Jenna's Reviews > Marked

Marked by P.C. Cast
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's review
May 15, 2012

did not like it

** spoiler alert ** Reviews and more on my blog.

I really disliked this book. First, what (little) was good:

The plot actually had potential. It reminded me of Vampire Academy, in that the book follows a 16-year old, Zoey, at a school for vampyres and the vampyres are good and use magic. The religious dichotomy represented by Zoey’s step-dad and the school could have been interesting if it hadn’t been so black and white. Zoey’s step-dad represents some sort of conservative Christianity whereas the school and vampyres represent a pagen religion, with about five overly descriptive circle castings. Similarly, the friends Zoey makes at her school could have been really interesting and likeable if they’d been developed at all. Every time one of her friends is described the author includes tht he is gay, because that is his only defining characteristic. Her roommate, who seemed way more likeable, is a country bumpkin, who does nothing outside of this role, and Zoey continually describes her as being like a puppy/dog. They could be better developed in later books, but I’m not sure. Finally, all the students get cats as familiars. The idea of that just makes me happy.

So, now all the bad:

Mostly the bad is the writing. The author constantly throws in unnecessary and already dated pop culture references and brand names. It was obnoxious. The book is written in first person and Zoey’s thoughts often seem very immature. One part that particularly annoyed me was when she thought/used the word “poopie” and “boobies.” That makes me thing of an 8-year old, not a sixteen-year old. Zoey is not a great protagonist. She has a case of being too speshul and acting like a narcissist. Despite the fact she has only just been marked as a vampyre, she’s already craving blood and using advanced magic. Anyone who disagrees with her is automatically bad. She gets mad at her human friends for not calling her, but then when they visit her at the school she just gets mad at them again, because her best-friend has a crush on her -ex-boyfriend, both of whom she thinks of as stupid and annoying.

Throughout the book there are moments when the author lectures through Zoey. Being gay is okay. Oral sex is for stupid girls. Pot will kill you. This might not be terrible if it had been done subtly, but it was about as subtle as an anvil to the head. One of the early scenes in the book is the antagonist, Aphrodite (the new vampyres get to pick their names. They pick stupid names.), trying to force oral sex on her ex-boy friend. The scene is incredibly rape-like, but this is never commented on. Of course, Zoey and the antagonist’s ex are totally in love (from eye contact, not even a conversation) and Zoey must overthrow Aphrodite and take her place. Like Zoey’s friends, Aphrodite and her ex are not well developed. They’re stereotypical and boring.

The worst aspect of the book was the CONSTANT slut-shaming. The main character refers to Aphrodite as a ho and slut for everything: wearing a dress, talking, dancing, etc. She also slut-shames her human best-friend for wearing a low cut top and even herself(!) for kissing a boy. Yeah, kissing is SO slutty???

I didn’t read reviews of this book beforehand, but if I had I would have seen these problems and avoided it. The reason I picked this book is that it has over 100,000 ratings on goodreads and 4/5 stars. Most books have closer to 30,000 and Holly Black who is my favorite YA author yet has only 17,000 reviews. I don’t know how this book sucked so many people in, but it’s a shame.

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