This book pissed me off, irritated me, but it did get better towards the end. I have a lot of conflicting thoughts, which I need to sort through, butThis book pissed me off, irritated me, but it did get better towards the end. I have a lot of conflicting thoughts, which I need to sort through, but I will post a full review soon.
Spoilers Ahead so be warned!!
The Marked By: Emerald Barnes
This book definitely had an interesting take on werewolves and vampires. Of course, when writing about these two folktales, especially in YA, it is hard to avoid cliches. However, I didn’t mind it as much as usual. It was a fast-paced read that I mostly enjoyed. I was able to forget my own life for the moment as I became immersed in Myka’s world. Sometimes I felt like the pacing was way too fast, and I wasn’t able to enjoy moments or the characters as much before I was thrown into another scene. There were some moments between Milo and Myka that were absolutely adorable, but ended way too soon. Another thing that was odd and disturbing was how Milo just let Preston bite and abuse Myka. I get that she was his “Chosen” and they couldn’t interfere, but basically every scene with Myka and Preston was uncomfortable and it should definitely come with some sort of trigger warning for abuse and attempted rape. If there was one, I didn’t see it. So, as soon as Myka begins dreaming of the white wolf whose eyes resemble her own, I already knew that Myka was a werewolf, so the ending wasn’t much of a surprise for me, although it was interesting and it definitely did pique my interest enough to want to read the next book. Also, the ending was way too rushed, way too cliche, and I only liked it when Myka transformed into the Shewolf. Hopefully, she will become more confident and more relatable. When her and Milo broke up, I didn’t really feel any emotion. It was just like...okay, moving on. The part that really pissed me off was the attempted rape scene. Myka is about to meet Milo and run away, and of course Preston finds her and then drags her away to a basement. Upon waking up, he immediately begins to beat her and is about to rape her and then of course the white knight shows up to save her. I was hoping that in that scene she would have turned into a werewolf and bitten his head off, that would have been so badass and powerful. Instead, Milo stakes Preston and that alone doesn’t kill vampires. I’m thinking Milo is gonna kill him but nope. He doesn’t. And I was infuriated, because if I were in that position, I don’t care what rules there were or what the consequences would be, I would have killed him. It was a lazy excuse and I hated it. These are my initial thoughts, so now I want to talk about some of the characters, beginning with my favorites: Olivia: Olivia was a delight in this book, I just absolutely loved it each time she popped up. She was funny, unapologetic about herself, and had a confidence that was refreshing, especially in YA books. I wish we had more screen time with her, and I hope she does make an appearance in the second book, despite Myka leaving. She honestly made me give this book 2 stars, instead of 1. Luka: Luka was a darling, each time he appeared on page I just smiled with adoration because he’s such a kind and gentle soul. There wasn’t much page time with him either (ahhhh), but every time he did appear he made it much more fascinating. We didn’t get to learn much, but I hope we discover some more about him in the 2nd books. Milo: Milo was...interesting. When we first meet him, he is brooding and uninterested in everyone and everything around him. Then, the next time, he is apparently all into Myka and it was sudden and strange, but I still liked him. I get his inner conflict with his vampire self, it was very real and I felt his pain. His characteristics, his pain, his struggle, his jokes, all of that was very real and I could have instantly loved him if not for one thing: he allowed for Myka to be bitten against her consent and he knew that Preston was a bad guy, and yet, he still let Myka be alone with him. I get that there are vampire rules or whatever, but I don’t care what kind of world you write, it is not okay to write about hard subjects like rape, assault and abuse in a “oh that’s just how things are, it’s fine” kind of way and just letting it be. You can write about it and address it with the respect it deserves, but not as a lazy plot device, and especially not as a way to further torment the male love interest. It is disgusting, and it’s what made me sorta “meh” with Milo’s character. Myka: I didn’t really care for Myka until the end of the book when she left the academy. More specifically when she turned into the wolf. Honestly, a part of me is hoping she’ll turn into the wolf and never change back, but hopefully she has some major character development in the second book that makes her more tolerable. Now, I’m gonna give some of my own predictions that I think might happen in the 2nd books.
-Myka and Brent have some sort of attraction/relationship while he helps her deal with being a werewolf -Milo is gonna be tormented throughout the book missing Myka but also insisting to himself he made the right choice in breaking things off with her -Olivia is gonna be badass and beautiful and be kicking ass and taking names alongside Luka and they are both happy (lol jk, I know one or both of them is going to die, probably protecting either Myka or Milo) -Myka’s “real” parents are going to show up and they’ll either be evil or they will be super nice and happy to be reunited with their daughter
So, even though I had a lot of problems with this book, I will be reading the second book--mainly to see if my predictions come true because I have terrible curiosity which is gonna bite me in the ass one day. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed my review! Until next time!