acceptable.


message 18: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Stephanie wrote: "Mello wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Zoey is the most annoying Mary Sue you will ever encounter in YA. She's so perfect, everyone loves her, and every boy in the series wants to sleep with her. I think..."

Oh ya. That's, like, totally normal. Happens all the time.


message 19: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John Egbert Princess 'Lina wrote: "You pretty much summed up the story of Aphrodite. I swear, is it a trend now to have the real protagonist hidden as a secondary? (Leah, Isabel, Aphrodite..)"

I may continue the series just to get to/read Aphrodite if she's one of those types of hidden protagonists. I loved Leah and Isabel to bits.


message 20: by Lissa (new)

Lissa This is the best reading of this most awful book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. When I read it, I was just all like MARY SUE RAGE RAGE RAGE but you've actually given me a really good way of looking at this book. I really wish you'd do a reading like this for the rest of the series but at the same time I don't want to subject you to that absolute bullshit horror.


message 21: by Jessica-Robyn (new)

Jessica-Robyn I haven't read this book (and probably never will) but this review is absolutely amazing. Imagine the doors this could open for badly written YA and psychological analysis! Maybe better yet someone should have a little sit down with the author and her editor, go straight to the source!

My god, I would love that job... I need to make happen. :D


message 22: by Cor (new)

Cor The sad thing is you review is probably much funnier than the real book even if you make it sounds like a really funny story about a female psychopath.


Kat Kennedy Thanks everyone! It's really Edwina Wren who convinced me Zoe is BPD. She really did a great job of portraying mental illness!


Regina Kat did you notice Edwina Wren's messed up accent? I am listening to this right now. Accourding to my googling efforts Ms. Wren is Australian, she goes in and out of her australian accent, an American accent and then a strained weird thing in between. It is driving me crazy.

I am only 50% in, but I feel like this is a fanfic story of Harry Potter, with hormones and no substance.

LOL at this: "-When we meet Aphrodite, through Zoe, she is forcing a blow job on the future object of Zoe's desire. I can't find a statistical formula for how many boys have refused blowjobs from their girlfriends, because one doesn't exist yet, but this was when I first solidly began to believe my assertion about her BPD was truly correct."

My thought exactly. That poor boy!


message 25: by Annie (new) - rated it 1 star

Annie Pretty brilliant. Based on this, she might have histrionic personality disorder too.


Nicol I love this review even though I have continued to read the series! But I read it for Stevie Rae - if you ever find yourself wanting to torture yourself further please read the rest of the series and let me know what you think about Nefret!


Anachronist -When we meet Aphrodite, through Zoe, she is forcing a blow job on the future object of Zoe's desire. I can't find a statistical formula for how many boys have refused blowjobs from their girlfriends, because one doesn't exist yet, but this was when I first solidly began to believe my assertion about her BPD was truly correct.

Thank you. I needed such an assessment very much. I hate this series.


Renee Wilson "It’s rather brilliant when you think about it!

But it still only gets one fucking star."

Lololol.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, wow. Even the rant felt long. NOT reading this.


message 30: by Lily (new) - rated it 1 star

Lily K Oh my gosh! I was laughing for like 10 minutes after reading this. Kat I don't know you but I have seen a bunch of your reviews and they are all HILARIOUS! This one is definitely my fav! You just wrote a psychoanalysis on a seriously fucked up little girl. Brilliant.


message 31: by Elspeth (new)

Elspeth Awesome review!


message 32: by Sarah (new) - rated it 1 star

Sarah Such a brilliant review made even more awesome with the single ending line: "But it still only gets one fucking star."
Lovely. Lovely.


Wildbriar This review...poetry.


message 34: by Alexandrea (new)

Alexandrea That...was the most intense YA review I have ever read.
But I burst into laughter at the end there.

"One fucking star"... ;D


Kat Kennedy Glad you enjoyed it.


Barbara (VampAngel) LOL! That was excellent and very insightful!


Danielle Wow, how insightful, I don't know if I should be intrigued or scared


Despair Speaking I shall follow you from now on... *becomes a stalker* Mwahahahaha!


Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer) I hated this book! I thought the writing was silly and the dialogue weak and immature. I know this book was for teens, but wow, it still could have been better.


Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer) Oh, and was that oral sex scene necessary? I saw a mother with a a girl who couldn't have been older than twelve in Barnes And Noble one day looking at this book. The mother asked an employee if the book would be appropriate for her daughter. The employee said she hadn't read it but it was probably okay. I put my two cents in and told her NO, it wasn't! LOL.


Zaynab this book was seriously worth...loved it!!!!aphrodites attittude...it supper awesome!!!


Despair Speaking Elizabeth wrote: "Oh, and was that oral sex scene necessary? I saw a mother with a a girl who couldn't have been older than twelve in Barnes And Noble one day looking at this book. The mother asked an employee if th..."

Thank you for saving the soul of an (probably) innocent girl.


message 44: by Vlad (new)

Vlad A very clever, enjoyable review. You even found a way to include a gif image that was actually amusing and added to the text.


Kat Kennedy You say this like you are shocked, Vlad. SHOCKED. I assure you, I GIF responsibly if at all possible.


message 46: by Ioana (new)

Ioana Kat wrote: "You say this like you are shocked, Vlad. SHOCKED. I assure you, I GIF responsibly if at all possible."

I wish this comment had a like button!


message 48: by Bec (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bec Oh Kat I would love you to review the rest of this series especially # 7 which was as far as I got in my misguided youth, cause girl was trippin' hard by that stage


message 49: by Maria (new)

Maria Rae Brilliant review! So much more fun than reading the actual book =D


Zaynab lovved your extrapolation.............<3!!!


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