Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Marked

Marked by P.C. Cast
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's review
May 20, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: paranormal, vampires, 2007, ya, romance
Read in January, 2007

16 year old Zoey has a crappy home life, an almost-ex-boyfriend who drinks too much, a best friend who's shallow and a geometry test tomorrow. But all this matters for naught when she is Marked by a Vampyre Tracker and must move to the House of Night school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for four years while her body undergoes the Change into a Vampyre - or rejects it and she dies.

This is a new and original take on the Vampire legends, and mixes in matriarchy and goddess-worship with pleasing effect. Zoey becomes marked in a special way - the Goddess Nyx has given her a special responsibility and added gifts; which she'll need, because something's not right at the House of Night, and her own mentor and High Priestess may not be the gentle, caring mother-figure she makes herself out to be.

What I especially liked about this book was how it handles issues relevant to teenagers. Yes it discusses topics like drinking, drugs, anorexia, sex, homosexuality, bullying etc. but all in a positive light (or an "anti-" light, depending on the topic). Zoey is a wonderful role model with a sensible head on her shoulders who looks beyond the surface to what really makes people behave how they do.

Also, to be perfectly clear on this point, despite what you might have read, there is no sex in this book, or the sequel (and even if there was, I think it would be handled very maturely). There is some slutty behaviour from one of the characters, but this is hardly glorified. In fact, it's only the language of the teenaged characters themselves that stops this book from being too moralising. The slang etc. has been captured perfectly, but is not overdone so that it gets really annoying. It's also dark, funny, and the inclusion of rituals invoking the five elements of air, water, fire, earth and spirit add a new, beautiful element that I really liked. I honestly think this book and the ones that follow can only have a good impression on teenagers. Don't be afraid to put it on your library's shelves. In fact, my biggest problem with this book was the rather excessive product placement going on. It's unnecessary and grotesque. Otherwise, Marked is highly enjoyable!
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03/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Jenny So what if there is not any actual "sex" going on in this book. The language (and I am including the harsher swear words) is WAY too specific. I want to leave a book a better person and that did not happen here. There is no way I want my teenage daughter reading this. There are so many venues that would be more appropriate to open a dialogue about sex with her.

Shannon (Giraffe Days) No I don't think so David! Actually, after this book they really did get on my nerves. All her friends are such "token" characters!

message 3: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah thank you shanon your coments make sense imean all the people who dont like it are way to old to be reading in the first place

Jenny You are never too old to read a book! I still read books for kids of all ages...even picture books are entertaining. I would like to see you actually say something about the book that offers valid reasons why we are wrong, rather than just a judgmental statement. That comes across as really childish.

BTW...I disagree with Shannon about the language...I thought the slang was WAY overdone. There are SO many books out there that handle these issues in a much better way. This book definitely had potential and clever writing at times, but it undermined itself by creating this world where teenagers can't speak a normal sentence and they act like idiots half the time. I personally like to give teenagers more credit.

Shannon (Giraffe Days) Jenny wrote: "You are never too old to read a book! I still read books for kids of all ages...even picture books are entertaining. I would like to see you actually say something about the book that offers vali..."

Hi Jenny,
I have to say that when I read this book back in 2007, I quite enjoyed it (clearly), but I've read the following two books and found them to be excessively annoying - so much so that I probably wouldn't like Marked as much if I went back and read it now. They do act like idiots, there's an excessive amount of product placement (I don't care for any but this was way over the top), the characters are cartoony and I feel like I'm watching really bad TV when I read them. The things I liked most about this first book - the elemental magic, for one - seems to have become less and less important. What was amusing in this first book became trite and obnoxious in the second and third ones. Zooey has become one of those silly heroines who makes things worse for herself by not being honest, by not trusting her friends, and when she's left to face things on her own I can't help but think it's her own fault and feel very little sympathy for her.

I had a similar experience with Alison Noel's series - the first book I quite liked, but after reading the following books the things that had bothered me a bit in the first one because huge obstacles to enjoying the series, and I stopped reading it. I'm actually very put off by a lot of YA now.

Jenny Thanks for the follow up. I totally agree with everything you said. I never even read the rest of the series, and I probably won't. I really did like the clever dialogue and premise but I agree with the words "annoying, trite and obnoxious". My biggest issue of course is that, as a mom, it bothers me when authors put in so much swearing and sexual situations. I am okay with it when it is appropriate and am grateful when my daughter and I can have a dialogue about "real life" situations, but it doesn't make her more well prepared for those situations just because she is exposed to it in a book.

I have not read the Alison Noel series (I think it is in my to read shelf), but I appreciate your input about it. Thanks for responding!

message 7: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Curd She was 17

Amanda Hey, I was one of the people who partially enjoyed this series (or at least didn't get super angry at it like everyone else...) and I was wondering if anyone ended up finishing it? As singular books I thought it was 3.5/5 but by the time I had reached Stark and Zoey chilling on the island I couldn't help but think; When is this going to end? Will she finally keep a bf instead of 'upgrading'? Did anyone read farther, and did it get any better?

message 9: by Kage (new) - rated it 1 star

Kage "Zoey is a wonderful role model with a sensible head on her shoulders who looks beyond the surface to what really makes people behave how they do." i had to make sure this was a review of the same book that i read. did i read the same book? probably not then. a well.

roxanna i can't believe this review exists

SkinnyDragon I read this book when I was around 15, when I was very immature myself, and I knew after the first book that it was certainly the worst thing I had ever read. I'm 19 now and I have read many more books since then, and this series is still the absolute worst thing to ever be published that I am aware of. I actually ended up reading the first 4 or so books and can attest that they do get worse as they progress.

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