Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: The Mark - Jen Nadol

WherI got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars 

Cover Rating: 4 stars (The purple and the glow-y are really nice.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: January 19, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Page Count: 228 p. 

Cassie can't remember a time when she didn't see the mark. She just hasn't always known what it meant. When she was little she'd see it but no one explained to her what it could mean. Her grandmother took care of her though and when Cassie grew up and followed a person with the mark, she was there to comfort Cassie's horrible realization. The mark meant the person was to die, that very same day. With the knowledge that she has the power to choose to tell someone it is their last day, Cassie sets out on her own path trying to figure out what is right and what is wrong. 

This was a much more philosophical read than I had thought it would be. Cassie ends up taking a Philosophy class, and that's how the whole thing starts. Right from wrong, duty versus destiny. It was a very interesting read and watching Cassie debate what the right answer could possibly be, was fascinating. I also really appreciated how real Cassie was. She had this weird gift, but otherwise was a normal girl with normal girl problems. She had crushes, had to find a job and had to deal with death. When the big secret of why she can see (maybe) the mark is revealed I was a little thrown. It was a very odd and unrealistic reason. After giving it some thought though, it seems just as likely as any other reason, and at least this one holds roots in something that was (at least at one point) believed. I also think that the reasoning was left somewhat open ended. You really had at least two options that were presented to choose from. As the reader, you are left debating which one you think is most feasible, or simply which one you prefer. This was an intriguing debut and I will certainly have to keep my eye on Jen Nadol's future endeavors. This novel dealt with issues of right and wrong and destiny versus choice in a unique way that all at once removes the reader and draws you in. If you have a chance make sure you check out this novel, it will make you think about things a little differently. 

First Line:
"There is nothing like the gut-hallowing experience of watching someone die, especially when you know it's coming." 

Favorite Line:
"I rubbed my eyes, praying it was a trick of the light, always overbright in his south-facing, whitewashed rooms."  

1 comment:

  1. I love books that make me think and that allow me to see things differently. I love the concept for this book. Super intriguing.


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